Online systems are for you, not your accountant
In the last decade, there has been a strong push toward online systems. “Go online” people will say, “it is the future” they will chime on, but very rarely do they explain why?
Why should you consider digital? What benefit does digital provide and more importantly…how do you do it?
Why and what?
Better cash flow, increased margin, time-saving, Real Time Data (RTD) and staff satisfaction levels are but a few of the reasons why online systems are something you should consider for you and your business.
If you are currently using paper-based systems or offline software to operate your business, collect payments, connect with clients/customers, or handle internal communications there is a high probability you are missing out on a more productive and healthier business.
Productive and healthier business
Optimising performance and changing your systems can seem like a big task but, with the right scoping and planning, there are small changes that can be completed quickly and effectively that will provide a big impact.
- Better organisational visibility
- Easier collaboration
- Rapid development
- Consistency across platforms
- Enhanced security
- Lower risk
- Cost savings
“small businesses who use an online payment service in combination with online invoicing are paid on average up to 15 days faster than those that do not” 1
To get the benefits of online systems it is important to establish goals for you and your business.
The following are 6 things you should consider during your mapping/scoping process.
- Desired outcome: Have a clear goal in mind or a solution that the software/app will provide. If you can’t do that, maybe, you don’t need the app.
- Company culture: Who will be using the new solution, are they bought in, and is there a plan to get them up to speed?
- Consider complexity: You cannot throw tech at a problem. Too often a shiny new app(s) is seen as a solution without considering the wider impact.
- Leadership: If you are a business owner, senior or even middle management you will need to be consistently driving the change.
- Communication, targets and milestones: Linked to point 3. It is important that progress is monitored and communicated to everyone.
- The software/app provider: What type of support do they offer? Are they invested in your team or your business? Do they understand the wider impact of their product on your business? Do they have good reviews?
Point 3 is the most important and most overlooked. Don’t rush the process, take your time and plan.
There is a common misconception that the digitisation of processes and systems will remove the “human” element of business.
When in fact, the opposite is true.
Utilising effective technology and systems provides efficiencies that remove admin burdens and free up time to do client/customer-facing work. Utilising online systems creates space for adding value to your clients/customers.
From an accounting perspective, the biggest advantage of online systems is access to your financial data at any time. By using an online bookkeeping/accounting package your business has an up-to-date plumb line that will enable you to get the best service from your accountant. Your accountant will have the capacity to add value to you/your business by providing key reports/metrics with a higher level of frequency and can spend time working with you to achieve your goals.
If you have considered bookkeeping and accountancy a hygiene cost for you/your business, an expense to keep HRMC happy then there it is possible you are missing out on the true value of your accountant.
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