April 13, 2021 | by Lynn Wise
The COVID-19 pandemic has forever changed the way businesses operate. This isn't entirely a bad thing. Many organizations upgraded their business continuity capabilities by transitioning to a remote work model, for example.
Bookkeeping technology can produce many other benefits as well, from increased fraud protection to greater financial insight that can empower more informed strategic decisions. It's just a matter of choosing the correct combination of online applications to suit your business needs. And the first step is prioritizing those needs.
Define Your Bookkeeping Goals
As you've probably discovered already, there is a seemingly endless array of bookkeeping software apps and online solutions available at a broad range of price points. Which ones should you choose? You don't want to shortchange yourself on functionality, but you don't want to pay for way more capability than you need, either.
Start by making a good old-fashioned list. What's the main problem you want to solve with online bookkeeping? Is it recording transactions? Tracking time? Handling payroll and payroll taxes? Paying bills? Reimbursing expenses?
Once you've identified the specific problems you want to solve, finding a cost-effective solution becomes much easier.
How to Choose an Online Bookkeeping System
Business leaders can become more efficient by using digital tools that all work together. For example, integrated software helps minimize manual entry because there's no need to key the information into each app when they're all connected. That saves both time and money while improving accuracy.
Start by selecting a bookkeeping and accounting software tool. Be sure you find one that will not only enable you to do core bookkeeping work, such as tracking revenue and expenses, but also integrate with other tools. From there, you can build out your system by adding compatible tools for other key tasks, such as paying vendors and submitting receipts.
Here are examples of some of the tasks that you can automate and integrate:
Many of these tools work with smartphones, which means you can access them remotely, from your worksite, from home or from anywhere else. Industry-specific tools such as construction management software for builders can be integrated with bookkeeping systems for even greater functionality.
How does a digital bookkeeping system with related integrated tools boost your productivity? Among other things, it can:
Reap Additional Rewards
You'll soon find that digital bookkeeping technology provides benefits beyond accurate, real-time recordkeeping capability.
By consistently and correctly allocating all revenue and expenses to their correct "buckets," for instance, you can get new insights into actual cash flow. Those insights, in turn, can lead to directing additional assets to more profitable aspects of the business while reducing or eliminating those that produce lower revenue or require disproportionately high costs.
Again, you don't want to pay for far more capability than you need. But if you're planning to grow your business — and you should be — you shouldn't box yourself in, either. You need a system that's built to scale as your business grows.
Growth can take many forms, from adding new product lines to opening additional locations, all with specific bookkeeping needs to address. And in some cases, industry-specific requirements will influence the type of system you should get.
Secure Your Data in the Cloud
There is one feature that every business should demand from an online bookkeeping system: It needs to be in the cloud.
The cloud, as we've said before, is like a safe deposit box for your data. It not only can safeguard you against the horror of losing all your financial records due to a computer crash, fire, flood or theft, but also can be an important component of fraud prevention. Experts agree that segregation of duties is one of the essential best practices for stopping embezzlers, and a cloud-based system makes that segregation much easier to implement.
Here's one example: Through remote access, the cloud enables an outsourced bookkeeping services provider to put a second set of eyes on all your financial instruments and transactions without having to be physically at your place of business.
Do You Have the Right Support?
If you lack expertise in online technology and feel overwhelmed by the many options available, enlisting an outsourced bookkeeping services provider is the best first step. They'll help you find a vetted, right-size software solution that suits your needs — and be there every step of the way to implement it. Best of all, they'll show you how to reap those many rewards.
Learn More About Online Bookkeeping
At Supporting Strategies, our experienced, U.S.-based professionals use secure, best-of-breed technology and a proven process to provide a full suite of bookkeeping and controller services. Are you ready to learn how you can move your business forward? Contact Supporting Strategies today.
Lynn Wise, Managing Director of Supporting Strategies | Flint, Michigan, provides bookkeeping and controller services to Flint-area businesses.
This website is created by Supporting Strategies to provide general bookkeeping and accounting information only. Supporting Strategies does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice, and the information contained herein is not intended to do so. As such, the information provided should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, legal, and accounting advisors, and you should consult with a tax, legal and accounting professional before engaging in any transaction.
Supporting Strategies is not a CPA firm.