How did accounting software save small businesses during Covid?


COVID-19 has been a nightmare for small businesses in the United States. More than 80% of small business owners said they lost income due to the pandemic in a survey by Wiss and Sapio Research. Additionally, 27% said they experienced a dramatic loss of income and 20% turned to savings or borrowed credit.

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But the crisis was also the pot in which several innovations to save SMEs were cooked. One of them is Quickbooks Online Payroll, an accounting software package run by Ruming Zhen, IT product manager at Intuit Inc (NASDAQ: INTU).

An exceptional solution

Quickbooks Online Payroll allows businesses to manage payroll through one platform while providing access to integrated employee services.

With the Quickbooks Pack, small businesses can track their income and expenses, accept payments, manage invoicing, and track sales and sales taxes. Currently, accounting software provides these and more features to approximately 15 million businesses in the United States.

But the software does more than that. Some of these features have helped Intuit’s millions of small business customers “take advantage of federal and state laws and new policies, defer responsibility for paying taxes, solicit funds, and retain employees.”

Ruming Zhen, the man behind the Quickbooks team, explains that the software has driven “record business results, improved retention, revenue, product experience and the marketing value proposition.”

During the pandemic, technology has become essential for ensuring efficiency and productivity, especially among the remote workforce, and low-code technologies allow companies to customize and implement services with little effort. investment in software development.

Competitive environment

The impact of the pandemic on revenues and remote workforce management has created a disruptive dynamic. Many companies have turned to digital systems that facilitate automation and track customer service online.

While these solutions are not completely new to the world, “the increased focus on automation and increased decentralized business operations during the pandemic has led to growing demand,” Zhen explains.

In the midst of COVID-19, about 70% of businesses in the United States are increasing or maintaining their investments in digital innovations like this.

For example, FreshBooks – QuickBooks’ fiercest rival – in July announced a data sharing partnership with the Ontario government to “share data and ideas regarding small business recovery trends,” as reported in A press release.

The move “will help small businesses and entrepreneurs by using data from FreshBooks to help identify weaknesses and gaps in government programs to support timely and impactful decision making and policy development.”

Additionally, in July, Bookkeper360 launched its Bookkeper360 App Marketplace, an artificial intelligence-based offering designed to help small business owners access services such as capital and payroll.

According to CEO Nick Pasquarosa, “the company has also pre-qualified for funding of $ 9 million for clients that will help it grow during its pilot period.”

The proliferation of these solutions has come to compete with those of IT giants like NetSuite from Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL), Business One from SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) Desktop Accounting.

Market trends

According to Mordor Intelligence, the accounting software market was valued at $ 12.01 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $ 19.59 billion by 2026 at a CAGR of 8.5%.

The agency reports that the growing development of SMEs in partnership with e-commerce players and integration with other online applications – automated bank flows and automated billing features – should facilitate the adoption of accounting software.

Cloud-based offerings have had the greatest impact over the past 20 years, with a large portion of vendors “leveraging the financial benefits of the cloud”.

In addition, “one of the notable strategies presented by these new entrants in accounting software is the inclusion of advanced features, such as artificial intelligence, for applications such as planning, learning, solving problems. problems and speech recognition.

The pandemic has amplified demand for astute remote access to financial records and systems.

The advent of these applications is also having a significant impact on employment trends among accountants and related professionals, because according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks employees in the United States rose from 29 million to 1.51 million. between 2016 and 2019.

A new role for accountants

Software and cloud services have also changed the role of accountants in organizations, since they started to replace Excel documents with desktop applications, which also allowed them to save data.

However, at first the software was tied to the computer and the information was not as portable as desired.

Now the software has evolved to move data to the cloud, allowing full mobility of information, connectivity from anywhere – as long as there is a stable internet connection – and real-time data collection.

It is undeniable that digital transformation and technological advances have spawned tools and platforms with automated and sophisticated administrative and accounting processes.

The role of the accountant and his functions have been forever transformed, and they increasingly become financial advisers with the knowledge and essential tools to make projections, analyzes and make decisions in favor of any business in any business. which sector.

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