5 ways automation can boost your accounting firm’s profitability and compliance efficiency

Written by

Parth Shah

Managing Partner

Gone are the days when accounting meant filing reams of paperwork or adding columns of numbers to an Excel spreadsheet. Modern accounting technology allows accountants to work efficiently from wherever they are while collaborating in a timely fashion with their team members. According to the WorkMarket’s 2020 In(Sight) report, 54% of executives agree they can save 240 hours a year through automation. Don’t be surprised when we tell you the manual processing of paper invoices alone takes up about 62% of a company’s labour costs! If you are yet to make the transition to an automated business setup, here are five compelling reasons to get started today:

1. Automate workflows

Having homogenised and automated workflows can save significant amounts of time and effort. The first step in this regard is to go paperless wherever possible.

There are several tools such as Receipt Bank, Auto Entry, Hubdoc, 1Tap and others available to capture invoices, bills, and critical documents electronically and store them securely for future references. This practice helps in a smoother collection of documents.

Set up processes for necessary tasks such as prospect outreach or communicating with clients; use accountancy practice management tools such as Accountancy Manager, Senta, Pixie, Practice Ignition, Karbon HQ, Aero workflow,  or Xero HQ so that everyone can track their tasks in real-time and with ease.

The aim should be to organise and track one-to-one or group internal team conversations, emails, notes, important paperwork and client interactions for better collaboration – all under a single roof. Your team will work faster with a workflow that is simple and easy to understand.

The use of right technology, moreover, will free up your staff’s time to spend more time on fostering client relations, which is what will set the firm apart from the competition.

2. Make the most of your software - don't just pay for it

Software is only as good as the people using it. Investing in every piece of software just because your colleague suggested doesn’t make sense. Choose a tool which supports the core needs of your accounting firm, your clients and the team working with you.

Be sure to train your team and clients on every new tool your firm incorporates, and rope in the support of your developers to make customisations and fix issues, whenever necessary.

On the client-side, you can streamline communication by using instant messaging to connect with them and resolve their queries promptly. If your client is unaccustomed to working with the tools you have, hosting a training session with them will help improve the efficiency of your interactions and garner their trust.

3. Make real-time accounting your top most KPI

The world moves at a very rapid pace. We are sure you experienced the change first-hand during the past few months of COVID-19. Clients want to know how they are doing today, not last month and certainly not last year.

Real-time accounting allows you to stay on top of all changes and errors, and benefiting from it is entirely achievable with the right software and apt processes.

There are loads of accounting applications such as Xero, QuickBooks, Hubdoc, Receipt Bank, and practice management tools like AccountancyManager and Senta which help in timely collecting and keeping accounting data available in a matter of seconds.

Such software solutions also auto-chase your clients on your behalf and send timely reminders without having you to remember it.

Set the benchmark high and streamline the accounting process to accommodate a minimum of monthly or even weekly cycles and have your team address discrepancies as and when they crop up rather than waiting until the end of quarter or year.

That way, you will not only be able to access accurate data real-time but also remove inefficiencies within your accounting practice. It further provides you an opportunity to help you take proactive steps to provide timely actionable insights to your client.

Check out our blog to read further on the benefits of real time accounting.

4. Optimise the compliance cycle

All too often, year-end compliance cycles take longer than needed because there are too many steps in the process. An excellent way to remedy this is to sync the year end compliance cycle with real-time bookkeeping to have more regular checks that take less time. For instance, we use Xavier Analytics as a tool to perform regular checks and expedite the year-end process.

Besides, the self-assessments can be timed to harmonise with the year-end accounts. This allows the team to relax a little in December before resuming the hunt for new clients in January, once the tax season is over. New year, new clients!

5. Don't wait

Automation is the order of the day, and your business will benefit from it as soon as you make the switch. This also calls for trained team members who know their way around new tools and processes you incorporate.

If this intimidates you or if you are unsure where to begin, consider outsourcing your work to multi-talented, XERO-certified practice staff, such as Stellaripe, that can help you scale up your accounting firm from day one.

Our experts will help you choose and implement the right tools for your business. Plus, our dedicated manager will train and guide your team members in using those tools, which will save you time and resources.

Another benefit of working with us is that our accounts outsourcing services come with an account manager who can upskill, reskill and guide your team of outsourced accountants tailored as per your requirements, so you don’t have to bother about it.

OVER TO YOU

Automation can bring greater opportunities to the shore as it reduces routine and transactional tasks, allowing you to focus on more value-added services. If you are ready to automate but need a helping hand, we are happy to assist you! Call us at 20 3475 3537 or email us at contact@stellaripe.co.uk. We love to talk!

Get ready to be inspired

Looking for regular updates and inspiration to help you grow your business, attract new customers and keep up to date on all things accounting? Our monthly newsletter is short and sweet – we know how busy you are. Please tick the box and give us your email address.

     
    Newsletter Subscription