Every business owner knows keeping the books up to date is essential. The law requires it, and in any case, up-to-date numbers are critical for understanding the state of the business. But many owners and managers need help with it. They procrastinate, lose track of invoices sent and payments received, and fail to record receipts or other important details. Or they simply make mistakes when entering data, resulting in wasted time trying to correct errors later.
Only a few years ago, a blog post like this would have started with the basics first – “Get organized! Be consistent!” – before moving on to more advanced suggestions. However, the rapid growth of technology available to businesses means progressive steps have become convenient. It makes more sense to start at the top and work backward toward any remaining basics.
In essence, the new answer to the question “how do I update accounting books quickly and accurately” is to use technology that makes it almost impossible to do it any other way!
Let’s look at how businesses can apply the explosion of new technology to their situation and make the old world of lost documents and data entry errors (mostly) a thing of the past.
CLOUD-BASED SOLUTIONS MEAN EXPANDED ACCESS TO DATA AND APPS
More and more companies are turning to cloud-based software and data storage solutions rather than “already old” software-on-a-disk and on-site storage systems or “really old-school” physical file cabinets. Cloud-based solutions allow businesses to store their data in an offsite location that can be accessed from any device with an internet connection, making it easier for multiple users to access shared financial information simultaneously.
And the key here is that “users” means not just employees but also software and apps so that various software solutions have access to your data and can easily carry out whatever specific business tasks they are given.
But that’s not all. Within the cloud, many apps have access to each other, meaning that data uploaded to one can be used by another and that various apps can ask each other to carry out tasks, making automation possible and minimizing data entry errors.
EVERY BUSINESS CAN NOW DESIGN A COMPLETE SOFTWARE SOLUTION
Developers have created so many cloud-based apps aimed at every conceivable type of business; there will be one or many that fit your specific needs, and you can pick and choose among them to create your own “composite app.”
Many apps are already hybrid apps that offer several services within one app, but you can always add more functionality with other apps that can be integrated. For example, you might integrate your QuickBooks app with the Relay Bank App to improve cash management and the Gusto app to coordinate your payroll.
When you can do most of your financial processes within your “composite app,” many of the steps that previously made up-to-date bookkeeping so difficult are already done automatically. When you create an invoice in your cloud, send it within your cloud, and receive payment within your cloud, tracking those steps is already done. The “filing” is already done. The “recording” is already done. There is little chance of data entry mistakes and little risk of misplacing essential documents or losing track of them altogether.
Cloud-based apps also enable automation. Pay bills automatically, on a specific date, from the correct account or credit card, and book them. Deposit payments automatically into the correct accounts and book them. Send invoices when a purchase is made, and book them when payment is received. Any task you can automate increases the time and energy available to grow your business while reducing errors and missed deadlines.
THE CLOUD HAS ALSO IMPROVED FINANCIAL PROCESS OUTSOURCING
The rapid advances in technology and connectivity also mean that there are ever-increasing benefits of finance process outsourcing. Using third-party, off-site accountants and bookkeepers is more effective and reasonable than ever. You can turn over part or all of the bookkeeping aspects of your business to experts whose entire focus is on those aspects and allow you to focus on the “business” part of your business. If you’re a small company, the owners don’t have to spend valuable hours keeping track of invoices, payroll, and expenses. If you’re a larger company, you don’t have to worry about maintaining an accounting department with office space needs, regular training, and constant technological upgrades.
Cloud-based solutions have revolutionized businesses’ financial processes by expanding access to data and apps. Even the smallest business can now design a complete software solution that meets their specific needs without breaking the bank. Businesses of all sizes can enjoy increased efficiency and productivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional methods. So, how do you update accounting books quickly and accurately? These days, it’s all built-in. Now you just have to take advantage of it.