The advent and continued impact of COVID-19 has taught us just how invaluable remote work and digitisation is to our businesses, none more so than in accounting where physical paper trails and personal interaction are potential points of transmission. In fact 81% of surveyed accounting firms expect a significant increase in remote working among their employees. As a result, digital transformation and the growing adoption of cloud technology have become the new norm. However, the benefits of digitising precede COVID-19; it helps streamline our processes, reduces paper waste, and allows us to connect from wherever we are located.If you’d like your practice to undergo a digital transformation but aren’t sure where to start, don’t worry! Digitising doesn’t have to be a difficult mystery to crack. Follow these 5 steps and you’ll be cruising down the new digital road in no time.1. Have a Common Mode of Communication Accounting is about more than just files, spreadsheets, and getting the job done. It’s essential to stay on the same page with your clients and co-workers. This means having a common mode of communication that you all can converse from. Applications such as Slack can keep your firm’s communication in one platform and provide sub-channels for relevant sub-topics. You’re also able to see team members who are online and ready to work with you from wherever they may be.
2. Have Everything Under a Common Software
Processing your accounts data such as invoices, payroll and AR/AP on one platform streamlines workflows and access to the data. It is important to pick a software that is specifically targeted towards the the industry and size of your client base to get the most out of their subscriptions. At Bluesheets, we offer a range of accounting software integrations for bookkeeping automation. Of those, Xero is the most popular and we leverage the cloud accounting software for our accounting needs. What do our users like so much about it? Their software is made with the accountant in mind, with an interface that comes intuitively for practitioners. This is a great option for a small or medium sized accounting firm serving SMB clients.
3. Transition to Online Documentation
Paper receipts are a hassle to organise and keep in place. Luckily, vision technology has advanced to the point where data on a receipt can be digitally transferred with a snap of a picture. Programmes like Bluesheets’ AI can ‘read’ pictures and electronic receipts sent via WhatsApp and other messaging apps; all the data from the receipts will be automatically extracted and accessible on our platform, eliminating the need to keep physical copies. This will reduce time spent on data entry tasks and enable your firm to conduct more value-added activities.
Plus, if you’re working with clients’ receipts we know how annoying it can be to read once they start to fade! By allowing your clients to simply snap an image, you can save yourselves ever having the interpret crumpled, faded receipts ever again.
4. Transition to Online Billing
In addition to digitising your incoming paper receipts, you can also eliminate paper from your own billing. By moving to an electronic billing system, you’re able to automatically send bills to your clients, remind them of due dates, and reduce the carbon footprint of your firm.
5. Update Your Clients in Real Time The old-fashioned practice of spending days to offer accounting insights to your clients no longer has to be the norm. Now, software can automatically process all your documents, pull out information, and provide you with valuable data, all in real time. Bluesheets can process your clients AP and AR data, automatically exporting to the accounting software of your choice as well as reporting tools, empowering you with insights in real time. Bluesheets also allows you to invite your clients to the platform for total transparency and collaboration. Real time insights means providing more relevant business decisions to your clients, making you an indispensable partner.
Keep it Up!The transition from in-person and paper-based to digital and remote can feel odd at first. However, the process doesn’t have to happen all at once. By communicating your plan and working with your team to incorporate these steps gradually, your practice will be digital in no time!
As a business grows, one of the major obstacles faced is a lack of integrated internal systems. Most organizations end up settling for software that is a good fit for them at that time and purchase them for company wide use.
SME's have been shown to be the most impacted businesses when COVID-19 hit in 2020,specifically those in the hospitality and food industry - a study conducted by the Reserve Bank of Australia.
Maintaining financial records has always been an inefficient and labour intensive process that’s subject to human error. Honest and accurate bookkeeping is the backbone of any good business.