Are you a small business owner striving to optimize your business’s financial processes?
Fortunately for you, today’s technology aims to deliver. There are cutting edge applications we can use to build a tech stack to make use of integrations and automation, and anytime cloud-based access to your financials. By working more efficiently, not harder, we can spend more time helping you understand and make smart use of your financial information.
We love cloud accounting because it’s always going to be up-to-date. Forever forget about downloading software and upgrading with every new release. With cloud accounting software, subscribe and you’ll immediately have access to the latest version and your data will be automatically synced across your devices, so you can access it from anywhere.
Intuit’s QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based service ideal for small to medium-sized businesses. The software is acclaimed by accountants and bookkeepers, particularly in North America. It’s our accounting software of choice. Read our blog article, “Comparing Xero vs QuickBooks Online” to learn in detail about why it’s our favourite.
The parent company of QuickBooks, Intuit, has been in Canada for over 30 years and their products are priced and billed in Canadian Dollars with no changes in billing due to fluctuating exchange rates. QuickBooks Online has advanced accounting features, invoicing, and 600+ integrations. For this cloud service, you pay a monthly subscription, instead of an upfront fee, with all the patches and software updates included.
QuickBooks Online is the base application when we begin to build a tech stack for a new client. First we ask lots of questions to figure out where they are and where they want to go. What financial information they have available? Which applications do they already use use?
We find solutions to specific problems and build a custom tech stack or “app stack” that works for them. We may recommend additional apps for payroll, payment processing, inventory, cash flow forecasting and more. We help our clients automate and streamline various elements of their accounting and financial management systems for maximum efficiency and affect.
HubDoc is like an online filing cabinet and a personal assistant all rolled into one. It’s the second App we recommend for almost every small business that wants to grow. Don’t you want to make good use of all your financial data, but without all that continuous data entry, and paperwork filing?
When you sign up, HubDoc will automatically create a HubDoc email account for you. Email in your documents and they’ll do the rest. HubDoc can extract key information from your receipts, invoices, and bills. For those paper receipts you receive while on the go, just take a snapshot with your smartphone from the app. Small businesses can access financial data in real-time, which results in better quality, more contextual decisions. How? It all comes down to machine learning-powered data extraction.
“Machine learning is an application of artificial intelligence (AI) that provides systems with the ability to automatically learn and improve from experience without being explicitly programmed. Machine learning focuses on the development of computer programs that can access data and use it to learn for themselves.” – Expert System
Accurate data extraction can happen within five seconds! No, this is not SciFi. This is easily available technology in the 2020’s. Of course, HubDoc integrates easily with other platforms.
Zapier takes care of tedious and repetitive data entry tasks for you. It moves information between web apps automatically, so you can make the most of your time. Zapier uses an API, a translator that can speak all languages, to help various apps communicate and integrate with each other. The technology links your apps, so they can share information. It creates an automated cause and effect within a single process workflow called a “Zap”.
Start a workflow Zap from almost any App out there including QuickBooks, Asana, Google Docs, Slack, MailChimp, and many, many more. You can make any two Apps or more communicate. Multi-Step Zaps let you chain several actions with a single Trigger. Picking a Trigger sets your Zap into motion, completing routine tasks and actions automatically.
For example, to keep your full attention on your Gmail Inbox, you can set up a Zap that automatically adds starred emails to the Todoist App. This way, you can work through your to-do list when you’re ready to work on those tasks. A Zap could be set up from email attachments from specific people to automatically save to a related Dropbox account. A business that routinely purchases small business supplies from Amazon has Zap set to detect an Amazon receipt in a Gmail Inbox. The Zap, once set in motion, will auto-publish those receipts into QuickBooks Online as an expense, in category: small supplies. It can also be setup with rules, if your Amazon receipts is north of $100 say. Instead it can code it as a different expense or even ‘for your review’ to make the final decision.
If a new client is using a specific software because their franchise requires them to, it’s obviously ideal if it has a direct connection with Zapier, but what if it doesn’t? For example, the niche catering app Caterease (for managing catering businesses) is not supported, but we can create a Zap to take information from that app and download a .CSV file into Excel or Google Sheets, and then auto upload into QuickBooks Online. Depending on how often a task needs to be completed, you can save a lot of bookkeeping time. Need to input 100 invoices a month? Zapier can save you money, by automatically executing the tasks in less than 10 seconds.
Integromat also allows you to build integrations between apps. Integromat’s advantage over Zapier is that it has a much more interactive approach and look, so you can visualize everything you do. It’s set up so that you can watch in real-time how your automation is executed and how data flows through your scenario. Unfortunately, although it has a more approachable interface, it (currently) connects with less apps. When Integromat fulfills a specific scenario all operations are logged. This way you can easily see what and when data was processed.
Data Automation Saves Time
Choosing a Tech Stack (App Stack) for your business is often misunderstood and overlooked. At Upside Accounting, we understand how software and tools can be used to streamline bookkeeping, accounting and other business practices. When deciding to implement technology for a new client, we assess their current system in place and then define what the underlying pain point(s). Does the client face efficiency issues? Cash flow issues? We create a streamlined process by looking at how many human-hours it would save, and the cost of what it is replacing.
Certain tools are implemented quite often across our client base because they are worth it, specifically the ones we’ve mentioned: QuickBooks, HubDoc and Zapier or Integromat. There are additional resources out there we implement, depending on the client’s budget. All of the Apps mentioned deliver great value, and even better value through saved time when they work together to make your data useful to you.
If you are a small business owner striving to optimize your business’s financial processes, today’s technology can deliver. There are amazing applications available, like the ones we’re outlined, to build a useful Tech Stack. It’s smart business to make use of integrations and automation and cloud-based access to your financials. Work smarter, not harder.