June 1986, 9am a fresh-faced young man starts his first day in the accountancy profession. After settling in he is handed a large carrier bag contacting crumpled up invoices, receipts and bank statements, “could you get all these summarised by the end of the day”. What to do? Luckily, he is given a calculator, pens and a pad. Crisis averted.
Over the course of the next twelve months this young trainee would spend the majority of his time adding up 80-page, 32 column Guildhall cashbooks all by hand with the help of his trusted add lister.
The next 30 years would see some considerable changes in the accountancy and bookkeeping world. Computers would start to appear in offices and businesses. People would move away from traditional manual bookkeeping and use software designed to replace the old cashbook and ledgers. Not only could you analyse the transactions far easier and quicker, but you could also reconcile the bank and check your trading statements at any point, not just at the year end.
The original software was desktop based, tying you to the office in order to keep information up to date or to get any information out. With the advent of cloud technology, storing your data offsite, this gave you the best of both worlds. Most of the work can be done in the office, but with cloud technology this same information can be accessed to provide quick information whilst out on the road.
Accountancy software, in particular cloud based, isn’t just confined to the general accounts it can also help with automating the day to day tasks such as;
- Scanning purchase invoices, reducing the need to manually enter each one
- Emailing sales invoices letting you track when they were sent and when they have been viewed
- Taking a photograph of receipts from mobile telephone or tablet and uploading directly into the software
- Attaching copies of invoices and receipts to transactions, reducing the amount of paperwork needed to be filed
- Cleared bank transactions being directly fed into the software, allowing them to be automatically matched or added
This new technology has changed how a business owner can use the basic financial information at their disposal. With more up to date and accurate information they can try and spot trends or weaknesses in the business.
No two businesses are the same, even ones in the same industry, meaning people may want different information;
- How much am I making?
- Who is my top customer?
- Did I make a profit on that job?
These sorts of questions can now be answered in an instant.
Technology can help speed up the process of putting together your accounting records, allowing you to concentrate on the main reason you started in business in the first place – we are yet to find anyone who thinks great I get to do my bookkeeping at the end of the week.
For more information on this subject please contact Nick Wetherall