3 Reasons to Welcome Automated Bookkeeping

Accounting software is in rapid growth, and apps are only adding more momentum to the race for truly automated bookkeeping. Human adoption, however, has been a bit slower.

Are you one to grab hold of new opportunities, or are your more cautious about potentially ‘toppling the apple cart' in your bookkeeping business?

While personally, I'm not always the quickest to adopt the latest and greatest, here are three reasons from my own experience why I believe we need to step up the pace and incorporate more automation into our workflows, despite any jitters we may feel.

Reason 1 – Save Time

The obvious reason to automate is to save time in getting the boring though necessary activities done. The trick here is consistency. And that's where automation can shine. Because it is mechanical and not affected by things like mood, weather, or attitude like we humans are, automation provides better accuracy with basic bookkeeping tasks.

Example: In QuickBooks Online, automate most of the data entry by using bank feeds and set up bank rules to automatically post repetitive transactions.

Downside: When using automated coding, you still need to review them monthly, since there may be tweaks to the system needed or missing transactions where the automation skips a beat occasionally.

Reason 2 – Save Money

When working with a lot of clients, at high volume times of the year, or if you simply want to lighten your workload, there needs to be a way to handle the capacity beyond yourself alone. Most often we think we need to hire another bookkeeper (or five). But that takes money and generally a substantial ongoing cash commitment that includes a fair amount of risk. By automating as much of your workflow as possible not only increases your current capacity (and that of any future hires), but you also make it easier to hire entry-level skill help who simply need to follow your standardized process.

Example: Using Hubdoc to pull monthly bank, credit card, and vendor bill statements

Downside: There's an investment of time to think through your workflow so you can add automation where it will have the greatest possible impact.

Reason 3 – Win-Win Value

The best opportunities automated bookkeeping gives us is the ability and freedom to truly stand out and do what most bookkeepers (and accountants) won't. That is, going beyond the nuts-and-bolts compliance-only bookkeeping work and providing the truly valuable services that clients care most about and will gladly pay premium rates for. In short, win-win value.

Just keeping the books up to date will, in the reasonably near future, be completely automated with minimal management by a bookkeeper needed. It will also become a low-cost commodity service. What small businesses will still need is for us to give them the time and attention to explain what their numbers mean, where their business is headed based on the trends that emerge in their numbers, and show them how to navigate the road ahead to reach their goals (and avert disasters).

Example: Using the time saved with automation to meet with clients monthly to deliver and discuss the most important results and trends we see based on their financial reports. We can also work with clients to set a plan to handle cash flow, forecasting, and budgets to hit key goals and more rapidly improve their business stability and growth.

Downside: Requires caring and willingness as well as upgraded skills to become more valuable to your clients. You will also need the courage to adjust how you've been operating and be willing to charge premium rates.

What's Your Path?

We can choose to be afraid of the automation that is “replacing” much of the bookkeeping work we do, or we can embrace it. Fear causes you to worry about losing what you've got. Seeing beyond the fear helps us see the exciting opportunities and high-value services that are now opening up to us that will improve our own lives and those of everyone we touch.

Which will you choose?

Getting from Where You Are Now to Next-Level Automation

Taking specific action will calm any fears and move you in the right direction.

To make it step-by-step simple, I'm hosting a free, live training webinar that focuses specifically on HOW to start automating your bookkeeping workflow and includes templates and a suggested automation process. We will focus specifically on the end-to-end processing of vendor bills.

“Workflow Automation for Bookkeepers”

Thursday, September 21, at 2:00 PM EDT (New York)

Learn more or Register here

Freelance bookkeeper, trainer and consultant who works with internet savvy business owners and bookkeeping professionals to maximize cash flow and build true win-win relationships.

6 Responses to “3 Reasons to Welcome Automated Bookkeeping”

  • Upender Jha on September 23, 2017

    Nice article about automated bookkeeping.
    I am using Alignbooks automated bookkeeping software, It really save lots of time and money.

  • Cherine Mac Pherson on September 28, 2017

    Hi Gabrielle

    Taking my customers onto the cloud is a bit slow here in South Africa, Cape Town does everything at snail pace.
    I put my foot down this month and told everyone we are going onto the cloud, end of story. I used the excuse that SAGEONE is increasing there fees on the 1st October. So we will see. I have had some success with a few of my clients. I put my books online and I am enjoying it.
    Now to encourage my clients to go the Profit First way.
    Thanks very much for your interesting blog.

    • Gabrielle on October 2, 2017

      Thanks for sharing what it’s like in your part of the world with regard to moving to the cloud Cherine. Not all clients move at the same pace, but just be mindful that playing it win-win is the best method for the long term.

      I love how you are leading by example with putting your own books on the cloud!

      • Cherine Mac Pherson on October 2, 2017

        Yes, it is a win-win method. They get to do what they love to do which is the invoicing and customer statements and i get to offer them value added services.

  • Jeff on October 21, 2017

    I personally believe Cloud bookkeeping and accounting is the best thing that’s happened to the industry in a long time. It allows bookkeepers to increase our reach. And it allows clients to save Tom without having to needlessly drive over Etc.

    Great articke.

    • Gabrielle on October 22, 2017

      Thanks, Jeff. Yes, I definitely agree with you.

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