This article will discuss the benefits of getting your business online and why it should start with your accounting system. Accounting is one of those aspects that is common to every business. Keeping up to date accounting records can help you track your sales, expenses and your bank balance as well as giving you insight into how much your customers owe you. You can also see how much you owe your vendors and most importantly, how much income you’ve earned amongst a lot of other valuable information.
In The Past
Jumping back to a time before computers were widely available, bookkeeping was done on paper ledgers. It was very time consuming to do well and very easy to make arithmetic mistakes. When computers became widely available, businesses were able to process higher volume of transactions more quickly however these programs required you to go into the office. Later, when laptops became mainstream, you could leave the office but it was likely that the only copy of your accounting records lived on that laptop and it was hard to share the data with other members of your accounting team such as your accountant.
In The Present
Now in the world of cloud accounting, you have the freedom to access your accounting information from wherever you can get an internet connection. This also allows your accountant to access the most up-to-date versions of your data and there is no more going back and forth swapping versions and backups. The big cloud accounting applications in the market today are QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero. In our office, QBO is our preferred software.
The other benefits of being able to access your information remotely is that if you have to travel, you’re still connected with your records. You can also have a distributed workforce. For example, where 3 key members of your staff need access to the bookkeeping software on a daily basis, but they live across the country.
We know that there are a lot of you data geeks out there and we know that you like to analyze all that data for trends to see from how your business is doing month-to-month or year-to-year. Now imagine that all of your information can be captured in one location. The historic information gathered can also help you predict how much inventory to order in the future.
Moving to a cloud accounting system allows your software the opportunity to integrate with the wide variety of third-party apps available for businesses. The main goal of the app universe is to save the user time by having the app used by the business for an activity talk automatically to the accounting software and share any relevant data so that the owner doesn’t have to enter the same information in multiple systems. Some of our favourite apps to make your accounting system more efficient include HubDoc and ReceiptBank. These apps allow you to transfer pictures, scans or emails of your receipts to be a central repository where they can then be recorded and attached to your QuickBooks Online or Xero transactions. This feature is really convenient for those times when your accountant or CRA ask to see your receipts because they’ll be easily accessible.
Once your basic accounting system is setup online, you can then look for more industry specific apps to help you streamline a process you’re currently doing manually. A common example is in the retail industry as many brick and mortar stores are starting online shops. The big hurdle when moving online is having the inventory you have online match what you have instore so you can always fulfil an order. This issue can be addressed by choosing a Point-Of-Sale (POS) software that manages sales at both locations simultaneously that way your inventory values are always up-to-date. An added layer of integration is having the POS system integrate directly with your accounting system so the activity recorded in that system is automatically updated in your accounting records saving you the hassle of entering your sales information twice. Other industries that we have experience with are construction, property management and restaurants just to name a few.
The world of apps is vast, however not all apps are created equal and almost all of them will have a price tag attached. Part of our job is to suggest the apps to you that give you the best bang for your buck. Since these apps do help you with efficiency and allow you to have your staff perform more value-added tasks, the monthly or annual costs of these apps may look high, but once you compare it to the amount of payroll cost that you save or better yet, valued in the amount of time that you save as an owner, usually, they are well worth the investment.
Now you may be thinking, “Well that sounds great, but I’m not a computer person”. Well have no fear, if you’re not a computer person, this is still possible for you. Hire a bookkeeper to help you navigate the fun world of apps. At Sync Accounting, we’re always striving to use the apps that best benefit your business by balancing out cost and business needs. We’ll also train you on the inputs that you will need to use and you can leave the rest to us. On the flip side, if you’re looking to do your own bookkeeping, we also provide training so that we can teach you how to use the apps that we have suggested for you.
Give us a shout if you’re looking to get your business online.