Technology has enhanced the way businesses run and has elevated the efficiency that accounting can provide. Software makes managing and tracking financial transactions a breeze. With cloud-based tools and extra layers of security, business owners, bookkeepers, managers, partners, and employees can all leverage up-to-date financial information in real time. However, the benefits are best realized by utilizing a number of tools for accounting in conjunction with one another to fully streamline and optimize every process.
In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the top five tools we as remote bookkeepers use to help our clients with their accounting needs in a safe, secure, and efficient way.
5 Tools We Couldn’t Live Without
A password management tool developed by AgileBits Inc., 1Password reduces the number of passwords a user needs to remember down to just one: the master password for the software. It locks all other sensitive information — which can include bank routing numbers, credit card numbers, and even documents — behind strong AES-256 encryption. Businesses can provide this master password to multiple users while maintaining full control of the data and access levels: what each teammate can see or do is controlled by the account administrator(s).
1Password can also be used on mobile devices, and it’s compatible with most web browsers as well as iOS apps. A recent enhancement is a “Travel Mode,” which omits any passwords not tagged as “travel safe” on certain devices; if an employee is required to unlock access to the mobile device at border entry, for example, privileged information remains secure.
Accounting benefits: Protection of and restricted access to financial documentation and reports; banking and credit card login protection; secure online and mobile use; convenient cloud-based access; and more.
Egnyte is a software storage synchronization and sharing platform that’s capable of working both with a company’s existing data centers and in the cloud. It allows users to do more than access and share documents from the cloud and from behind a firewall. Its internal structure allows for enhanced collaboration within the software, and it can also integrate with Google Apps (e.g., Docs, Sheets, Drive) and Microsoft Office Suite (including Azure Cloud Storage, Active Directory, and Key Vault).
Accounting benefits: Protection of and restricted access to financial documentation and reports; collaborative access to documents both in the cloud and locally; enabling consistent workflows
As one of the best-known accounting tools since before the advent of cloud storage, Intuit’s QuickBooks automates otherwise tedious or time-consuming data entry from connected accounts (e.g., banking, credit cards, etc.). It automatically categorizes transactions and can even automate entry of receipts.
QuickBooks handles invoicing and report generation, while making things smoother for business owners through features such as automated reminders and direct deposit. host of tracking features can be added, as well, and customized to each business’ needs, such as time, inventory, travel, and sales. Other tools include management of payroll and bills. QuickBooks also allows for access by multiple users such as the business owner(s), accountant, and CPA.
Accounting benefits: A full suite of tools for businesses of any size; financial reporting and sharing; automation; cloud-based, real-time access; and more.
Bill.com focuses on bill payments and is designed to work/integrate with top accounting software tools (i.e., QuickBooks, NetSuite, Xero, Intacct). It helps businesses get paid more quickly and easily, and to make payments to vendors and contractors from anywhere, anytime, all while keeping records organized and documented.
Bill.com automates customer invoices and payment reminders; accepts invoices while optimizing data entry; and even offers a mobile approval process. Everything syncs in real time, enabling cash forecasting, document management and sharing, and top-flight security to ensure you’re audit-ready when you need to be.
Accounting benefits: Handles and automates payments for businesses of any size; integrates with other financial software; time-savings; receipt paper trail.
Expensify optimizes the expense submittal, approval, and reporting process. By operating in the cloud, in real time, it makes organizing and handling corporate credit cards transactions easier. Along with duplicate expense detection and automated reporting, automatic submission and approval are available, as is reimbursement direct deposit. It also provides multi-level access to accounts, so auditors can get access to data without requiring administrative access, for example.
Expensify integrates easily with a wide range of financial software, including Bill.com, QuickBooks, Oracle, and Microsoft Dynamics. Most pertinently, it can integrate with a variety of other tools, including commonly-used travel-related applications such as Uber, Lyft, Brother, Jettly, Trainline, theParkingSpot, Practice Engine, Thomson Reuters, and many others.
Accounting Benefits: A focused suite of tools to handle expense accounts and reporting for businesses of any size; integration with financial software; multi-account security measures.
These pieces of technology are not only useful to us as remote bookkeepers; they’re also necessary to deliver the highest quality of service to our clients. They help to ensure we are providing the most efficient and accurate services to our clients.