Accounting firms are engaged in time-consuming, repetitive tasks, as a day begins and ends for them with inputting data into a computer, scanning documents, tracking the payment status of invoices, managing client accounts and so on. Moreover, work desks would be filled with piles and piles of paper documents – which is a common sight in an accounting firm. Most importantly, it is easy to get swamped by various papers, forms and email attachments etc especially when tax season is around. However, all these tasks – which are essential in the flow of a business – take up a large amount of the workday and put account departments at risk for mistakes and errors. So, how can we reduce such mistakes and errors and save more time? The answer is automation. With the help of document scanning solutions, accounting firms can now automate their firms and save their time, prevent errors, increase client satisfaction, and ensure compliance with IRS deadlines.
The Need for Automation in Accounting Firms
Do you want to spend less time on manual tasks and more time on growing your business? Then, introduce automation in your firm. Especially in an accountancy firm, automation improves efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on practice staff. That is, it helps to increase the productivity of your team and cut out the repetitive busywork that bogs them down day after day. According to Gartner research, “finance departments can save their teams 25,000 hours of avoidable rework caused by human errors by deploying Robotic Process Automation (RPA) in their financial reporting processes. In fact, the addition of automation in finance teams can save approximately 30% of a full-time employee’s day.”
Moreover, automating accountancy tasks will also help you attract Millennial and Gen Z clients, who expect everything to be digitized. So, without wasting your time, reinvent your accountancy firm by digitizing all accounting documents and automating your department.
Let’s check out the top 4 accountancy time-consuming tasks that need to get automated:
- Bookkeeping: One of the most tedious tasks of the tax season is data entry. Entering data is vital for calculating returns and taxes owed, but it is perhaps the most time-consuming process. Apart from time, manual data entry also brings the risk of human errors and mistakes. Therefore, the first and foremost task that immediately needs to get automated is bookkeeping, because clients rely on the accountancy firms to give them the most accurate tax returns and/or payment possible, and each detail matters when it comes to data entry. With the help of data analytics software, we can save hours of time wasted on data entry and improve accuracy at the same time.
- Invoicing: Like bookkeeping, another time-sucking task is invoicing; in fact, the processes of sending and receiving invoices lend themselves to automation. To automate invoicing, choose a cloud accounting package, which helps data to get automatically recognized and uploaded to the accounting system. It will integrate invoicing software allowing you to easily create, edit invoices that the system emails out, monitor whether or not the invoices have been paid and issue reminders on your behalf. This automatic invoice recognition tools – that integrate with accountancy software – make the processing of invoices easier, faster and more accurate, as it reduces the amount of time spend on manual data entry and eliminates the risk of typos.
- Payments: To reduce the amount of time that staff spends on debt collection and to improve the cash flow of the practice, automate your firm with online payment services. This is a great way to ensure your practice gets paid on time by your clients, as these online payment services collect recurring direct debit payment from clients and reduce the hassle of having to chase payments.
- Expenses: Are you fed up with the piles of paper receipts that keep swamping your desks? Then, use a digital expense tracking service that links directly with most major accounting software. This automation makes it easy to document everything – without all the tedium and headaches – as the service scans receipts to capture relevant information. This information can then be uploaded directly into accounting software packages in a user-friendly format, allowing for instant reconciliation. When done properly, the tax benefits earned by automatically tracking expenses can be enormous.
As per Gartner’s research report, fewer than one-third of finance departments that have deployed RPA have utilized the technology for financial reporting, leaving major efficiency gains on the table. Therefore, without any hesitation, this tax season, embrace automation and free up your mind to provide professional analysis, guidance and wisdom to your clients. Document scanning solutions help in organizing all types of documents accounting firms handle. The more tasks accountants can automate, the more time they have to bring the highest level of services to their clients.