Accounting and bookkeeping have been refined over the years with sophisticated ERP systems. Is this accounting software the improvement you are looking for or can you grow your business even more?
We are at a point in time where automation has become imperative in all aspects of life. None more so than in the business and financial worlds. Competition and changes are inevitable and technology is only making it easier every day for businesses to be more efficient and productive.
Fortunately, you can be just as competitive if you truly do want to improve your processes. As a smarter and quicker alternative to manual accounting and bookkeeping, automated accounting software provides a platform that offers impressive performance and upgrades to your business.
But how does it work? Are there any drawbacks of automation? How exactly can you speed up corporate bookkeeping via automation? Let’s answer all your questions.
What is automation?
The ISA (International Society of Automation) defines automation as “the creation and application of technology to monitor and control the production and delivery of products and services.” In simple terms, however, it is the process of making something manual operate automatically. Minimizing, but not eliminating human input, automation is in everything you do. Driving instead of walking, speaking on a phone instead of in person, taking a lift instead of stairs, just keep thinking of everything you do and use daily and your list can go on forever.
So, why use accounting automation software?
If, as above, you are already making use of these automatic advancements to improve your very existence, why would you not automate your accounting processes to improve your life and business? But let’s take a deeper look into some of the main reasons why to use automation software for accounting and bookkeeping:
The speed and efficiency of automated accounting and bookkeeping over manual processes are unparalleled. Instead of your team spending hours and days on data entries, the recognition and extraction of data in accounting automation software make this a simple task. In fact, in less than the time it takes for sunlight to travel from the sun to the earth, a document can be processed in the software.
Not to discredit anyone, but once an individual has been staring at numbers for ten hours straight, zeros start looking like eights, and sixes like nines. Therefore, there’s a risk of human error. Meanwhile, automation tools are robust and have a minimal likelihood of creating a mistake.
So, you won’t have to deal with incorrect, missing, or duplicate records.
Offers A Depository
No matter the size of your business, there ought to be hundreds of documents coming into your workspace at any given time. Printing, sorting, filing and storing these is a tedious task that requires ultimate carefulness.
Accounting automation software presents you with the benefit of cloud storage. This essential feature of document management automation workflows creates a secure digital archive of your data in the cloud. Data that can be accessed anywhere at any time.
Even better, you don’t have to be at the office, searching through your many filing cabinets to find one piece of paper. All you have to do is go to the folder you saved them in or even easier, just search any keyword from the document.
Unfortunately, it comes with the job that most of the time, things aren’t as straightforward as they should be. Working on a single document can require calls and emails to clients and team members alike. Then you still have to explain which document you are referring to. Automated communication that forms a part of automated accounting software, not only allows you to communicate with any person within your organization or external clients, but you can link your discussions and queries to a specific document.
How do you automate your business?
We have created some tips for the introduction and implementation of automation into your business:
Step 1: Get everyone on board
Your most valuable resource is the people of your business. From clients to employees, it is the actual humans who create success. Therefore, you need to ensure an organizational culture that embraces automation before you can make any change.
Two concerns tend to come into play in this case. Employees are reluctant to adopt this approach as they fear machines will replace them. And clients tend to believe that there will be an increase in workload and costs for them.
It is therefore essential to provide an understanding to these people of the benefits and optimization of automation that can only allow for growth.
Step 2: Find the right fit for your business
As with any business requirement, from hiring an employee to selecting software, you have to ensure that the solution meets your business needs.
There are several factors to consider when selecting the perfect add-on when it comes to accounting automation software. Considerations should include the integration capabilities into your current systems such as your ERP. Most importantly, select the SaaS that has the scope, technology and innovation that accommodates your scalability goals.
If you are struggling to start, the first action should be to look at your current pain points. To follow from the step of getting everyone on board, why not make this a company-wide activity whereby everyone gets involved in creating a list of their challenges. The answer to finding what you need should start to easily flow from there.
After reviewing your issues, answer the following questions:
- What do you need to change?
- What should you change it to? (That’s easy – an automated solution)
- What actions are needed to implement the change? (As we said – Finding the right solution for you)
Step 3: Take one step at a time
Now that you have identified the obstacles, it is best to automate the easiest process first. Your simplest tasks, for example capturing data or filing documents, could be a strong starting point. These repetitive tasks do not require much thought and therefore have no added value from human action. A strategic change to automate this process can result in a major reduction in repetition and errors.
As with all businesses and teams, different workflows create different issues. Perhaps your biggest challenge is instead the communication with clients. Again communication is an easy process that can be automated instantly. Customize your approach to what you and your team need.
Step 4: Effectively onboard your team and clients
Up to this point, you have ensured that your employees and clients have bought into the idea of automation. You have then determined your constraints and pain points and initiated the automation of processes to align with your goals. The next step is to efficiently and effectively onboard the people.
Onboarding is critical to engage users and beneficiaries of the service alike. The process allows everyone to get all the information they need to accurately perform their duties. It also offers a better experience and increased productivity.
