5 Steps to Real Time Accounting

A lot is being heard about the introduction of ‘Real Time Information’ for PAYE, but it doesn’t end there. ‘Real Time Accounting’ is here too and growing fast. The advent of Smartphones and tablets means we are getting used to having instant access to data wherever we are with an internet connection and accounting information is no exception.

Your clients will be excited by hearing of ‘Real Time Accounting’ and will want it without really understanding what it means. There are lots of ‘Cloud based’ solutions and if you are looking to provide this service for your clients you may even be getting bogged down with all the different options.

There is not a simple ‘one fix solution for all’ so here are some quick tips on how you can provide real time accounting and also help your clients comply with the real time issues of real time accounting.

1. Choose the right software.

There are several online tools which are available in the market including Amoeba, Xero, Kashflow. Each of these tools have their own benefits and shortcomings.

Before you choose, please check which software provides the right modules for each clients specific needs.

Some of the important modules you should look for are whether they have a Document Management System, Workflow, customised Analytics, etc.

2. Set Up Processes

Once you have chosen the right software, you need to lay down a simple and sleek standard operating process. This will specify how you capture your payables, travel and expense, sales invoices, etc

3. Decide Frequency

Decide on the frequency in which you need to provide reports. Decide on whether these should be daily, weekly, monthly, etc

4. Design Reports

Sit down with your client and understand from them what really drives their business. It’s important to capture business relevant KPIs and publish them regularly. It’s also important to benchmark some of the costs and other KPIs with industry benchmarks

5. Follow Month End Process

While you may keep getting information from the client, it’s important to follow the hard close for the month end. You should complete all the reconciliations, provide for accruals, etc. This will help you to compare monthly performances, etc

There are several benefits from real time accounting. In this world of email and internet, businesses are changing rapidly and it’s essential to be aware of how the business is performing. Embracing technology at times can make a business as vulnerable as those who avoid it.  It’s very important to be on top and keep tracking the performance of your business to drive both yours and your clients business to the next level.

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