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Running a business

What Automation Means for Accountants

Managing your finances effectively is critical to keeping your business running, both now and in the future. Having accurate, well-organized financial data will only benefit you—from forecasting to completing your taxes. However, tracking and recording income and expenses throughout the year can be both time consuming and complex. So, how can you make sure your finances are in order?

The key is having the right accounting automation tools at your disposal—specifically those that harness the power of automation. With accounting automation on your side, running your small business will be so much easier. QuickBooks Online syncs your business data automatically, so tracking invoices and expenses are a breeze. Learn more about the benefits of accounting automation and how it can help your business all year round.

Even the Canada Revenue Agency is taking advantage of cost savings from automation. In 2016, the CRA was selected as a finalist in the recognition of a data automation project that resulted in a savings of $3.5 million per year . The CRA’s new financial system automates processes that were traditionally done by paper. Operationally, the automation of the CRA’s financial system allows for faster payments and provides a complete audit trail.

Data automation has revolutionized the field of accounting leaving many to wonder about the future of the profession.

What is Accounting Automation?

Accounting automation is the use of software with advanced functionality to complete accounting tasks. Automated accounting software can complete these repetitive tasks in real time, without the need for manual data entry. Modern technology and new software solutions have enabled the automation of the accounting process, alleviating the need for business owners to do it on their own. Automated accounting features include:

  • Data integration and organization
  • Bookkeeping
  • Invoicing
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Expense categorization
  • Sales tax calculation and tracking
  • Mileage tracking

Automation in the accounting industry has allowed businesses to streamline financial management and make more informed business decisions.

Accounting Automation Benefits

Automation software is a hot topic all over the globe at the moment, and for good reason. New technologies equipped with automated features can take care of time-consuming administrative tasks and cut down on human error inherent to manual accounting. This gives business owners the freedom to focus on the bigger picture instead of being bogged down in day-to-day granularities.

With QuickBooks Online, the need for manual data entry is eliminated and saves time that can be better spent building your business. Your inventory, sales data, customer information, and expenses will automatically be recorded in your books to improve accuracy. Using cloud accounting also means you have access to your records 24/7 from any device.

Some of the key benefits to enabling accounting automation through QuickBooks Online include:

8 Benefits of Accounting Automation

1. Tax compliance

QuickBooks Online is designed to automatically comply with payroll reporting and tax regulations. QuickBooks keeps tabs on tax laws so you don’t have to. Thanks to automation, QuickBooks can track sales taxes and business expenses so you have the information you need on hand at tax time. That way, you don’t have to worry about miscalculations or inaccuracies when filling out your tax forms.

Remaining in good standing with Revenue Canada is an important aspect of running a small business. Fortunately, QuickBooks Online makes it easy to do your taxes correctly.

2. Simplified business processes

An automated accounting system streamlines the financial management process, saving small business owners a lot of time that can be used for other important business tasks. By automating certain steps in the process—sorting expenses, for instance—you can also reduce the risk of errors and subsequent problems down the road.

Whether you’re a new business owner or have been running your company for years, financial management tasks can be complicated and confusing. Advanced technologies like this enable business owners with little to no financial training to manage their accounting operations and comply with legal requirements.

3. Cost-effectiveness

Accounting systems take care of many key administrative tasks for you so you don’t need as much external help. This means you can get by with a smaller team or avoid having to pay an external supplier to manage all your financial needs. By automating the main accounting tasks, you can put your resources to the best use. And, if you do decide to enlist accounting services from accounting professionals, you can have them focus on higher-level needs. Accounting firms can help with detailed financial statements, forecasting and financial planning, and tax preparation.

4. Accurate Forecasting

Understanding business trends and being able to make educated predictions is key to business growth. Accurate forecasting is essential to keeping your business in the black, planning for seasonality, and scaling growth. QuickBooks Online accounting software turns raw data into easy-to-read reports that contain valuable insights. With this information, you can make smarter decisions regarding your business’s finances, like which costs to cut and where more resources can be allocated.

5. Increased productivity

With accounting automation, a variety of tasks are effectively taken off your plate, significantly shrinking your workload and providing significant time savings. Automation allows you to streamline workflows—which means fewer clicks, less data entry, and less time spent going back over your work. What’s more, the aspects of financial management that do require your attention—like recording expenses, analyzing cash flow, and approvals—can be completed much faster. That’s because your accounting system is doing the heavy lifting for you. With increased productivity thanks to accounting automation, you have more time to focus on other aspects of your business.

6. Improved customer relationship management

With QuickBooks Online you can create and send invoices instantly and enable direct digital payments . You’ll be able to provide a better experience for customers if they can quickly and easily make payments—especially if they can use their preferred payment method. This can also reduce the time and energy spent tracking down outstanding invoices, allowing you to keep the peace with your customers. Plus, having more consistent payments means better cash flow management. It’s a win-win.

Additionally, less time spent tending to accounting tasks means having more time to provide exceptional customer support that can help you grow a loyal clientele.

7. Increased security

Cloud-based accounting software is designed to keep data secure, which offers an additional layer of protection for sensitive business information. With QuickBooks Online, all data transferred online is protected with 128-bit SSL encryption, which establishes encrypted links between computers to keep information secure. Additionally, your data is automatically backed up at all times.

8. Streamlined invoice approvals

Accounts payable automation allows customers to set up rules to establish a workflow for all invoices to follow; then the software does the rest. You can even set up invoice routing so they’re sent to the appropriate parties for approval. With more efficient invoice approvals, you’ll benefit from faster payment processing, meaning the money will be available to use sooner. This is especially important when the cash flow is tight.

Technology enables small business owners by allowing accounting experts to focus on valued-added support. Some say that automation tools are going to eliminate jobs, but the invention of the calculator did not eliminate the need for bookkeepers in any way.

In truth, automation is nothing new to the world of business, especially in the world of accounting, and the role of accountants and bookkeepers will continue to evolve as automation redefines their place in the future. Use QuickBooks Online to jumpstart your automation process and try it for free today.

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