I recently held a breakfast seminar to educate clients and contacts about how they can utilise technology to save time. We had a good turnout and a very positive response, where most attendees agreed that the use of cloud accounting software and additional applications (Apps) can bring advantages to their businesses.
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology improves, it is no longer deemed cost prohibitive. In fact, it is very affordable for the majority of SMEs. The technology allows for an increase in productivity and at the same time improves accuracy, especially in the lower skilled tasks.
Receipt Bank is one such technology. It is an App which sits on top of the accounting software and reads receipts/purchase invoices. It learns over time and will analyse the receipt to establish the type of expenditure and any VAT. This removes the need for a junior member of the team or a bookkeeper to key in individual items onto the software. Receipt Bank has only last week announced a £73m increase in funding which it intends to use to automate more tasks.
Plus, the cherry on the cake? A PDF of the receipt is saved onto the system, which means no more saving files full of invoices.
Until recently, the functions offered by the Apps would only be available to businesses that could afford a finance person or a finance-specific department. However, this is no longer the case. We now have Apps like Chaser which will perform the credit control function without too much human interference and Go Cardless to collect monies via smart direct debit. With careful planning from experts, an ecology of Apps can be built around the software according to your business needs.
We are seeing clients use the new technology to increase efficiency, thereby enabling their team to concentrate on their core business function. A move into the cloud gives the freedom of mobile working and achieving a better work/life balance.
New Apps are coming to the market every week, but careful consideration needs to be given to what best suits you.
If you would like further information, feel free to get in touch.