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17 min read

Top Accounting Automation Tools: Streamline Finances

Top Accounting Automation Tools: Streamline Finances

Welcome to the future, where technology is transforming the way we do business. One area experiencing significant change is accounting. Gone are the days of laborious manual data entry and endless spreadsheets. Instead, we're entering an era of automation, where cutting-edge tools streamline our processes, reduce errors, and free up our time to focus on strategic decision-making. And no, you don't need a crystal ball to navigate this brave new world. All you need is this comprehensive guide to accounting automation tools.

In this blog post, we'll introduce you to a variety of software that can revolutionize your accounting practices. We'll explore tools like Dext Prepare, which automates document management with remarkable accuracy, and Dext Precision, a game-changer for month-end close. We'll delve into the insightful reporting capabilities of Fathom and the seamless system integration offered by Zapier. And that's just for starters.

So, whether you're a small business owner looking to streamline your processes, an accountant seeking to enhance your service offering, or simply a tech enthusiast eager to stay ahead of the curve, this guide is for you. Join us as we explore the wonders of accounting automation tools and transform your business one click at a time.

Fasten your seatbelts, folks. The future of accounting is here, and it's automated!

Why use accounting automation software?

Accounting is a vital part of any business. However, traditional accounting practices can be time-consuming, error-prone, and frankly, a bit of a bore. This is where accounting automation software comes into play. By automating tedious tasks, it transforms accounting from a necessary evil into a streamlined, efficient, and even enjoyable process. But before we delve into the benefits of automation, let's explore the limitations of manual accounting.

 
 

What Are the Limitations of Manual Accounting?

Manual accounting is like trying to navigate a busy city center using a paper map — sure, it can get you where you need to go, but it's far from the most efficient or reliable method. It requires a significant amount of time and effort, with tasks like data entry, reconciliation, and reporting often taking hours or even days to complete.

Manual accounting is susceptible to human error. Whether it's entering the wrong number, missing a decimal point, or forgetting to record a transaction, mistakes can easily slip through the cracks. These errors can lead to inaccurate financial reports, which can have serious consequences for decision-making and compliance.

Manual accounting doesn't scale well. As your business grows, so too does the volume of financial data. Managing this data manually can quickly become overwhelming, leaving less time for strategic activities that can drive your business forward.

 
 

What are the Benefits of Automating Accounting?

So why switch to accounting automation software?

The benefits are numerous:

  • Efficiency: Automation software can handle tasks like data entry and reconciliation in a fraction of the time it would take a human. This means you can close your books faster and have more time to focus on strategic activities.

  • Accuracy: Automation reduces the risk of human error, ensuring your financial data is accurate and reliable. No more sleepless nights worrying about misplaced decimal points!

  • Scalability: Whether you're a small start-up or a growing enterprise, accounting automation software can handle large volumes of data with ease. It grows with your business, providing the support you need at every stage of your journey.

  • Insights: Many accounting automation tools offer reporting and analytics features, providing valuable insights into your financial performance. This can help you make informed business decisions and plan for the future.

  • Cost savings: By reducing the time spent on manual tasks, automation can lead to significant cost savings. It's like having an extra team member who works 24/7, without the additional salary or a bigger scope with your outsourced accounting partner. 

Accounting automation software is not just a nice-to-have — it's a must-have for businesses of all sizes. By increasing efficiency, improving accuracy, and providing valuable insights, it can transform your accounting processes and drive your business forward.

So why stick with the paper map when you can have a GPS? Embrace the future of accounting with automation software.

 

 

What to look for in great automation software

When selecting great automation software for your business, there are several aspects you should consider to ensure that it meets your specific needs effectively.

 

Ease of Use and Integration.

Look for software that is user-friendly and intuitive. You don't want to spend valuable time wrestling with a difficult interface. The software should also easily integrate with other systems your business uses. Whether it's your CRM, payment gateways, or project management tools, seamless integration can significantly enhance efficiency and data consistency across your operations.

 

Scalability and Customization

Consider the scalability and customization options of the software. As your business grows, your needs will evolve, and the software should be capable of growing and adapting with you. Look for solutions that offer customizable features and can handle increased complexity and volume of tasks without compromising efficiency. The ability to tailor the software to fit your unique business processes can be a significant advantage.

 

Support and Security

Don't overlook the importance of excellent customer support and robust security measures. When you encounter issues or need help understanding certain features, responsive and knowledgeable support can be invaluable. In terms of security, the software must adhere to the highest industry standards to protect your sensitive business data. Features like data encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular security audits can provide added peace of mind about the safety of your data.

