In 2020, particularly with the advent of more remote working, more clients are using cloud-based programs to do their bookkeeping and accounting. Larger companies have used electronic data interchange for many years now to automate their accounting processes. More recently, massive programs like SAP help these large enterprises track their businesses with Customer Relationship Management systems, purchase ordering systems and stock control systems all integrated in to one platform.
The reason small businesses use cloud-based programs is saving time on bookkeeping, and instead of focusing on routine tasks the business owner can move on to better-paying jobs. The system we use means that you can invoice from the accounting program, your banking transactions are recorded without any keying in and we can keep your internal records more or less up to date permanently. In other words, what is in your bank is reflected in your accounts.
The technology used by scanning programs has been around for many years, and bank have used it for decades to speed up processing time for cheques. All bank transactions are routinely processed at the counter, using the strip at the bottom of cheques to read account details. Lodgement machines can now read handwriting with some accuracy, and this same technology is now available to help you cut processing time for your accounts.
Typically we scan source paperwork to a package using a scanner or a smartphone camera and a program. The programs we use extract the main information from the paperwork that a typical bookkeeper would need - date, invoice number, total, net and VAT ( Value Added Tax ). When linked with accounts software, the data from paperwork can be sent straight to the accounts software.
What all that means is no more looking for copies of invoices – They are already available as scans. It means no worries about files of paperwork when it comes to VAT Returns time or if you ever have a Revenue audit – you can simply give anyone access to view your back-up for all transactions.
We can also take the data using email. One of our clients has asked suppliers to copy us in to all invoice email, thereby cutting out another step in the process.
Furthermore, there is no need to keep back-ups of your data because it is already held on the cloud. No more worrying about whether you took a back-up before finishing the night before – you just shut down your computer and all your information is already saved.
You never have to give your accountant back-ups again either – They already have access online to everything instantaneously. All invoices, all bank transactions – everything is there so there are no more delays in getting your accounts done, and no more lists of questions while time is ticking by.
A lot of this work can be done on your smartphone, because all you need to do for purchases invoices is upload photos of your invoices to the program. The program extracts the information and sends it to the accounts once you or we have approved the transaction having checked the analysis first.
The invoices don’t need to be taken out of the file they are on e.g. a lever arch. Once you have taken a photo, the program does the rest. You can take the photo while travelling / waiting and set the invoices to upload when you are back within range of wifi. Processing time is anywhere between 5 minutes to 5 hours, but typically we can start to work on the data after lunch if you have uploaded it first thing that morning.
Bank statement uploads within 20 minutes usually, so we can get working on that straight away, and you can see the results.
You can email customer invoices and statements straight from the package we use, again reducing time spent on administration. It also reduces the time you need to spend explaining transactions to your accountant.
If you want to do all the work yourself, scanning invoices to the package, and categorising the transactions, we can show you how to do that. Alternatively we can do it all for you, or any mixture between.
Just contact us at 01 283 4123 to discuss how we can help with bookkeeping and accounts