From pen and paper to spreadsheets, from a clunky desktop to a robust cloud technology, accounting has come a long way. Globally, though desktop users still hold the majority, the number of cloud accounting users has doubled in the last year. Ease of access, simplicity, and automation have fueled this growth.
The job description of an accountant has changed over the years too. Your clients have become more demanding. They need advice on investments, tips to save more on taxes, and suggestions to improve back-office operations technologically.
The shift from being a compliance expert to a trusted advisor takes time, resources, and a whole lot of skills. Developing skills always involves some learning, and sometimes learning something new starts with unlearning the old.
Take your desktop accounting software, for instance — it burdens you with manual work, chains you to your office, and robs you of precious time which you could use to build your skills as an advisor.
Here are 9 reasons to unlearn desktop accounting so you can take your first step towards being a super accountant.
- #Unlearn data entry
Cloud accounting software gives you a head start over desktop users. It can connect with a client’s bank or credit card to fetch all of their transactions automatically. It also accepts scanned receipts, extracts data intuitively, and pushes the information into the system. With no more manual data entry, you add hours to your day and save yourself from human errors.
- #Unlearn tax season stress
Tax season can be overwhelming. High on caffeine, you work around the clock to prepare financial reports and file tax returns. Fortunately, a cloud accounting software is designed to do the grunt work. It generates financial reports like balance sheets, income statements, and cashflow statements with a single click. Additionally, you can create year-end tax reports based on your region, such as GST for India, Sales Tax for the U.S., VAT for the U.K., and BAS for Australia— all from one software.
- #Unlearn Tally-ing books
Reconciling books can be a pain. Thousands of transactions to go over, and a single mistake can bring a tax collector to your door. A cloud accounting software can save you from the rigor of manual reconciliation. Because it comes equipped with machine learning, it can run through all of your the transactions and give you the best match to reconcile your books. Or, you can define rules to categorize transactions automatically and let yourself off the hook entirely.
- #Unlearn complex reporting
The journey to become a trusted advisor starts here. Besides financial reports, a cloud accounting software also gives you a plethora of business-specific reports, such as aging summary, best selling item, and best customer. Slice and dice the data, come up with insights, and see your clients’ businesses take off. The application also comes with a dashboard that gives you a financial summary in a nutshell.
- #Unlearn being tied to the desk
If your work takes you places, your accounting software should come too. With the cloud, you can access your financial data anytime, anywhere. Moreover, it comes with mobile applications for iOS, Android, and Windows. No more being stuck in your office, or asking for financial data in an email or a drive.
- #Unlearn buying multiple licenses
Cloud accounting lets you collaborate with colleagues without breaking the bank. It makes it easy to maintain the integrity of financial data while providing controlled access for the users who need it. A desktop accounting software, on the other hand, requires multiple individual licenses: at the minimum, one at the client’s place and one at the accountant’s office. And desktop software needs upfront payment, while cloud accounting gives you a more relaxing pay-as-you-go model.
- #Unlearn feature update charges
A desktop accounting software is synonymous with spending. From the very beginning, you spend money to get the latest version and then spend hours to update it. In contrast, a cloud accounting software reflects changes immediately with no extra cost or time. When the company rolls out a new version, the update becomes instantly visible across all devices and regions.
- #Unlearn working in a stale user interface
UI doesn’t have to stand for “uninteresting.” That prehistoric interface on your desktop accounting software doesn’t do much to change the stereotype of accounting as boring. Accounting is fun — it’s what you love! Customize the look and feel of your accounting, and the messages you send to your clients, with cloud software.
- #Unlearn manual backups
A common myth which holds no water is that data isn’t safe with a cloud application. The truth is while a desktop is vulnerable to physical damage, virus attack, or a hard disk crash, your data is safe and secure on the cloud. With close to 99.99% uptime, rest assured that your backups are happening automatically and your financial data will be available around the clock.
With benefits so hard to ignore, why are we reluctant to unlearn a desktop accounting software?
- we are scared to change
- peer pressure holds us back
- we don’t feel enough pain yet
- we lack the knowledge to switch
Countries across the globe have already transcended to the cloud. India, with the GST and Digital India campaign, has taken a big leap towards bringing its businesses online. As an accountant, when you resist learning through unlearning, you may be substantially narrowing the options you’ll have available in the future. The ability to adapt to technological changes and taking proactive measures will determine where you stand years from now. Click here to unlearn now.
The original post was published by Varun Singh for Zoho Books which is a cloud accounting software.