 

Choosing great automation software requires careful consideration of its ease of use, integration capabilities, scalability, customization options, customer support, and security measures. You might find testing out new software boring or time consuming, but the benefits far outweigh the initial time investment in proper due diligence.

 

 

Will Automated Accounting Replace Accountants?

In a word, no. But before you breathe a sigh of relief, let's unpack this a bit.

The fear that automated accounting will render accountants obsolete is understandable, but it's also misplaced. Think of it this way: automation is not an opponent, but a teammate. It's not here to steal the show, but to help accountants perform their roles more effectively.

Automation excels at tasks like data entry, reconciliation, and generating reports — tasks that, while important, can be time-consuming and monotonous. By automating these tasks, accountants can free up more time to focus on activities where they truly shine: providing strategic financial advice which helps support business growth.

Not only can it do that, but it can help us do this faster, more accurately, all while allowing us to work reasonable hours, which creates a happier and more fulfilled team. Rather than the downward spiral caused by long work hours,  tight deadlines, and no rest, automation creates happier people who enjoy helping their clients succeed. The feeling of working a 70+ hour workweek is awful, and has caused many people to shy away from the accounting profession, which has the potential to compound the problem. Embracing automation will result in a shift in our profession, and will benefit everyone. 

Automation also empowers accountants to transition from number crunchers to trusted business advisors. Instead of spending hours poring over spreadsheets, accountants can use that time to understand their clients' businesses, identify opportunities for cost savings or growth, and provide valuable, actionable advice.

Small businesses stand to benefit greatly from this shift. With their accountant now able to devote more time to advising and strategizing, they can gain deeper financial insights and more personalized service, which can help them navigate the complexities of business finance and drive their success.

So, rather than burying our heads in the sand and resisting automation, we should embrace it. After all, the accountancy profession has always evolved with the times, and this is just the latest step in that evolution. By leveraging the power of automation, accountants can enhance their service offering, provide greater value to their clients, and cement their role as indispensable business partners.

Automated accounting is not the end of the accounting profession, but rather the beginning of a new, more strategic and value-adding phase. It's time to embrace the change and harness the power of automation. The future of accounting is here, and it's not only automated, it's also more human.

 

Ways to Use Accounting Automation in Your Business

In the world of business, accounting automation can be a game-changer, streamlining processes, improving accuracy, and providing valuable insights.

Here are some ways you can leverage it in your business:

Automate Invoicing and Billing

One of the simplest yet most effective ways to use accounting automation is in the invoicing and billing process. Automated systems can generate, send, and track invoices, ensuring timely billing and reducing the likelihood of human error. This not only saves time but also improves cash flow by ensuring that payments are received promptly.

 

Want to learn more about a simple invoicing upgrade?

Read Never Miss a Payment with Xero Reminders

 

Streamline Expense Management

Managing expenses can be a time-consuming task. With automation, you can simplify tasks like receipt scanning, expense categorization, and reimbursement processing. This not only reduces the administrative burden but also ensures accurate and up-to-date tracking of all business expenses.

 

Simplify Payroll Processing

Payroll can be complex, with various factors to consider such as hours worked, overtime, bonuses, deductions, and tax withholdings. Payroll automation can streamline this process, ensuring that employees are paid correctly and on time, and that all necessary tax obligations are met.

 

Enhance Financial Reporting

Automated accounting software can generate a variety of financial reports, from profit and loss statements to balance sheets and cash flow forecasts. These reports, which can be produced at the click of a button, provide valuable insights into the financial health of your business, aiding in strategic decision-making.

 

Improve Tax Compliance

Tax compliance is a critical aspect of financial management, and non-compliance can result in hefty penalties. Automated software can help by accurately calculating taxes owed, preparing and filing returns, and staying updated on changing tax laws and regulations.

 

Facilitate Inventory Management

If your business involves selling physical products, automated accounting systems can help track inventory levels, sales, orders, and deliveries. This can improve efficiency, prevent stockouts or overstocking, and provide real-time insights into your inventory status.

 

Enable Real-Time Financial Data Access

With cloud-based accounting automation, you can access your financial data in real-time from anywhere, enabling you to make informed decisions promptly. This can be particularly beneficial for businesses with remote teams or multiple locations.

 

Accounting automation can be a valuable tool for businesses of all sizes. By automating routine tasks, improving accuracy, and providing real-time financial insights, it can significantly enhance your business's financial management and overall efficiency.

