Accounting and bookkeeping have been around since the beginning of time (nearly), but recently they’ve seen a shift. Technology is adding a whole suite of capabilities to these traditional fields. But what does that mean for your small business?
Here are the technology trends in accounting and bookkeeping in 2017.
1. The cloud
No one is using desktop software anymore. Working from different versions of files, having to update a spreadsheet and then email it to your accountant? That’s a thing of the past. With the cloud everyone is working from the same files all the time. In fact Accountex predicts that by the end of 2017, more than 90% of small and medium-sized businesses will be using cloud accounting software. If you’re still on desktop software, it’s time to move on.
2. There’s an app for that
Because there are thousands of different types of businesses out there, one accounting solution probably isn’t going to have everything you need. That’s why there are apps and add-ons. Every type of business has a whole suite of apps designed to integrate with their accounting software and tackle everything from point-of-sale for retailers to sending quotes for contractors. If you need it, there’s an app for it. With so many to choose from, you might want to find a financial advisor that’s well versed in that space to help you pick the right ones for your business.
3. Real-time data and the expertise to interpret it
People are starting to defer to their accountants and bookkeepers more often than once a month or at tax time. The cloud and integrated banks feeds have enabled small businesses to have access to real-time data so they’re now using it to make real-time decisions. But they’re not doing it alone. They’re pulling in the expertise of the person who’s handling their financials day-to-day. By combining the data and expertise, small business owners are now making more informed decisions as they grow their businesses.
4. The financial web
Cloud accounting software is using their tech to connect directly with banks to bring you your financial data. But what if that flow went the other way? What if you could apply for a loan with the push of a button and get approval instantly? That’s the dream of the financial web. Your financials can be exported and verified by a bank in minutes without you having to do anything.
5. AI and Machine learning
Your accounting software is getting smarter. Soon all the little tasks, like doing bank reconciliation, are going to be done by a robot. So what does this mean for your accountant or bookkeeper? It actually means they’re going to be even more valuable. Rather than doing the manual labor tasks of keeping your books clean, they’ll actually be able to run reports, look for trends, and guide you on the areas of your business that are the most profitable. Think of them as your new CFO.
Throughout 2017 we’re going to see accounting software become more sophisticated, which means more capabilities to take advantage of in your business. If you’re looking for a financial advisor to help you make the most of your small business analytics, get a free consultation today.