In less than 10 years, they are predicting that every product offering will have been affected by the digital push, meaning that businesses will need to get on board across all aspects of their front-end and back-end operations to keep pace.
Companies that had continued to resist the move to digital products and technologies found their needs and priorities change instantly when COVID-19 hit earlier this year. As much of the workforce moved out of the office and daily business operations shifted to accommodate supply chain interruptions and selling challenges, companies of all sizes grappled to determine how they could use technology to their advantage. Many organizations are still dealing with these changes, trying to modernize in areas where they had been lagging in their industries.
The digital trend is not going away. Now is the time to modernize your company’s accounting functions if you have not done so already.
Accounting software, adjacent technologies, and financial personnel can and should be managed digitally. Technologically minded leadership will obviously be in a better position to drive this change, but even less tech savvy managers and owners can accomplish a digital migration as well with the right help. If technology is not your organization’s strength, use a reputable accounting firm to find and implement digital solutions that will work for your business.
Whether your company is using a basic small business accounting software or a more robust version with lots of bells and whistles, you should regularly assess whether it’s still meeting your needs. Ask yourself questions like:
Your answers will help you to determine whether you need to upgrade your accounting software, and what you should look for when doing so. If you are still using a traditional accounting system on a local computer or workstation, you will likely discover many benefits to upgrading to a cloud-based digital solution, including:
Cloud-based software will function somewhat differently than traditional accounting software, but the real benefits of cloud software are in the reliability of data and ease of access from anywhere. Cloud based accounting software stores and processes data on remote servers, providing backup redundancy in the case of an error or catastrophic event. While COVID-19 did not wipe out data on local servers like a hurricane or other natural disaster could have, it underscored the need to give employees in different locations access to the same reliable data. It also illustrated the need to give physically spread out employees a dependable, real-time way to collaborate on vital business information like sales and revenue numbers. Cloud-based software is a key step in ensuring that bookkeeping and accounting staff can work effectively independent of the office itself.
While about three quarters of businesses use a cloud-based accounting software already many still do not use supplemental apps and standalone platforms to streamline functions like sales tax calculation and employee expense tracking. Third-party tech add-ons can create significant business efficiencies while simultaneously allowing greater scalability. Additionally, leaning on the right technology improves accuracy over manual calculating, tracking, and reporting.
However, when integrating additional technology into your accounting platform it is important not to piece together technology when there are more consolidated options that can do the same job. This is one area in which a consulting accountant can be a huge help – recommending the right solutions for your needs and helping to unite technologies to automate functionality where necessary to achieve business goals.
Businesses in all industries have dealt with the challenges of managing remote workers this year, but one of the least talked about difficulties during the shift has been managing employees that cannot keep up with these changes. There are numerous reasons employees may not excel when working from home ranging from technology barriers and network complications to communication struggles and motivational difficulties. If your accountant or bookkeeper is not adept at working remotely even with the right tools to succeed it may make sense to outsource your financial functions. Furthermore, some accountants have experience primarily with desktop accounting software solutions, making the evolution to digital technologies a mismatch with your existing personnel.
Find out which types of accounting services you should outsource right away and which can wait for now. Get a sense of what you should expect from an accountant and whether your business would benefit most from hiring a bookkeeper or an accountant.
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