Institute of Certified Bookkeepers

Contemporary Use of Software

Introduction

Business in Australia today is enabled by the use of technology.

The best business practice in Australia is to embrace the best technology. It is implementing and effectively using digital processes and connected applications to efficiently drive the initiative that it takes to be run a business.

It is being empowered digitally; it is having instant Business to Business (B2B) interaction, and it is record keeping and bookkeeping being the result. This concept enhances the importance of today’s certified bookkeeper in staying abreast of the top technology and the top technological developments.

Through the recording of business activities for the clients, it provides the avenue to embark on assessing and advising the enhance technology that may be available to them.

We should also be expecting our software suppliers to provide the latest options on automation, and effective delivery of processes.


Business Cycle

Certified Bookkeepers (and other Advisors) should be evaluating each component of the business cycle and considering the processes and procedures that could be improved through better technology.


An evaluation of the Purchase Processes should consider embracing the following digital solutions:

  • Online Ordering
  • Auto Purchase Prompting
  • Auto Confirmation
  • Online Payments
  • Auto Reporting
  • Electronic Catalogue Access

Future Artificial Intelligence services should supply:

  • Supplier Watch
  • Price Watch

Evaluating the Sales Processes:

  • Website
  • Online Shop / Ordering
  • Auto Confirmation
  • Delivery Tracking Systems
  • Online Payments
  • Auto Reporting

Future Artificial Intelligence should Provide:

  • Customer Watch
    • Credit Issues
    • Payment Timing
    • Sales Behaviour Changes
  • Potential Customer Watch
  • Product Watch
  • Competitor Watch

Payroll

Businesses must now be considering the computerisation of Payroll in order to enable the preparation of Single Touch Payroll.

All aspects of the payroll process should be considered for automation to the furthest extent possible

  • Digital Time & Costs Tracking
  • Auto Travel Tracking
  • Employee Portals
  • Digital Payslips
  • Auto Payment Gateways
  • Authorisation Process
  • Auto reporting

Every aspect of the Banking Processes should be incorporated into the Business Software (removing the need to access internet banking)

  • Integrated
  • Direct Bank Feeds
  • Payment Gateway
  • Receipt Gateway (Auto Matching)
  • Authorisation Processes
  • Finance Access
  • Auto Reporting
  • Cash flow Prediction

End of Month / Year / BAS period processes should be improved with:

  • Embedded Checklists / Processes
  • Anomaly Reporting
  • Exception Reporting
  • Communication Portals
  • Status Portal/Reporting
  • Auto Batch Reporting

Detailed Explanations

Purchases

  • Electronic catalogue access:

    This is a process whereby your software is connected to the online catalogue/shop/ordering system of your suppliers. The system should automatically update the current price for purchasing and provide a notifying system for price changes, special pricing opportunities and also be watching for notifications of supply issues.

  • Online Ordering:

    This allows connected interoperability between you generating of an order enquiry, supplier provision of a quote and response to the enquiry, you placing the order, then the invoice and delivery information - your software interacting with the supplier’s software, digitally. The software MUST provide notification, authorisation and approval processes.

  • Online Payments:

    Software has for years provided the ability to batch supplier payments and create an interaction with the bank through ABA files or other payment gateways. There is a growing ability to connect the payment process directly into effective connected software, removing the need for separate bank processing.

  • Auto Reporting:

    The software using what is being called ‘artificial intelligence’ i.e. access to more data, machine learning of behaviour, connected via the internet to more information and each other. The aim is for reporting of the trends, the impact of this behaviour on the business activity and the effect to the status of the business and future business activity.

    It should be reporting information on the suppliers and alternate suppliers, products and alternate products. Software should be watching employees, division ordering behaviour and reporting anomalies.

Sales

  • Similar concepts to the Purchases discussion
  • Online Payments should be enabled so that your business software and invoicing system connects the customer with an ability to pay you either through your preferred gateway, which provides you with the payment and allocation information, or when they use their payment system the information is provided in such a form that the same payment and allocation information is provided. The receipt of payment is notified and auto matched to the invoice.

eInvoicing (Purchases and Sales Interacting Digitally)

  • The Digital Business Council (of which The Institute of Certified Bookkeepers is a member and Deputy Chair), has worked with the ATO to establish the eInvoicing Interoperability framework for Australia. This system creates the standard for the effective exchange of invoices (as well as enabling the full documentation swap of each part of the Procure to Pay cycle).

Payroll

  • Software should be providing Employee Portal access enabling the Employee to interact with the business payroll administration digitally. Preferably, also mobile supported for processes such as timesheet submission, leave application, other communication activities, and administration of the employees profile, including payment information.
  • Digital Payslips should be provided by the secure Employee Portal and preferably, with a notification system. Increasingly we should be moving away from email as the form of communication and we envisage “App” style notification and communication systems.
  • Authorisation processes need to be enhanced within software:
  • Providing the business owner and their payroll personnel effective communication, reporting, approval and authorisation processes. This informs the business owner/management and also protects the bookkeeper (especially contract bookkeepers)

Banking

  • The future should be our software embedding a banking interface, removing the need to use internet banking.
  • For Bookkeepers, you may wish to consider a banking interface that interacts directly with the different banks for each of your clients.
  • Increasingly third tier lending, or cash flow lending services, are being provided by add-on technology products. The lending assessment is automated providing quick response. We are looking for first tier lending to also adopt this integrated assessment process, providing business with access to the best suited finance options.
  • Integrated payment gateways for receipting and for paying should be utilised by business.

References

  • 1st November, 2017
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