FOR many businesses, there has never been a more critical time to ensure accounting information is up to date, allowing business owners to make informed decisions to protect the business during the lockdown period and beyond.

Cloud accounting is allowing many businesses to maintain ‘business as usual’ when it comes to keeping on top of their finances. However, it’s not just about the base accounting package, but the key apps too which enhance the system. The key areas are:

Invoice automation: to reduce the time needed for manual entry of invoices/receipts and ensure your data is up to date as soon as possible, invoice automation apps are a key consideration. These additions to cloud accounting software utilise OCR technology to read a document you have uploaded and will then create the transaction in your accounting software at the click of a button.

Purchase order/invoice approval: approval of purchase orders/invoices is more important than ever and not simple to maintain via email. An approval system software can be integrated to your accounting software to automate your approval processes based on amount, tracking category or nominal code allocation.

Debtor tracking and management: to ensure your customers are still paying and you have full visibility of your aged debtor position, debtor tracking apps can assist with this process. Automated invoice reminders can be set up with tailored messages requesting payment based on the terms you determine, ensuring your debtor management is maintained but automated to reduce the administrative time required.

Online payment services: you can make it easier for customers to pay your invoices by adding online payment services to the sales invoices you send to customers. Integrating your cloud accounting software with an online payment service can reduce the time taken for you to get paid, providing cash quicker and reducing your outstanding debtor balance.

Having a mixture of the above can create a Cloud system that can adapt to the current environment and improve operational efficiency to provide greater insights into your financial position to make more informed decisions.

Author: Jackie Senior, Real Time Accounting Director, Garbutt+Elliott