I often get asked how a business can minimise the time spent (and thus money) “doing” their accounts.
The first step is to get online to create access, convenience and remove tasks that you otherwise have to do such as backups, upgrades and installs.
Secondly, and more importantly, you need to change your thinking to “generating” your accounts. You accounts can be a smooth, automated pipeline of transactions. It doesn’t have to be data entered.
Many businesses I meet still “do” their accounts while they should be generating them. This is about connecting and automating your accounts using a variety of techniques that are NOT limited to bigger businesses. The reality is that there will always be an element of data entry but it can be massively reduced to a small fraction of your work-flow.
There really is only 3 ways of generating your accounts. Most other methods are a variation on these themes or a hybrid of them.
We are interested in our customers saving time so if you have any questions post a comment or get in touch. We are firstly in the business of selling time savings, secondary to that is the accounting software.
“Are you serious Saasu? I’m a consulting business, it can’t be automated.”
Even a consulting businesses where you would think it’s hard to automate you can achieve 60-80% automation of transactional work flow. If you think about it (look at your statements), you pay for the same things over and over. Mobile, phone, internet, rent, electricity, wages etc. Often the frequency is consistent and it may only be the amount that varies. These transactions can all be automated to the point where there is no data entry (constant amount) or a followup edit (change amount). Expenses on credit cards can be captured by importing credit card data and bank statements. You simply clear what isn’t needed and apply account codes to the remainder.
This is the best by far on a cost per transaction capture analysis we’ve done of the variety of methods. We call this “exceptions based accounting”.
Highly transactional business models should automate as much as they can using recurring Sales and Purchases for all your normal recurring revenue and fixed costs. If applicable, connect your point-of-sale (POS), e-commerce website, project management and CRM systems to Saasu via the API or using a Connector. Transactions can occur in real time automatically. Contacts can update across systems. New customers can be created, invoiced, payment processed and emailed paperwork automatically without human cost, resources and risk.
Saasu provides customers with shopping carts, software connectors and payment gateway connections to assist in creating a straight through processing business model.
This method works well for micro enterprise but starts to fall apart as you grow the business or as your business becomes more technically complex. e.g. inventory, time and project based businesses. It doesn’t scale for complexity or compliance.
Under this method you export you bank statement from online banking and import it into your accounting file. Nearly all accounting systems have this feature including Saasu, Sage and Quickbooks. Systems like Banklink and Xero have taken it a step further by providing a service to do this import step for you on a next business day basis or weekly basis. For micro a enterprise this is about an extra $360 per year above Saasu’s pricing. Bank fees may also be charged by your bank account on a per-transaction basis for data feeds. Feeds aren’t real time but they are convenient and close enough for micro businesses. To a degree you are trusting the bank or card company’s data to be correct.
Data entry is by far the most expensive and unfortunately the most common. Data entry should be about exceptions so bookkeeper and accountant skills can be reserved for advice and higher level tasks. A good bookkeeper is the difference between order and disorder, fear and anxiety. Automate as much as possible and have your bookkeeper or admin staff be you assistant CFO to your business rather than spend your dollars on them just doing mundane data-entry that can be done by a computer.