Using accounting software, does, if used correctly, increase the efficiency of record keeping for both yourself and your Accountant. Whilst receiving a bag of receipts or a large red cashbook still does happen, giving your Accountant a back up of data with a reconciled bank should save them time and hence you money.
So if you’ve made the move to software and its working that is a big positive, but what else could you be doing with your software? What changes have been made recently that could be useful tools to your business if you upgrade your program?
Bank Feeds are becoming more popular in software and can save time. A bank feed links directly into your internet banking and downloads the transactions on a daily or “as and when” basis. This allows you to quickly match transactions already entered. As you have to match each entry from the bank it should also provide an error free bank reconciliation. This has been available in Xero for some time and is included in some of the latest Sage versions.
Forecasting has become much more advanced in recent software updates. Most now allow you to enter budgets, perhaps based on previous years figures and monitor month on month how your current positions compare. Cash flow forecasting can also help you avoid the peaks and troughs throughout the month and assist in avoiding bank charges.
A popular feature which can often be overlooked is the ability to add a “pay now” button on emailed invoice. So if a customer receives a sales invoice, they can pay you instantly – many include an option to use Paypal. Handy to receive funds quickly.
Whether the software is cloud or desktop based, many software companies, now offer an automatic back up feature with a storage option. So you never need to remember to back up again – your data is held safely and securely for you.
Finally, the ability to use mobile phone apps to keep up to date has become an integral part of a software package. To be able to view your bank balance or raise an invoice on the move, are commonplace and mean you can complete many tasks on the go.
So, it could be time to relook at what your software offers and whether advances mean you could be doing more.
Gail Kristiansen is a Book Keeping Manager for Rennie Welch LLP and can be contacted on 01573 224931 or via email email@example.com.
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