By Zach Pasquariello
Before computers, bookkeeping was a very tedious task. Accountants were required to hand write every transaction on the general ledger and manually transfer all the information to the income statement and the balance sheet. Computer programs like spreadsheets have made these tasks much easier. Fast forward several years, and wehave the internet which has made everything even easier! Today, we have access to extremely robust and complex software that can do the manual data entry for us.
You might be a small business owner, or maybe you work closely with other businesses. You already know that business owners are required to “wear many hats.” Running a business involves marketing, accounting, human resources, operations, public relations, maintenance, and so much more. Let’s examine three ways that online cloudbased software can help businesses run their accounting and bookkeeping efficiently.
Accounting software enables you to directly connect and sync your bank accounts and credit cards. This means the individual transactions are transferred directly to your accounting software which significantly helps reduce human error and saves time. You won’t accidentally type a seven instead of a four, you won’t type 2020 instead of 2021, and you won’t spend hours going line by line on your bank statements trying to enter every transaction.
Security is a big concern for everyone, and no one wants their bank accounts to be hacked. Cyber security has quickly become the top priority for most companies and individuals, so accounting software has provided state-of-the-art encryption and authentication technologies, including Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), digital certificates, and RSA encryption to protect the security and privacy of your financial information. With all this verification and authentication security you can confidently connect your financial information directly to your accounting software. It works just like your online banking mobile app on your phone. You simply type your username and password into the accounting software, the bank account connects to your software, and each transaction is transferred exactly as it appears on your bank statement.
You might have forgotten to keep up with your accounting for the past three or six months. That can be stressful, but luckily the online bank connection can pull data from six or 12 months in the past. This can save you multiple days of manual data entry. Some banks and credit cards might not have the capability to connect directly, but there is a solution for that. Almost all banks have the option to download your activity in multiple formats like CVS (comma-separated values). You will be able to download your transactions and manually upload the single document to your accounting software. This requires one additional step, but it will still be much faster and more accurate than manually entering every single transaction individually. Connecting your online bank feed to your accounting software is just one amazing benefit to online cloud-based accounting.
People are constantly on the go and out of their office. Because of that, you can even use a mobile app for your accounting and bookkeeping. While the features might be limited, it can still be a great supplement to your accounting processes. You can track your mileage directly on your phone. Just login to your application, enable GPS tracking, and your accounting software will automatically track your miles traveled. Now you can capture this business deduction without a paper journal, confusing notes, or hours spent transferring the information from your journal to your computer. It can all happen with just a few clicks in your mobile app.
Receipts are important for accurate record keeping and it’s good to have a “paper trail” just in case. You can take pictures with your phone and upload them directly to your accounting software via the mobile app. This is much better than taking a picture, sending an email, downloading the attachment, organizing your computer folders, and then uploading them to your accounting software. Using the mobile app for tracking receipts cuts out all of the middle steps and makes it easy for you to record your paper receipts directly into your general ledger and chart of accounts.
The mobile app makes it easy for the business owner to track on the go. What about the rest of the team? The office Admin, the Operations Manager, or your Accountant probably won’t have the mobile app on their personal phone. However, with cloud-based accounting software, anyone can access it anywhere in the world as long as you have internet access. You won’t need to download cumbersome files onto every computer you own, or run to the office to print your P&L Report. You can do all of this from the comfort of your home office or the local coffee shop. You can give remote access to your entire team so that everyone can do their job efficiently while working from home. Multiple users can even work at the same time. The mobile app and remote access make online cloud-based accounting software an absolute necessity for business owners.
Customer support and customer service is always one of the top complaints or compliments of a company. This is even more true for an online tech company. Customer support is necessary because customers don’t have the in-person option with online software. You usually can’t go to the local brick and mortar and receive support or troubleshooting.
Two features of customer support for online accounting software have significantly improved recently. First is the call back option. You probably have nightmares involving the common “hold music.” It probably takes you 30 minutes just to talk to a real person after you already pressed 4, 1, and 3 about twenty times going through the automated menu. The “call back” option is perfect for busy businesspeople who aren’t able to sit on hold for hours. You simply login to your account online, open the chat box, and request a call back. Then, an actual person will call you back within 10 minutes of the request. You don’t need to listen to hold music, go through dozens of automated menus, or the absolute worst, get hung up on after you select the wrong option. The best part is, most big online tech companies have customer support from 8am to 8pm. Sometimes a phone call is not enough to explain your problem and receive valuable instructions. That is where the second feature comes in, “screen share.” A technical support member will be able to see your screen and know exactly what your issue is. You can clearly demonstrate the problem and receive real-time solutions for your accounting and technological issues. These technical support members are knowledgeable about the processes of the software and basic bookkeeping and accounting fundamentals. They can help you through almost any issue you might come across.
Online cloud-based accounting software can help everyone get organized and grow their business to the next level.
Zach Pasquariello is a father, husband, Army veteran, and Professional Bookkeeper. He loves spending time with his family, watching football, and serving his community. Zach has a passion for finance and accounting, and wants to optimize your business. He runs the numbers so you can run your business!
You can reach Zach at www.harrisburgbookkeeping.com or (717) 448-5993.
Featured in Harrisburg Commercial Real Estate Report – September 2021