Every business consists of four fundamental components – people, assets, finance, and time. These collaborate to produce information that requires governance, hence the PAFTCIG model.
Finance makes up one of the four fundamental components of every business, there is no room for error when it comes to tracking and managing your finances. However, staying on top of myriad transactions in the typical modern corporate environment is becoming a practical impossibility for those relying solely on traditional solutions, such as spreadsheets. That challenge will only continue to intensify as your business grows.
Since good financial health is paramount to the success of any business, it is vital to have a clearly defined set of processes for managing your finances – not just now, but also in the long term. Some smaller businesses and startups make the mistake of assuming that accounting software is just for accounting professionals. However, eventually any successful business will reach a point when the limitations of spreadsheets increase risk and stifle growth.
This is why every business needs a scalable accounting platform.
What is all-in-one accounting software?
Accounting software gives businesses the means to record and analyse financial transactions. A couple of decades ago, smaller businesses largely relied on spreadsheets, and some small organisations still do. However, today’s accounting solutions now incorporate a wide range of essential functions, such as the ability to automate invoicing, process payments, and generate reports at the tap of a button.
All-in-one accounting software typically takes a modular approach. These modules align with the core functions of accounting departments and their dependencies. For example, enterprise solutions typically have different modules for accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger, and billing, to name a few. Additional functions might include timesheets, payroll, and expense reporting.
Here are some of the top benefits of using an all-in-one accounting solution:
1. Fast-track financial closing
For larger businesses, especially those with global operations, financial closing is frequently the convoluted process of all. In these cases, transactional information must be collected and consolidated from across multiple branches, departments, and operations. Naturally, this will be far more difficult if every department is using different software that lacks interoperability, not to mention there’s a far greater chance of human error leading to inaccurate reports.
Since financial closing is vital to acquiring an accurate snapshot of an organisation’s financial health, having easy access to data is a must. Cloud-based accounting software helps fast-track financial closing by giving you a consolidated view of your business finances when you need it. This allows finance leaders to make informed decisions at the time they are likely to have the most significant impact.
2. Maintain accounting compliance
With accounting standards and legislation evolving constantly and economic uncertainty being a universal constant, finance teams must ensure their processes run as smoothly as possible. Regulatory compliance depends on it, as does the financial health of your organisation. All-in-one accounting software designed for use in the global marketplace can help alleviate some of the pressure by aligning with current industry regulations and guidelines in different regions.
When choosing accounting software, be sure to select a platform that can be set up to align with your specific financial environment. For example, businesses based in Australia will want to choose accounting software that aligns with the standards and regulations of that country, such as those published by the Australian Accounting Standards Board (AASB). It should also be easy to set up the relevant tax rates and agencies.
3. Enjoy instant precision reporting
The ability to optimally manage risk and make informed decisions depends on having timely access to financial data. Modern accounting solutions feature rich analytics and reporting to give you a 360° view of all your income and expenses. Cloud-based platforms ensure these insights are readily available online to anyone who needs them and who has the necessary access privileges.
Precision reporting provides an instant overview of what works and what doesn’t. For example, it can tell you how much each customer is worth to your business. A truly all-in-one platform goes even further by integrating with supply chain management and procurement systems to provide enhanced visibility into your expenses as well. This reduces risk by letting you quickly identify maverick spend, which often accounts for up to 80% of all vendor invoices.
4. Automate routine financial operations
In 2015, Accenture claimed that 40% of transactional accounting would be automated by 2020. Now 2020 has been and gone, we can now say that that was an understatement. For example, 61% of accounts payable functions are now automated, with those yet to adopt automation planning to do so within the next few years. Although automation has not quite resulted in the death of the CPA, as has often been claimed, there is no denying that automation has come to play an essential role in business finance.
Sage advice suggests that anything that can be automated should be automated. Accounting operations are certainly no exception, especially given that human error can results in serious, wide-reaching consequences. Fortunately, today’s accounting software can automate a raft of routine operations from sending overdue payment reminders to processing minor invoices and payments from your long-tail supply chain.
5. Generate clear and professional invoices
All-in-one accounting software can save hassle when putting together quotations and invoices, chasing customers for payments, and issuing refunds. For example, you might issue a quote to a customer which, if approved, can be automatically converted into a sales order and the subsequent invoice. Moreover, having consistent processes for quotations and invoices looks more professional and provides a better customer experience.
There is far more to modern accounting software than simply keeping track of transactions. It can assist throughout the customer journey by making it easy to create quotes that include discounts, specific payment terms, and more. Then, once you receive a payment, the software will automatically send the customer a receipt, record the transaction in your ledger, and retain all relevant information about the customer and the transaction.
C-FINANCE is an all-in-one accounting solution that helps enterprises manage their finances at scale by automating routine operations like invoicing and reporting. It is a component of the ContinuSys integrated business management system. Sign up today to start your free trial.