Technology has become part and parcel of our daily life, and this is doubly true for the business landscape. The hum of machinery has become the heartbeat of business; every business function is now dependent on some algorithm or other, and every decision is guided by machine-processed information.
It’s time to ask yourself: are you ready to embrace technology and stay competitive? In the world of bookkeeping, the answer is clear. With cutting-edge technology, you can streamline your accounting function, save time and money, and gain a decisive edge over the competition. The future is here, and it’s time to seize it.
As discussed by experts in prior Expertise Accelerated publication titled “The Future of Accounting: Demand and Evolving Technology 2022”, businesses must accept the fact that they need to integrate technology into their accounting function if they want to remain competitive going forward. Cloud-based bookkeeping, AI computing, and automation, ERP systems; there is so much technology open for use, you need to figure out what’s best for your business’ accounting and bookkeeping needs!
Before we jump into a quick overview of all the relevant technology that businesses should look into, it is of the utmost importance that the rumor is dispelled that technology can replace an accountant or bookkeeper. Technology delegates the mundane parts of the bookkeeping and accounting function to technology, freeing professionals to focus on more important business development matters.
With that elephant in the room addressed, let’s look at some of the technological leaps that have been made in the accounting and bookkeeping department!
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Best Ways to Leverage Technology in Bookkeeping
With the proven success of the Work-From-Home (WFH) model amid the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses have begun to realize just how effective cloud-based bookkeeping really is. Gone is the need to have all the financial data in one physical hard drive in the office, gone are the days when every receipt needs to be stored in a folder, it’s all digital now!
As defined by Financial Force “Cloud accounting software is similar to traditional, on-premises, or self-install accounting software, only the accounting software is hosted on remote servers. Data is sent into “the cloud,” where it is processed and returned to the user.”
Cloud-based bookkeeping software offers real-time data updates, automatic backups, and enhanced security features. These benefits improve efficiency and give you peace of mind knowing that your financial data is safe and secure.
Also called paperless bookkeeping, cloud-based bookkeeping completely cuts down the need for an in-house bookkeeper and opens up the door to outsourced bookkeeping services. Just two decades ago, it would have been a preposterous suggestion to let your business accountant or bookkeeper live in another part of the world, but now, it has become one of the most commonplace practices in the US.
Clutch reports that 37% of all outsourced work is of the accounting function, which has only grown since. By using cloud-based bookkeeping to employ outsourced bookkeeping services, businesses stand to gain tremendously both in cost-savings and efficiency.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
ERP systems are a must-have for any growing business today. An ERP system is a one-stop-shop software for the business’ backend processes.
As defined by Oracle, “Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) refers to a type of software organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations. A complete ERP suite also includes enterprise performance management, software that helps plan, budget, predict, and report on an organization’s financial results.”
By having all of these different business functions accessible in one place, things become a whole lot more streamlined. In addition, the data flow across the business’ many functions becomes more transparent and easier to manage.
ERP systems essentially map out all of the business processes in one place, giving a clear, holistic birds-eye view of the business’s internal workings. This allows for better communication between business functions, maximizes accuracy, and minimizes the risk of error or fraud.
Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and ChatGPT
We have all heard about the hit AI chatbot ChatGPT, which burst onto the scene in late 2022 and since has continued growing by leaps and bounds.
While not the first demonstration of such sophisticated AI, ChatGPT is certainly one that makes a convincing case for the use of AI in business. Experts at Expertise Accelerated also put ChatGPT to the test regarding financial processing and were pleasantly surprised at the robust performance shown.
By leveraging AI-powered tools like ChatGPT, and many others, businesses can automate an astounding amount of the accounting workload. Data entry, categorization, and analysis can all be handed off to AI solutions, and even processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable can be set to be handled by AI.
AI-powered tools can also provide valuable insights into your financial data, such as identifying trends, predicting future outcomes, and highlighting potential risks. By leveraging AI, bookkeepers can provide more value to their clients and stay ahead of the curve.
Is Bookkeeping Technology Worth the Investment?
Most entrepreneurs pose a very relevant question in this discussion whether all this technology and AI and cloud-based bookkeeping is worth the cost and effort.
The short answer is yes, it is worth the investment. The fact is that we are in financially hard times, and the whole world is feeling the strain that the economy has been under for the past few years.
The only way to keep chugging along in the business landscape is to cut down on costs, and the most effective way to do so long-term is by investing in technological alternatives.
If your small business can’t afford in-house bookkeeping services, then cloud-based bookkeeping presents an affordable alternative in the form of outsourced bookkeeping services and solutions.
Furthermore, thanks to AI and automation technology, your cloud-based bookkeeping talent can leave the grunt work to the machines and focus on financial analysis and other strategically important tasks for business growth.
With business growth comes an influx of capital, which can for more sophisticated technology to propel the business forward. In this way, that initial investment builds upon itself and pays you back tenfold in the long run.
Technology is a game-changer in bookkeeping and can help even the smallest of businesses compete with industry goliaths on a level playing field.
By using advanced technological bookkeeping solutions such as cloud-based bookkeeping, ERP systems, and automation, businesses stand a very good chance of overcoming the recessionary spell and coming out stronger than ever.