2020 has forced businesses to embrace the power of the pivot, and adapt to the changing business landscape. Technological advances have presented a lifeline for many industries, especially during the pandemic, and the accounting sector is no different.
According to Bridget du Toit, head of services at EasyBiz Technologies, the accounting sector has seen cloud-based online solutions quickly replacing their conventional desktop predecessors, with many pointing to the intuitiveness of online as a major contributor to their business success.
“Online accounting platforms have proven their worth as go-to solutions for all accounting needs, providing a seamless, efficient, effective and convenient answer to addressing many of the monotonous tasks related to desktop accounting,” she explains.
One of the greatest features of online solutions is the ability to work from anywhere and at any time, which means being able to send invoices, reconcile accounts, and even generate reports from the convenience of laptops, tablets or even smartphones. In addition, many online accounting software solutions realise that while the majority of users are technologically adept, not everyone utilises the same platforms.
“Some cloud-based accounting software comes with cross-platform functionalities, meaning they allow for easy access on PC or MAC platforms. Additional benefits of moving online include features such as user-friendly mobile apps, which make capturing a breeze, allowing users to simply take a picture of their receipts on their smartphones or tablets and attach it to any transaction,” says du Toit.
The technological advantages are numerous, including the ability for accountants to access client books remotely to address any questions, fix problems, and ensure readiness for the tax season. They also allow business owners the ease of keeping abreast with their businesses by accessing customer information, identifying late invoices and more, directly on their smartphones.
The benefit of any online or cloud-based accounting software lies in the functionality and advantages that facilitate business continuity. They allow for fewer data entries, with the software automatically downloading and categorising bank and credit card transactions. This is beneficial as it reduces the need to upload manually, and gives users more time to focus on other aspects of their businesses.
“Online accounting software solutions, such as QuickBooks Online, release new versions of their software regularly, negating the need for users to constantly update as they reflect automatically online,” adds du Toit. “Further, instead of manually sending transactions to clients, working online allows for recurring transactions to be automatically emailed to the client with the user being copied in each mail.”
While desktop solutions show unbilled time and expenses, users are still required to manually bill the customer. Du Toit says that working online gives users the ability to turn on a preference, which instructs the programme to bill customers automatically once the activity is assigned.
“It goes beyond simply showing when a transaction was created, modified or deleted; and indicates when a user logs in or out, or when account edits are made. It shows when a third-party accesses the data, bank transactions are downloaded, and those transactions are matched or added,” she explains.
“The benefits are endless and far outweigh the capabilities of desktop. Now is the time for businesses to look to affordable, efficient and user-friendly solutions that ensure they thrive instead of simply surviving,” concludes du Toit.