Proper accounting is a key aspect of running a business, no matter the size or industry. But in the case of small businesses that are on lean budgets and in the process of building from the ground up, the focus should be on the client-facing side and not on the back office.
While essential for your daily operations, it may not be practical for you to do complex or time-consuming accounting measures on your own or in-house. Fortunately, it’s no longer difficult to outsource your back-office operations; in New Zealand alone, over half or nearly 52 per cent of companies outsource or are planning to outsource some of their business operations, including their accounting.
If you’re looking to hire accountants, Dunedin is home to some of the most reliable in the country in terms of the talent and tool sets they possess. On the topic of the latter, here are some examples of modern solutions that a competent accountant would use to help your small business grow:
1. Cloud-Based Accounting
Gone are the days of most business processes being tied to a physical office. Cloud-based accounting software, such as QuickBooks or Xero, allows accountants and business owners to access and reconcile financial data from virtually anywhere in the world. This type of solution also enables real-time collaboration opportunities, which enhances efficiency for accounting and bookkeeping processes and ensures a seamless and secure exchange of information between accountants and their clients.
For the past decade, cloud-based accounting has overtaken locally-installed software. In one survey, 67 per cent of accountants indicated that they preferred cloud-based accounting applications over traditional accounting software. Your accounting partner may have the same sensibility, and as such, they’ll likely come prepared to use the most cutting-edge solutions for your business accounting.
2. Mobile Apps
In today's fast-paced business environment, it’s important for both entrepreneurs and accountants to stay connected and to be flexible about how they perform their jobs. In that vein, mobile apps tailored for accounting purposes—such as QuickBooks Mobile and Zoho Books—enable accountants and small business owners to collaborate on the go.
Whether the issue is about approving major transactions or accessing updated financial data in real time, these apps make sure that key financial management processes are not restricted to the confines of an office.
3. Collaboration Platforms
Any accountant worth their salt knows that their numerical proficiency is not the only skill their clients need from them. Communication is also a vital skill for the job, and competent accountants make it a point to use collaboration tools like Slack or Microsoft Teams to uphold transparent communication practices with their clients.
These platforms facilitate secure document sharing and real-time updates, and they also allow both accountants and their clients to stay on the same page when it comes to financial matters.
4. Digital Receipt Management
Clients can also bid farewell to the prospect of dealing with mountains of physical receipts alone. Digital receipt management apps, as well as dedicated digital receipt management features within accounting software suites, allow for easy processing and organisation of business receipts.
It’s common for the best accountants to use popular digital receipt management solutions such as Receipt Bank, Expensify, and Hubdoc. This not only streamlines the audit process but also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to doing business by reducing the amount of paperwork businesses and accounting firms need to deal with.
5. Client Portals
Transparency is vital in any business relationship, especially one that’s focused on money management. That’s why accountants in tech-savvy accounting companies make use of special client portals to provide small business owners with secure online access to copies of financial documents and reports.
In addition, some portals provide a venue for clients to communicate with their accountants. This not only builds trust but also enables more collaborative decision-making between accountants and business owners.
6. Payroll Systems
Payroll systems are crucial for accountants who manage small business clients, as these solutions are what guarantee accurate and efficient processing of employee salaries and related transactions.
Popular examples of payroll systems include Thank You Payroll and Smart Payroll. Modern payroll solutions are capable of automating payroll tasks and calculating employment taxes, withholding income taxes, social taxes, and the like, all towards keeping clients on top of their compliance requirements.
7. Bookkeeping Solutions
Outsourced accountants also typically take charge of bookkeeping, which involves properly recording and organising a client business’s financial data. You can expect your accountant to use solutions like Xero, Quickbooks, or Wave for tasks related to bookkeeping, which include recording income and expenses, reconciling bank statements, and generating financial reports.
Paired with the insight derived from accounting processes, these bookkeeping solutions allow accountants to provide small businesses with a solid foundation for sound financial management and decision-making.
8. E-invoicing Solutions
An accountant may also assist their client with invoicing, which is a critical aspect of cash flow management. E-invoicing solutions are designed to expedite the invoicing process for small businesses, automating and digitising this aspect of financial management for greater efficiency. These help accountants ensure faster payments and improve their clients’ cash flow, which goes a long way towards the growth and sustainability of any small business.
One example of an e-invoicing solution widely used by accountants is Bill.com, a platform that automates the invoicing process for small business clients. An accountant can choose to use a solution like this one to expedite payments, enhance payment accuracy for a client’s accounts receivable, and ultimately help their client improve their approach to invoicing and cash flow management.
Like their bigger and more powerful counterparts, small businesses are expected to keep up with the economy and with the requirements posed by their regulators. It’s a good thing NZ accountants and business advisors like the people at Target Accounting know the way forward. Choose us for small business accounting services, taxation and compliance, or business advisory. We have the talent and tools to keep your small business on target with its goals for growth!