Accounting is no stranger to automation. In fact, it was one of the first professions to automate. If you don’t believe us, take a look at the number pad on your extended PC keyboard. That 7-8-9 on the top row comes straight from the old adding machines. Keyboard designers wanted accounting users to have a familiar key layout for typing in financial information. Yes, accountants and bookkeepers were automating their work more than a century ago.
The profession is slightly stuck, however. While computers revolutionized accounting, a lot of people in the field are still using that PC number pad to enter figures by hand. Manual processes abound in accounting. It’s not optimal, but don’t worry. Help has arrived.
Today, it is possible to automate many repetitive, time-consuming accounting tasks using modern systems like Sage 100cloud. We have advised many clients on the adoption of this powerful accounting and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software. It’s a wise practice, for reasons we will now discuss.
How Accounting Automation Works
Until recently, accounting systems were only semi-automated. They stored financial data in organized accounts and performed the arithmetic of accounting for us. Accounting software could also automatically perform previously manual tasks like tax return preparation and deadline reminder notification. These were indeed time savers, but so much is now possible.
Sage100cloud employs artificial intelligence (AI) to enable accounting systems to perform “thinking” tasks. For example, the system can ingest paper invoices, digitize them, post them to accounts payable (AP) journal and determine when they are due. It can perform account reconciliations, and more.
Why It’s Smart to Automate Accounting
In our experience, accountants reap many returns on the investment in automation. Reducing errors is an immediate and compelling benefit. Keying in numbers by hand inevitably leads to errors, with accidental transposition of digits and so forth. The resulting mistakes come with a cost. There can be rework and time wasted looking for where things went wrong. Errors can negatively affect client relationships as well.
Other advantages of accounting automation include:
- Increased efficiency—automation makes accounting employees more productive. When they can let the machine do tasks that previously had to be done by hand, they can handle more work.
- Staff satisfaction—accounting work can be dull and repetitive if it’s largely manual. This leads to burnout and potentially to staff turnover. Automation lets people concentrate on more challenging and interesting tasks.
- Mobility—modern accounting software packages like Sage100cloud come with intelligent mobile apps. They give clients the ability to engage in accounting processes while they are out of the office. For example, with automated, app-based expense tracking, a user can snap a picture of a receipt and the accounting software will automatically log it into the expense ledger and categorize it. This is arguably preferable to having clients turning over boxes of paper receipts at the end of the year.
- Growth—automation can help your practice grow by making your staff more productive. People can handle more client work because they no longer have to deal with the repetitive grind of manual accounting processes.
To learn more about accounting automation, contact us for a free consultation and demonstration of Sage100cloud.