Remember the days when you would show up to your accountant’s office with a shoebox full of bank statements, check stubs and receipts? They would then spend hours with the bookkeeping and accounting adjustments in order to produce the financials for the ultimate preparation of your year-end income tax returns. Thankfully, today there are better solutions to this process.
With the current advancements in technology, many business owners still don’t realize that the majority of banks and credit cards can integrate with such accounting software as Quickbooks and Xero. By linking the accounts correctly, setting proper rules for the downloaded activity and cutting your checks through the accounting software, your books can essentially remain current, essentially allowing you live access to your business’ financial information at any given time.
Utilizing this technology to its capability helps to reduce involvement and cost of recurring bookkeeping/accounting services, potentially eliminates the need to hire an employee simply to perform this function manually and allows you the ability to make better informed decisions regarding the financial state of your business.
While there is some legwork to be done in the implementation of the accounting systems and setting the rules for downloaded activity, the reward is well worth the hassle. However, as they say, old habits die hard and the biggest hurdle for the accountant is getting the business owners to fully buy into this process, as most are resistant to change.
I believe bookkeeping is becoming an automated function and those accountants and bookkeepers who have built their practices around the manual recording of income and expenses will become obsolete. The accounting profession as a whole will need to be more consultative in nature, focusing on identifying and implementing tax-saving strategies, rather than the reactive recording of a business’ deposits and checks.
In addition to the automation of bookkeeping, the accounting software trend, much like everything else, will also be migrating to the cloud in the future. Businesses and individuals, alike, are becoming more mobile, with information and records now becoming accessible from work, home or cellphone. Quickbooks Online has already begun to make a strong push off their traditional desktop software and the other major player, Xero, has only ever been available online.
Ultimately, these online software versions provide better integration with not only your banks and credit cards, but also other apps and services, such as Square and Bill.com which can ultimately streamline your entire business’ accounting systems and procedures.