So, You Want To Bring Your Business Online?
Have you been wondering if you should bring your business online? We’ll discuss the benefits of bringing your business online and why it should start with your accounting system. Accounting is one of those aspects that are common to every business. Keeping up-to-date accounting records can help you track your sales, expenses, and bank balance. It will also give you insight into how much your customers owe you and how much you owe your vendors. Most importantly, you can see how much income you’ve earned amongst a lot of other valuable information.
In The Past
Jumping back to a time before computers were widely available, bookkeeping was done on paper ledgers. It was very time-consuming to do well and very easy to make arithmetic mistakes. When computers became widely available, businesses were able to process a higher volume of transactions more quickly. However, these programs required you to go into the office. Later, when laptops became mainstream, you could leave the office but it was likely that the only copy of your accounting records lived on that laptop. This made it hard to share the data with other members of your accounting team such as your accountant.
In The Present
Now, in the world of cloud accounting, you have the freedom to access your information wherever there’s an internet connection. This also allows your accountant to access the most up-to-date versions of your data which means no more going back and forth swapping versions and backups. The big cloud accounting applications in the market today are QuickBooks Online (QBO) and Xero. In our office, QBO is our preferred software.
The other benefit of being able to access your information remotely is that if you have to travel, you’re still connected with your records. You can also have a distributed workforce. For example, where 3 key members of your staff need access to the bookkeeping software on a daily basis, but they live across the country.
We know that there are a lot of you data geeks out there and we know that you like to analyze all that data for trends to see from how your business is doing month-to-month or year-to-year. Now imagine that all of your information is captured in one location. The historic information gathered can also help you predict how much inventory to order in the future.
Moving to a cloud accounting system allows your software the opportunity to integrate with the wide variety of third-party apps available for businesses. The main goal of the app universe is to save the user time. The app used by the business can talk automatically to the accounting software and share any relevant data. This saves the owner from having to enter the same information in multiple systems. Some of our favourite apps to make your accounting system more efficient include HubDoc and ReceiptBank. These apps allow you to transfer pictures, scans, or emails of your receipts to be a central repository where they can then be recorded and attached to your QuickBooks Online or Xero transactions. This feature is really convenient for those times when your accountant or CRA asks to see your receipts because they’ll be easily accessible.
Once your basic accounting system is set up online, you can start looking for more industry-specific apps to help you streamline your current manual process. A common example is in the retail industry as many brick and mortar stores are starting online shops. The big hurdle when moving online is having the online inventory match what you have in-store so you can always fulfill an order. Choosing a Point-Of-Sale (POS) software that manages sales at both locations simultaneously helps solve this problem. It also ensures that your inventory values are always up-to-date. An added layer of integration is having the POS system integrate directly with your accounting system. This way, the activity recorded in that system automatically updates your accounting records and saves you the hassle of entering your sales information twice. Other industries that we have experience with are construction, property management, and restaurants just to name a few.
The world of apps is vast, however, and not all apps are created equal. Usually, almost all of them will have a price tag attached. Part of our job is to suggest the apps to you that give you the best bang for your buck. Since these apps help you with efficiency and allow you to have your staff perform more value-added tasks, the monthly or annual costs of these apps may look high. Once you compare it to the amount of payroll cost that you save or better yet, value in the amount of time that you save as an owner, usually, they are well worth the investment.
Now you may be thinking, “Well that sounds great, but I’m not a computer person”. Well have no fear, if you’re not a computer person, this is still possible for you. Hire a bookkeeper to help you navigate the fun world of apps. At Sync Accounting, we strive to use the apps that best benefit you by balancing out cost and business needs. We’ll also train you on the inputs that you’ll need to use and leave the rest to us. On the flip side, if you’re looking to do your own bookkeeping, we also provide training that teaches you how to use the suggested apps.
Reach Out If You Want To Bring Your Business Online
Give us a shout if you’re looking to start this process.