By Kate O’Connor
It seems that we rely on technology more and more every day – so much so that the word “app” has become part of our daily vernacular. Most apps provide efficiency, ease of use, convenience, mobility, and real-time information. So why are we still shuffling paper to complete our accounting and back-office tasks? Wouldn’t we benefit from less paperwork and less data entry? Isn’t there an app for that?
If you’ve asked yourself these questions, then you should consider adding automated workflows into your back-office functions. There are apps for that. You can add them to your core accounting system to aggregate documents in one location, integrate with operating systems (POS, Inventory, Warehouse), automate time entry and payroll, provide accounts receivable and payable workflows, and integrate with financial institutions for real-time data.
Start by looking at accounting processes that create bottlenecks and cause extra work. For example, document management often creates these challenges. With a third-party application you can aggregate receipts, bills, monthly invoices and statements into one location that will synchronize data with your accounting system. These documents can be sent to the application via phone capture, scanned directly to the app, emailed to the app or delivered by fetching. With fetching, the application will automatically log into the banking institution or online vendor and pull in the most recent statements. (Don’t worry, the app will only have read-only access to your account). This will save hours spent logging into accounts, opening mail or searching your inbox for a statement.
The application will turn this data into usable information by reading the scanned image. You can use rules to populate vendor names and accounts automatically. The data is then synced to your accounting system. The transaction will be posted with the supporting document, reducing the data entry time and document storage capacity while increasing efficiency and accuracy. With the bank integration also in place, you can take it to the next level and use rules matching the cleared transaction to the recorded transaction, giving us real-time useful data.
The benefits of automation are numerous. Reducing paperwork and back-end scanning results in cost savings. Real-time data will be more accessible as invoices and transactions are not entered after the fact, but when the transaction occurs. And accounting automation apps provide the convenience and mobility we love about other apps in our lives.
If you would like to find out more about automating your accounting processes, contact your CSH advisor.