New Year, New Habits with Technology Tools
We’re in the second month of the New Year and many of us have already given up on our resolutions. I challenge anyone that deals with bookkeeping tasks such as bill payment and bank and credit card reconciliations to consider the efficiencies associated with technology.
Intuit has been enhancing the QuickBooks Online product as other cloud-based technology platforms have been introduced in the accounting ecosystem. These products automatically synch with QBO and captured images allow business owners and managers to literally throw away paper documents including payables and credit card receipts. And the time spent paying bills and reconciling credit cards is almost cut in half.
Bill.com has been a game changer in the world of accounts payable. Invoices can be sent to a dedicated email address and images are stored in a file cabinet in the cloud. Expenses are coded to the appropriate category and approvals can be set up in a customized work-flow. Vendors can be paid via ACH or check and email notifications can be set up to remind users to approve bills in queue while vendors will receive emails instructing them when payments will be made. An automatic synch with QBO eliminates data entry time and errors.
Expensify is an expense reporting platform that allows credit card receipts to be captured and coded on smart phones, making expense reporting fast and easy. With the automatic sync, images of the receipts flow directly into QBO and paper receipts can be thrown away. This tool also captures mileage. Instead of waiting for the monthly statement to reconcile and code transactions, this platform tool helps reconcile credit cards on a daily basis. The time savings is considerable, and approvals can be set up to provide more visibility into credit card transactions.
These bill payment and credit card/expense reporting platforms add an additional layer of security for businesses, especially small businesses where internal controls are lacking. The Association of Fraud Examiners estimates that typical organizations lose 5% of their annual revenue to fraud and the median loss from a single case of occupational fraud is $150,000. Organizations that lack fraud controls experienced twice as much loss to fraud as those that had anti-fraud controls in place. Small business fraud represents 30% of all organizational fraud and 60% of small business fraud victims don’t recover any of their losses.
Financial dashboard platforms help business owners and managers view financial statements and KPIs on their smart phone, tablet or computer. If the data can be measured, it can be imported into a customized dashboard. These tools are perfect for executives who prefer charts and graphs over pages and pages of numbers. Dashboard links can be sent to board members, advisors, and managers, making it easier for non-financial individuals to digest and understand financial statements.
What keeps companies from jumping on the financial technology bandwagon? Some have the perception that these platform tools are difficult to setup and use. In reality, customized set-up and user training can make tool adaptation seamless. And the time savings captured by using these tools more than outweighs the costs. Finally, the ability to more easily monitor payables and credit card expenses can add a layer of protection that an organization may lack.
You don’t have to be an IT expert to make these tools work for you. If you’re considering technology platform tools for more efficient and secure financial processes, mAccounting can help you evaluate and implement the right tools for your business.