As an accounting firm, recordkeeping is one of the most critical elements of your success. Accurate, updated records provide a great foundation upon which you can build a well-oiled firm that helps lots of clients get their own books in order. On the other hand, improper recordkeeping can cause inefficiency and mistakes. In the worst cases, they can cause serious issues to client records that impact your clients’ businesses and affect your reputation.
Luckily, modern software can help you avoid many of these negative scenarios in your business. Here are a few of the key reasons using accounting practice management software can help improve your recordkeeping and give you one less thing to worry about during your day-to-day business operations.
Lets you store things centrally
Before the rise of cloud computing, accountants and other data-driven professionals would often run into portability challenges with their records. There might be times when information was needed at a client site and wasn’t available outside of a work computer, for example.
This kind of professional obstacle has been greatly reduced by the cloud. When you can store files, documents and other data in a central location, you don’t need to worry about leaving info on a work computer or not being able to access an important record because you are using a smartphone.
Best of all, the cloud storage offered by top-of-the-line accounting practice management software offers the same high-level security you’re used to, no matter where you are while accessing your records.
Reduces manual entry
When it comes to the creation of records, one of the biggest sources of errors is the manual entry of names, dates, addresses, dollar amounts, and other data. The more time your team has to spend creating records or transferring data from one place to another, the greater chance there is of an error in your records that leads to a serious problem down the road.
With accounting practice management software, you’re able to automate a lot of the data entry that team members might have previously handled manually. This means a lower risk of problems in your business stemming from normal human error, which happens to even the most meticulous accounting professionals from time to time.
Provides granular permission levels
Like any other business, your firm has a variety of employees carrying out different roles throughout the company. There’s no reason for every team member to have the same level of access to records that are critical to your client work and ultimately the health of your business.
Accounting practice management software solves this challenge by letting you determine specific permission levels on an individual basis. You can set permission levels for your staff for individual folders, or create user groups that include multiple team members with the same level of access. Better control over permissions means there’s less of a chance that someone might accidentally delete or move a file or folder that was important for the company’s operations.
Automatically creates templates
Another one of the biggest sources of mistakes in accounting firms is trying to build entire documents from scratch. Unfortunately, we see this kind of process happening in many businesses that don’t have strong enough processes. Making a brand new invoice, account statement, or client letter from scratch each time is not only wasteful of your firm’s resources, but it also opens you up to more mistakes from the human error factor we’ve already mentioned. A missed digit on a phone number or address might not seem that serious, but it could lead to significant issues for you or your clients.
On the other hand, software allows you to generate these templates automatically. You can build a template for the most common documents in your business – invoices, engagement letters, account summaries – and then use them over and over during client engagements. Over time, you’ll find that your record accuracy rate improves while your staff is able to free up time they would have previously been spent building documents for clients.
The bottom line on software and recordkeeping
Accuracy and accessibility are the top goals when it comes to recordkeeping within accounting firms. In fact, these are the characteristics that most accounting clients seek out in the firms they choose to do business with. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a strong set of recordkeeping processes, even the most experienced professionals can make mistakes that slow down your operations and may even cost you financially.
Introducing accounting practice management software can level up your recordkeeping and help your team take back their time. Instead of worrying about moving data from spreadsheets to documents or generating a brand new form for every client engagement, the right software tool will streamline perfectly with your workflow to allow your team to focus on the most important element of the business: satisfying clients by providing them with top-notch service.