Here’s a bright idea – why not enhance the functionality of your accounting software!
How you may ask? By adding an app.
So what is an app? An app is the abbreviation for the word “application” and is defined as “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfil a particular purpose”.
So what is the purpose of an app when working in conjunction with your favourite accounting software?
It’s purpose is to provide enhanced and additional features that enhance your accounting software. This in turn can then provide greater insight into the business and it’s operations, as well as streamlining processes and savings in both time and costs.
Examples of where and when an “app” could be utilised.
- Firstly the documentation that is required to be kept for tax purposes such as receipts and invoices. There are many time savings that can be achieved through the automation of coding with programs such as Shoeboxed or Receipt Bank. Using OCR technology the information on the documents can be extracted and a preview of the document available so that coding can be quickly and efficiently done within the app itself and pushed into the Accounting software. The use of rules to automate further can also speed up the process. The time savings in terms of data entry are substantial. Additionally you now have an electronic filing cabinet for your documents, removing the need to retain the paper copy and the space that all those documents normally take up in storage. Not just a time savings but also a cost savings to the business
- What about enhanced Inventory – Unleashed or Dear Inventory can take the basic inventory provided in most accounting software and take it to the next level in terms of purchasing and reporting
- Importantly, what about payment systems so that the business get’s paid more quickly – Square - this small device and it’s associated dashboard, allows you to take credit card payments without the need to set up a merchant facility. Or alternatively perhaps Stripe. Both these payment methods will allow for seamless integration of the payment into your accounting software, keeping your aged receivables up to date at all times. Greater visibility into who owes you money at any point in time and offering options for customers to pay more promptly.
- What about Shopify, Big Commerce or Neto for your e-commerce needs. Not only having your data feed directly into your accounting software but also the reporting functionality within each of the platforms enhances the level of information at the business’ fingertips.
- How about Time Management and the ability to for employees to be able to manage their times online, as well as visibility for the employer, all integrating into the Accounting software for processing of payroll
Some of the examples I’ve given above are ones that I am already working with on a daily basis, but they are just a handful of the many options available to businesses today, with the list continuing to grow daily. The number of apps to choose from can seem daunting.
Do you have to have an “app” for everything – not necessarily so here are my tips for your next steps
- Work out what additional functionality it is that you are looking for – what are you trying to achieve, what are the gaps you want to fill in your information, reporting or time savings
- As a first step, take a look at your Accounting Software’s website to look at the add-ons available to you. Investigate those options available to find your best fit – one app at a time
- Seek testimonials/Talk to other users of the app to gauge their feedback on it’s effectiveness, the benefits they have gained by using the app, their support experience
- Look at the Support available – do they support your region and timezone – if not – how do you contact them, do they have local partners who are experienced in the integration with the accounting software or who can provide additional assistance and training
- Look at the cost/benefit of the app – what benefits will you get in terms of cost savings/time savings, additional information and reporting tools vs the cost of the app. Evaluate whether the benefits derived (not just monetary benefits) are of greater value than the cost of the app?