Business revenues have increased significantly over the last few years. Unfortunately, higher revenues can create challenges for many business owners. According to a recent study from The Institute of Financial Operations (IFO), many businesses are struggling to keep up with the growing volume of invoices. The good news is that there are many ways that businesses can automate their bookkeeping.
Charles Darwin once stated “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Darwin’s quote is certainly applicable to the accounting profession.
Accountants are forced to handle a growing number of accounts, but few of them are looking for ways to improve efficiency. Ken Brown, the executive director of the IFO, said that their unwillingness to adapt is creating a massive backlog for accounts payable professionals. He said that even though many invoices are prepared electronically, the majority of bookkeeping and accounts payable professionals enter the data manually. A surprising number of businesses still receive paper invoices. Brown said that thre27% of businesses receive 90% or more of their invoices on paper, while only 9% receive an equivalent number of electronic invoices.
Here are some automated bookkeeping tips every bookkeeping and accounts payable professional should consider.
Use Optical Character Recognition
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a technology that can pull data from invoices and copy it to other files. FreeOCR and Cuneiform OpenOCR are among the best tools on the market. Business Computing World reports that these tools can reduce manual data entry by up to 80%.
Take Electronic Images of Invoices
Businesses can use software such as DIS-Imaging to take pictures of employer invoices. This is an ideal solution in instances where the recipient of the email isn’t responsible for processing payment. It also makes it easier to store invoices electronically so they aren’t lost in the future. Companies can further improve efficiency by investing in an OCR as well.
Look into Mobile Apps for Invoice Authorization
Most organizations require department managers to authorize invoices before they can be sent. These policies can cause the accounts payable process to grind to a halt if the manager is traveling or unable to respond to invoices.
Fortunately, there are a number of great invoicing apps worth looking into. Harvest, Paymo, FusionInvoice and Paper Free Billing are all free apps that can streamline the process.
Consider Electronic Payment Options
A growing number of businesses are starting to pay invoices via electronic payment gateways. Paypal reports that 106 million individuals and businesses have created accounts and it processes over $315 million in transactions every day.
The allure of electronic payment services is becoming increasingly clear. Businesses can use it to complete accounts payable much more quickly. They can request that their customers send electronic invoices and pay them in less than a minute by logging into their account and clicking a button. Paypal also stores records of all invoices, which can be exported to a .CSV file. This drastically reduces the time involved in the accounts payable process.
Every business needs to seek new ways to improve efficiency. The recent study from the IFO reveals that an astonishing number of businesses still don’t realize how much time they waste handling their bookkeeping and accounts payable. They may be able to improve their bookkeeping efficiency by 80% or more, which will be crucial as their volume of invoices grows. They should find new ways to automate their bookkeeping when they reevaluate their business plan. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in automating your bookkeeping and we look forward to hearing from you!
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