Technological innovation has changed many aspects of modern commerce. Business practices are increasingly digitised these days and both accounting and bookkeeping are no exceptions. After all, digital resources are now available for many aspects of financial record keeping that help to improve both productivity as well as organisational and reporting prowess. Indeed, many of these tools can be accessed online these days quite securely, offering greater flexibility for both accountancy clients as well as the accounting staff who are processing financial data.
From today’s perspective, it would be fair to say that manual accounting and bookkeeping have all but disappeared except in very few industries that have failed to digitise at all. Given how much convenience digital record-keeping offers businesses of all sizes nowadays, even clients with very few computerised systems will still tend to have some form of digital sales ledger, for instance. From such a position, it is not so much of a leap to adopt a full electronic accounting system, after all. However, from an accountancy professional’s point of view, investing in modern technology isn’t merely about being able to offer the sort of service that their clients now expect but of improving their own operations, too. What this often boils down to is reducing the number of ledger errors that may have occurred in the past under manual systems.
Digital computation of financial data hasn’t just made checking entries for errors much simpler because it has also led to better and more accurate financial reporting, as well. Among the many advantages of modern technology in accounting, this is the most notable because greater accuracy and more in-depth financial reporting allows for better decision making in business. When such reporting is also easier to tailor to specific needs, as is possible with modern technology, accountancy staff can be much better placed to assist with strategic analysis. For all of the reasons outlined above – and more besides – it is consequently imperative that accountancy professionals stay abreast of the latest technological advances in financial systems and reporting and continue to invest in the right sort of digital tools to help them drive business and sustain growth.
What are the benefits of modern technology that accountancy professionals need to know about today?
Read on to find out.
Process Automation and Greater Operational Efficiency
One of the first things to say about digital technology – whether you are talking about the financial services sector or not – is that it allows people to spend less time on repetitive tasks and unnecessary admin. This is because well-designed digital systems often automate certain processes and procedures so that elementary tasks are completed for you. One of the simplest ways you can see this in operation is when a series of ledger entries are added up automatically as they are input. Of course, modern accountancy software ought to offer many opportunities more opportunities to automate processes than this simple example. However, the point is that dealing with simple tasks reliably and effectively means that accountants no longer have the keep on doing something hundreds, or even thousands, of times to complete a task.
There are two main benefits of automating with digital technology. Firstly, repetitive tasks are boring and even the most diligent professional can be more prone to making errors when they are doing the same thing over and over again. As such, automation tends to help with greater accuracy. The second advantage of automating certain processes is that they free up time. Computerised systems can often complete an automated process in a fraction of a second which means accountancy professionals can free themselves up for other tasks, take on more clients and generate more income.
Online Tools for Accounting and Tax Declarations
Some digital platforms provide generic information-sharing services for accountants and their customers. However, the best ones provide specific tools that have been designed with accountants in mind from their inception. Most professionals in accountancy and financial services will want to choose a system that is designed for their needs. This might mean they want a package that is fully compliant with the latest industry regulations in Ireland, for example. Snow’s digital solutions are updated frequently so that they reflect the very latest alterations in legislation and regulations connected to tax and so on, for example. When tools that have been designed for accountants are used, automated processes and reporting necessarily become that bit more useful frequently resulting in greater levels of productivity as well as operational efficiency.
Virtual Documentation Storage and Retrieval
alogue world of record-keeping, paper documentation is still the norm. However, keeping paper records is not desirable in the modern age. This is because filing cabinets and other secure storage systems capable of holding receipts, financial reports and purchase invoices are often expensive, certainly when compared to the availability of storage space on a hard drive or an instantly accessible online server. What’s more, finding documents held in their paper form is often a time-consuming experience even when they have been filed correctly and are in the right place.
In addition, paper documents require physical space to be kept. This often means the unproductive use of office space. Then there are the security implications of how accessible or otherwise documents and records might be. What would happen to them in the event of theft, damage from fire or even physical degradation over time? It is for these reasons that digitising documents has replaced physical storage in many areas of commerce, not just accountancy. Indeed, the growth of cloud computing allows for the almost instant retrieval of documents from any location on the globe while maintaining the security and safety of the paperwork concerned.
Do Away With Bureaucratic Processes
Cloud payroll systems, like those on offer from Snow Technology, should offer an easy to operate user experience. It is the intuitive nature of the best digital platforms around that provide accountancy professionals with the direct channels they are looking for. These can also be extended to clients so that information can be shared directly. For example, customers should be able to upload their receipts and latest invoicing information in a smooth and hassle-free manner so that their accountant can gain instant access to them even if they are not present in the same place. Such digital routes for information sharing also flow in the other direction, from accountant to client. Accounts and finance professionals can make use of digital systems to send reports and tax returns over the same, user-friendly platforms nowadays. In short, this sort of adaptability helps to bypass the bureaucracy that is so often associated with manual accountancy systems, saving time and money.
Digital Calendar Management and Task Assignments
When accounts and finance staff are working as part of a team, a reliable task assignment system is essential. Without one, it is all too easy for a firm of accountants to double-up on work or even miss things because individuals think others in their team have already completed them. As such, online calendars and time management systems are extremely useful to help manage workloads and to assign tasks in a way that set deadlines in a manageable way. Such tools are now widely used in numerous industries but they are particularly effective in time-sensitive sectors like accountancy where late tax returns or payroll runs, for instance, would be extremely problematic. Remember that such digitised tools are now the norm with multiple devices, allowing professionals to update their workloads wherever they might be from handheld devices like smartphones and tablets.
Digital Training and Professional Development
There are many digital tools available to accounts and finance professionals that help with skill acquisition and training. Employers who have multiple bookkeeping and accountancy staff on their payroll will often benefit from the digital training and online courses that are on offer within the sector. Training staff members, while they are working on the job and gaining experience, is often much better for them than sending them away to learn. Indeed, such training isn’t just about improving the skillsets of employees but helping them – and, therefore, your clients – to ensure they are always up to date with the latest regulatory and legal changes. Few would argue that digital training hasn’t reduced costs in the sector or improved knowledge sharing and the more widespread adoption of best practices.