In this article, we’ve teamed up with Method to share the how integrations are shaping the future of accounting.
Accounting is an essential part of any business. It’s how businesses keep track of their growth and ensure compliance with tax requirements. This is why accountants are a crucial part of any business’ success.
That said, accounting takes up considerable time and effort — even for trained accountants. Luckily, automation has proven to save accountants hours on manual tasks by minimizing repetitive work and maximizing efficiency.
If automation is still a new concept to you, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, you’ll discover everything you need to know about accounting automation. Plus, you’ll learn how to choose the best automation software to strengthen your accounting processes.
What is accounting automation?
Accounting automation is the process of simplifying accounting tasks through the use of technology.
Computerized accounting isn’t a new idea, as accountants have been using computers to complete their jobs for decades.
But what makes automation so advanced is that it makes manual accounting a thing of the past. As a result, accounting automation software drives efficiency and allows you to get more done in less time.
How is accounting automated?
Accounting is automated through software, and can be done so in a number of ways.
The idea of automating accounting may sound daunting — especially as an accountant yourself. However, the point of automating accounting is to make your job easier and more efficient.
As a whole, the goal of accounting automation software is to:
- Improve efficiency.
- Enhance accuracy.
- Reduce costs.
Achieving these goals starts by improving the way accountants work.
How does automation change the way accountants work?
Accountants are experienced professionals who possess skills that far exceed the scope of data entry. Unfortunately, without the right processes in place, data entry takes up a significant part of an accountant’s day.
An accountant’s job involves several manual responsibilities — from inputting rows of data to organizing expense reports. However, these tasks are time consuming and prone to human error, which leads to disastrous results for your clients and your firm.
Luckily, automated accounting solves these problems by simplifying the way accountants accomplish these repetitive tasks. The best accounting automation software automates routine tasks such as:
- Payment processing.
- Generating reports.
With these tasks taken care of, you can put your accounting skills to better use, like advising your clients and solving complex problems.
Thanks to the success that it’s brought firms so far, accountants are using automation now more than ever. According to Forbes, automation is projected to grow to nearly $9 billion by 2026 — a compound annual growth rate of more than 29%.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of automation for accountants.
The benefits of accounting automation
The best way to understand why automation is the future of accounting is to look at how it fully transforms your accounting process.
The benefits of automation are nearly endless, but we’ve narrowed it down to the top five.
One of the top benefits of accounting automation software is the time savings.
According to Nanonets, finance teams spend over 45% of their time doing manual data entry. This includes updating invoice statuses as well as verifying the authenticity of financial documents.
In contrast, the Fintech Times found that accountants can save up to 52 days a year by automating these simple tasks. That’s about one day a week that can be spent doing more meaningful work, such as finding new clients or building your current client relationships.
With accounting automation software, you accomplish more with less.
Impress your clients by delivering the financial documents they need in less time than they expect. This shows your clients that you’re reliable and highlights your professionalism.
What’s more, accounting automation software removes administrative tasks from your plate so you can focus all your energy on other key parts of your process.
Accuracy is essential to good accounting, but it can be hard to achieve when you’re juggling several things at once. After all, accountants are only human.
Humans make mistakes, but software doesn’t. Automation software ensures accuracy by providing up-to-date data and handling repetitive workflows such as:
- Invoice processing.
- Expense tracking.
- Payroll services.
Secure file storage
Software has become the best way to ensure business security. Automated accounting software provides you with a secure location to store your clients’ important private data.
When you store accounting records in your automation software, they’re stored indefinitely and are more organizable than paper copies.
This makes it easier to find what you’re looking for in a hurry, rather than sifting through a bunch of files in a cabinet.
Chances are that you and your clients already use software for your business operations. When you choose automation accounting software, you don’t have to worry about replacing any of your favorite tools.
The best automated accounting software will integrate with the business tools you know and love.
Of course, the top integration is everyday accounting software such as QuickBooks Online. Automating your QuickBooks workflows reduces time spent on manual processes and increases accuracy.
Other key accounting automation software integrations include:
- Payment portals.
- Email integrations.
- E-commerce integrations.
Will accountants be replaced by technology?
While some people equate automation to a total lack of human intervention, accounting automation is much more complicated than that.
Think of it this way: the point of technology is to take over the simple tasks that anyone could do. Consider the tasks that require you to do the following three actions:
An accountant’s job is more complicated than recording data and categorizing expenses, but it’s easy to get bogged down by this necessary work.
Automation has simply freed accountants from repetitive and tedious daily tasks. As a result, you get more time to provide insights to your clients and make meaningful contributions to their business.
What to look for in accounting automation software
With all of this new information on accounting automation software, the only thing left to do is to pick the best one for your practice!
There are many different automated accounting software options out there. The type of software you choose depends on your specific needs.
Popular features that accountants look for in automation software include:
- CRM capabilities such as client portals for quick document viewing and approval.
- Sync with accounting tools such as QuickBooks and Xero.
- The ability to generate custom reports.
- Customization options to suit specific needs.
- Accounting integrations for e-commerce/POS systems
- Native integrations with other popular business tools.
Key takeaways on the future of automated accounting
To recap, automation is the future of accounting, but that doesn’t mean it’s taking over the jobs of accounting professionals any time soon.
Software can complete mundane tasks like creating financial statements and calculating routine payroll taxes, but you’re still the captain of the ship.
Your clients will always need someone to help them through tax season, provide creative insights, and solve their complex accounting problems. These are all tasks that need a human touch, which robotic process automation can’t deliver.
Automated accounting software is meant to help you, not replace you!
Why not try it out for yourself? Watch a free demo of Method to see automated accounting in action.