Step 5: Sit back and enjoy
Well maybe not literally, as we said before, automation software is not designed to replace people. The key is to monitor your productivity levels. Enjoy the benefits of employees spending more time on meaningful tasks and providing clients and your business with much more efficient turnaround times.
How to use automation to enhance your bookkeeping and accounts payable
A comprehensive accounting automation software has many features that improve your business processes from start to finish. Let us look at each one available in the DOKKA automation software and how it enhances your work:
Use any method that suits you to add your documents to the system.
- Traditional upload with drag and drop – Add any digital file with a standard upload document feature. Use the drag and drop option instead of selecting your files.
- Scanning – Scan any document directly into the system in digital format.
- Email – Using a customized email address, send the file via email to automatically be captured in the system. Attachments to emails are automatically pulled into the system therefore no downloading and uploading is required. In addition, the system can extract a document from an unprotected link within an email. For ease of reference, notes in the body of the email are automatically added to the workspace.
- Mobile app – Take a photo of your document using the mobile app.
The ease with which documents can be received improves business efficiencies and reduces workload.
Automatically create financial entries and accurately capture data with intuitive visual recognition software and AI learning.
- Approve – Data is automatically extracted from every document and captured into the digital template. Simply approve that all data inputs are correct.
- Drag to a template or copy and paste – Occassionaly the software may not pick up something correctly. Machine learning, however, means that you only need to provide one example of the required output and it will understand all similar documentation it receives from then on. Use the drag to template feature to drag the data to the correct point on the template. Or simply copy and paste the correct information.
- Duplicate Warning – Receive an alert when there is a duplication of data captured in the system.
The benefits to this automation feature include extremely efficient classification of data, precision and accuracy. Recognition of user behaviour also allows for a smarter solution.
Maintain a Digital Archive
Store and manage documents and files electronically in a secure digital environment.
- Cloud storage – Store data virtually and retrieve documents using secure cloud access.
- Virtual folders – Create folders to arrange and manage all files.
- Document tags – Assign labels to files and documents for easier access and more effective document management.
Work anytime and anywhere with an online solution. Your files and documents can be accessed whenever you need to and from various devices. DOKKA’s legally compliant digital archive can also replace your paper files.
Combine, edit and organize pages and files.
- Combine – Merge two or more pages into a single document. Or use the digital paper clip and group pages, documents and files together.
- Edit – Split your documents into single pages.
- Organize – Sort documents and files to add or remove pages.
- Export – Download or export files when required.
This feature is a powerful tool that enhances productivity and efficiency.
Make use of smart search functionality for fast data retrieval.
- Search bar – Type a single word from an invoice or the title of the document you want to find. The google-like search function will find any data you enter.
- Date filter – Use any of the various date filters to find a document.
This is the most efficient way to retrieve a document. No need to search through thousands of pieces of paper. Simply type a word and in seconds you have what you need.
Automatically add relevant data into your ERP solution and trigger the relevant workflows.
- Integrate into your Accounting Software – Publish financial entries directly into your ERP. Through the integration, a copy of your invoice or document is pushed into your system. In the case of open PO or GRV, the information is pulled from your ERP for easy comparison to the invoice.
There is no need for double capture. Everything you do in one system seamlessly flows into the other system.
Collaborate on a specific document to resolve queries with your clients or have discussions with colleagues.
- In system chat – At any point in the system, you can open the standard messaging function like any app chat to speak to colleagues or clients.
- Document chat – Have specific document discussions or queries on a particular document to better communicate with the required person/s.
The effectiveness of automated communication means that there is no need to leave the system to make calls or send emails to relevant people. The customer communication results in quick and easy resolution of queries on the document itself.
Create a seamless review and approval process.
- Automated approvals – Assign an approver to a document and instantly request approval when ready. Review any feedback and make changes if required all within the system.
Another simple process that can easily be made quicker with the capabilities of automation. Notifications and set processes increase the speed and accuracy of approvals.
Check the historical record on any document with a full audit trail.
History tab – Track every activity and action made in the workspace, to and within the documents.
For transparency and verification, the ability to view a full account of the steps taken on each document provides an opportunity to validate the process.
Resolve issues or get guidance and expert advice whenever you need it.
- Support function – Get assistance by chatting to a support team member and even make use of the screenshot functionality to reference the exact section where the issue occurs.
- Resources – Get guides and information from the continuously growing knowledge base.
A support team ensure that they are able to help you every step of the way. The knowledge that they are able to share and the assistance they provide can make the biggest difference.
To scale your business, you need to be ensuring continuous improvement in everything you do. Establishing goals and therefore knowing what that improvement looks like is the key to growth and success.
Corporate bookkeeping and accounting processes are crucial but overwhelming. Automation introduces a level of productivity and efficiency that only offers an advantage to its users. DOKKA has spent countless hours understanding the needs of this industry to provide the best possible overall solution for various business needs.