Invoices. Payslips. Receipts. BAS statements. PAYG. The paperwork that you need to run a business seems endless.
But is this all about to change?
New technology is changing accounting
Consider the amount of time you spend with your accountant. Are you making the most of this time? Consider the hours you spend hunting for receipts, the hours you spend verifying logbooks, and the hours you spend just trying to keep on top of the yearly cycle of paperwork. How much more valuable can your accountant be if time was taken away from all this administrative digging into past paperwork and was invested into business advice, growth strategies, and effective financial planning?
It’s little wonder that people have sought a better way. And new technology may have provided one.
New apps and software are changing the game. In an effort to streamline and in some cases even automate the accounting process, this new technology is looking to the future. It not only allows accountants to focus more on providing advice rather than chasing numbers. It allows you and your tax accountants to spend less time chasing and verifying documentation, and more time being better business advisors.
Here are just a few examples
Rebecca runs clothing and jewellery store. Her claim to fame is the number of small op-shops and out-of-home designers she sources her material from. She’ll often spend a few days scouring antique clothing stores or hidden niche boutiques for the right scarf or material to use in her new line. Her store is small, but much loved by her customer base. She loves what she does, but she hates tax time. For one reason. She always misplaces receipts for the items, material, or jewellery she buys. And since she sources her items from small locations here and there, it is a pain to chase up each and every one of her missing receipts.
Receipt apps can ease this burden significantly. All you need to do is take a photo of your receipt on purchase and the app does the rest. Software such as Receipt Bank then stores and analyses your receipts. This information is the processed and sent to your accountant directly, saving you and your accountant hours of pouring through receipts.
Rebecca is a creative person. She would hardly call herself a numbers person. She is planning on opening an online store with a friend based in Melbourne. Currently located in Sydney, she realises she will need to coordinate her taxes and bookkeeping with him and his accountant, as well as her own. This poses a great headache for Rebecca.
Accounting software is not new. It has been popular for years. But the potential for accounting software has expanded greatly. Cloud computing software such as MYOB, Xero, or Quickbooks can solve many bookkeeping headaches. From invoicing, inventory, tax office compliance, automated reporting, business financial analysis, bank reconciliation and much more, this software and a plethora of third-party apps can do much of what you are currently paying your accounting to do for your small business.
Rebecca’s online store gets up and running. But there are more logistics than she planned. She now needs to collaborate with her partner in Melbourne and a small fabric factory in Indonesia. There are also a number of website developers she must work with. She starts to wonder if she has bitten off more than she can chew.
One of the pains of bookkeeping is time. It is a reason you hire accountants. You don’t want to take undue time away from your business to manage our books. But just as you can make your accounting more efficient with apps and software, you can also work better with your staff, clients, and colleagues using workspace apps. From OfficeTools Workspace to Amazon Workspaces or Chime to Citrix Workspace or XenApps, there are a plethora of dashboards out there that effectively create an online office space for you to communicate, collaborate, and record your work in a team.
Payroll and logbook apps
Rebecca has greatly benefitted from her receipt, accounting, and workspace software choices. She is able to expand her customer base. Now, she is looking into hiring more staff. She even wants to start sending sales representative out to bigger stores, and to her major customers. But she also needs to make sure that the effort she invests in this does not consume her design and production.
Anyone with staff knows that much of your time will be spent pouring through payroll figures. You and your accountant need to work hard to meet the tax office guidelines. It becomes harder when you manage a lot of staff, and even tougher when you through vehicles into the mix. This is why payroll apps like T-Sheets and logbook apps like Logbook Me are a relief to both accountants and small business owners. They are forging a way forward in real-time automation of managing your staff hours, payments, and vehicle costs.
Is this a brave new world?
This is indeed just the tip of a growing iceberg. Advancements in A.I. technology and automation are making the reach and use of these tools far broader. It is not inconceivable that more and more of what your accountant used to have to do will now be done by technology. It is changing the shape of small business bookkeeping and accounting.
This is why it is well worth your time to research how you can save time with such innovations.
But while these advancements may be the future of accounting, they do not herald the end. It’s not time to fire your accountant. In fact, from the start to the finish, human analysis is still needed to make sure that all this documentation makes sense. After all, bookkeeping and reporting has an end in mind. You still need to be responsible and accurate. You still need to check for human error, especially when you consider the risks of these errors leading to ATO audit penalties. And, moreover, there are privacy and transparency issues. How secure is your information in the cloud or an online workspace where numerous people can log in? What happens when you change accountants or systems – how transferable is the software, of your new financial team or system uses another brand or provider?
The future of accounting is not the end of accountants. Rather, small businesses and accountants can use innovations and streamlining tech to ensure that the future of accounting turns to the area most valuable to any business owner: advice. Accountants can be freed up from excessive pouring over documentation to properly analyse and assess how your business can best adopt a strategy for growth. And you can spend less time hunting for paperwork and spend time planning your business for its own bright future.
We at Calibre understand the changes occurring in the industry. Our tax advisory team appreciates the technological future of accounting and bookkeeping. But we also understand the value of accounting. Not only can we help streamline your bookkeeping to make it more efficient, and thus prepare for technological innovations in this field. We can also make sure you spend time with our accountants planning for the growth of your business, rather than just trawling through administrative details.
Important Disclaimer: Readers should not act solely on the basis of the material on this page. Items herein are general comments only and do not constitute or convey advice. Legislation and proposals of legislation are also subject to constant change. We therefore recommend that formal advice be sought before acting in any of the areas. This news article is issued as a guide to the readers. Calibre Business Advisory Pty Ltd and its associated entities disclaims any losses that may be incurred as a result of the reader undertaking any action based on this article.