Businesses spend a lot of time managing expenses, invoicing, preparing reports, and performing other routine tasks. What if you entrusted all these operations to software? Your accounting department will be able to solve bigger problems, doing more in less time. We’ll walk you through how to integrate automated accounting software into your business to track real-time financial performance and gain other valuable benefits.
Accounting automation vs manual accounting
Accounting automation means that the software takes over part of the accounting tasks. A program calculates taxes, creates financial reports, stores data, fills in receipts and invoices, and performs other operations.
When things like filling in invoices are automated, the program automatically takes data from an invoice and enters it into your accounting software. After the payment is made, the program automatically sends a confirmation to the counterparty.
Automated accounting software improves a company’s accounting and gives it a number of benefits.
Experts quickly find the information they need. The accounting program stores all information about your counterparties and payments. This program facilitates the filing and storage of documents and general ledger items; moreover, it integrates with other company platforms and tools.
The company saves time and optimizes costs. Automation speeds up task completion. Accounting software links each transaction to a ledger record. Therefore, records are automatically downloaded, combined, and entered into certain fields. All of this saves the company money as specialists complete more tasks in less time.
The company enters international markets. When a company feels ready to enter international markets, it needs modern solutions to manage accounting, personnel and resources. With them, the company will be able to comply with the regulatory requirements of different countries, benefit from multilingual support, be able to maintain accounts in its foreign branches and process multi-currency transactions.
The main functions that an accounting software automates are:
maintenance of accounting records;
Calculation of payroll, taking into account bonuses for specialists;
Reconciliation of data from different sources: account statements, tables, accounting systems, etc.
Custom software vs off-the-shelf solutions
Accounting automation requires a whole series of actions on the part of companies. When developing custom automated accounting software, IT companies equip the program with all the features that a particular business needs, configure the system, train customer employees, and provide product support.
An off-the-shelf solution doesn’t always match the business needs of the company that purchased it. Created for a wide range of customers, such a program has a standard design and functionality. You will need to hire a dedicated team to customize the software to suit your business needs.
The choice is up to the business owner. You can experiment with trial versions of ready-made programs or order custom software development for your business.
Main features of accounting software
When a company is going to automate its accounting, it must know which functionality to choose. Robust automated accounting software typically includes:
ability to connect cloud services;
integration with third-party applications;
automatic sorting of sales, expenses, taxes, etc. ;
It is possible to extend the functionality. A custom software development company will consider managers’ wants and business needs to make the program as convenient and useful as possible.
How to switch to an automated accounting system
Whether you opt for off-the-shelf accounting management solutions or plan to commission the development of bespoke software, the steps for introducing automation are pretty much the same.
Stage 1. Collecting information on accounting operations
To understand the type of accounting automation software you need, you need to delve into the specifics of your organization’s accounting. Explore accounting policies and document flow, evaluate your existing accounting tools.
Step 2. Preparation of requirements
When information is collected, it must be systematized. Requirements for automated accounting software should specify the structure of the accounting department (roles and functions it performs), a list of documents and records, the extent of automation (for one department or all branches), etc The company must decide how much budget it is willing to allocate to development. Based on all this information, the software development company will be able to determine which features to include in the program.
Stage 3. Development of the accounting system.
With a clear goal and budget, managers choose a software outsourcing company that will build a solution from scratch. Custom software company business analysts communicate with client representatives, learn accounting product requirements from them, and dig deeper into business specifics. Then, the development company and the client agree on the terms and budget of the project.
Step 4. Program implementation and staff training.
Developers connect the program and train company personnel. If employees have questions, they contact Technical Support.
With automated accounting software, managers are always aware of the state of the business: how their financial processes are going, how much goods are in their warehouses, what is the company’s revenue, etc. All operations are controlled, so the likelihood of errors is minimal and managers have more confidence in making important business decisions.