Dec 06

Accounting Automation

Many processes today are being automated.  Look at how technology has progressed from desktop to laptop, now to tablet, smart phones and smart watches.  I love looking at people as they walk down the sidewalk talking to their wrists!

Cloud-based software and apps are assisting businesses with the day-to-day data entry of their accounting too; streamlining the process, eliminating entry errors, and providing real-time transactional data for anyone looking at the information.  If you’re looking for suggestions on what program to use – do your research.  There’s quite a few out there, so you need to find one that matches what your business level currently is, AND one that will be sufficient for your needs in five years.  I’ve done program upgrades (and downgrades), and they are no fun.

I’m a huge fan of accounting automation, provided it’s used correctly.  I had one client that synced their accounting software with their bank accounts and then didn’t look at it for a few years.  He couldn’t figure out why the P&L report differed from reality so much.  Turns out his payroll was hitting the software three times (automation error), and no one was monitoring it to catch it.  Just because it’s automated doesn’t mean it’s going to be hand’s off!

Correctly used, accounting automation has made my life much simpler as well!  My business bookkeeping takes about five minutes a week to accept/match, and reconcile.  My client books are about 3-5 times faster as well, freeing up a lot of time to do the higher-level analysis I love.

And that’s one thing automation cannot help with:  analyzing that data, and providing educated advice on how to use it.  Frankly, many business owners don’t have the time or inclination to look at how the changing numbers really affect their business.  This is where I have so much fun being a nerd and helping my clients!

If your budget is in your system, you may see that you may overspent in an expense category – advertising for example.  But are you being brutally honest whether that was a justified expense or not?  Does that spending increase make sense from a business perspective and will you see results in the next 6-12 months…. Or will you regret your detour in a year or two?  Sometimes you need that outside pair of eyes providing feedback to help you steer your business toward success.  Sometimes this is in employee to revenue ratios (guaranteed your program isn’t calculating that for you).  It could be an advertising-to-revenue ratio analysis.   Or it is ‘outside the box’ thinking on advertising, marketing, or product mix.

I’m horrible at the ‘call to action’ part of my blogs & newsletters.  But I’ll give it a try.  I love talking to people and helping them figure out what they need, maybe brainstorming things to consider.  A phone call is always free, so if you do need advice, call or e-mail!  My clients will tell you I’m faster to reply to an e-mail, so send me a message.