 

Our Favorite Accounting Automation Tools 

Welcome to the world of accounting automation, where tedious financial tasks become streamlined and simplified, freeing up your time to focus on what truly matters — growing your business. At Accountingprose, we understand the power of automation and how it can revolutionize your business processes. To help you navigate this landscape, we've compiled a list of our top favorite accounting automation tools. These tools, which include Xero, Gusto, Ramp, Dext Prepare, Dext Precision, Relay, and Fathom, have been handpicked based on their efficiency, user-friendliness, and the value they bring to businesses.

From managing payroll and expenses to simplifying financial reporting and enhancing decision-making, these tools cover a wide range of accounting tasks. Whether you're a small business owner looking to streamline your financial processes or a seasoned accountant seeking to enhance your services, there's something for everyone in this list.

So, buckle up as we take a deep dive into each of these tools and explore how they can elevate your accounting game.

 

Xero

Streamlining Small Business Accounting

Xero is a powerful cloud-based accounting platform designed specifically to meet the needs of small businesses, and it comes highly recommended by our founder, Enzo, who has had a close relationship with the Xero team since 2013. (early adopter, much?)

Enzo served on the Xero Partner Advisory Council, where they played a pivotal role in fostering innovation and aligning the needs of accountants and small business owners with Xero's product development. Their passion for Xero continues today, as they remains an active participant in the Xero Ambassador program, tirelessly advocating for the platform's benefits.

So, what makes Xero stand out?

Xero automates daily financial tasks, eliminating manual data entry. It imports and categorizes transactions from your bank account and other financial sources directly into the platform, streamlining the tracking of income and expenses.

Invoicing is another area where Xero shines. You can create, send, and track invoices with a few clicks, improving cash flow and saving precious time. Plus, it can automate payment reminders, so you spend less time chasing overdue payments.

Xero's real-time reporting gives you a clear snapshot of your business's financial health at any given moment. Its budgeting and forecasting tools help you plan for the future and make well-informed decisions.

Finally, Xero's robust integration capabilities allow it to work seamlessly with your existing business apps, creating a holistic and efficient business ecosystem.

Xero offers a comprehensive suite of automation features that can significantly streamline your accounting processes. Its commitment to innovation, shaped in part by leaders like Enzo, ensures that Xero continues to evolve, meeting the ever-changing needs of small business owners. By taking care of the heavy lifting in financial management, Xero frees you to focus on what you do best - running your business.

 

Gusto

Transforming Payroll for Small Businesses

Gusto is a comprehensive payroll platform built to simplify the complexities associated with managing employees. Our very own Director of Operations, Kristie, has been deeply involved in shaping Gusto's development as a member of the Gusto Advisory Council. Her role on the council has been instrumental in ensuring that Gusto continues to evolve in a way that aligns with the needs of accountants and small business owners alike.

So, how can Gusto transform payroll for your small business?

Gusto automates the payroll process. From calculating pay and deductions to depositing wages directly into employees' bank accounts, Gusto handles it all. It even automates tax calculations and filings, ensuring compliance with federal, state, and local tax laws.

Gusto also simplifies benefits administration. Whether it's health insurance, 401(k) plans, or other benefits, Gusto makes it easy to set up and manage these programs. It also automates benefits deductions from employee paychecks, saving you the headache of manual calculations.

Time tracking is another area where Gusto shines. Employees can log their hours directly in the platform, and these hours automatically sync with payroll, ensuring accurate pay calculations.

Lastly, Gusto offers robust reporting capabilities. From payroll histories to benefits costs, these reports provide valuable insights into your business's labor costs and can aid in strategic decision-making.

Gusto offers a comprehensive suite of automation features that can significantly streamline your payroll processes. Its commitment to meeting the needs of small business owners, guided by the insights of professionals like Kristie, ensures that Gusto continues to deliver a platform that truly makes payroll a breeze. By taking care of the complexities of payroll, Gusto allows you to focus on growing your business.

 

Ramp

The Future of Financial Management for Small Businesses

Modern businesses require modern solutions, and that's where Ramp comes in. Built to centralize and automate financial processes, Ramp is a corporate card and expense management platform that can revolutionize the way small businesses handle their finances.

At the heart of Ramp's offering are its corporate cards. These are not just any corporate cards — they are designed with built-in spend controls, allowing you to set limits on employee spending and ensure your money is being used wisely. You can also track real-time spend, giving you a clear view of where your money is going.

But Ramp's magic doesn't stop there. It's the automation of expense management where Ramp truly shines. Say goodbye to manual expense reports — Ramp automatically matches receipts to transactions, and employees can submit expenses right from their phones. This eliminates the need for manual reconciliation and drastically reduces the time spent on expense management.

One of the most compelling features of Ramp is its automated bill pay. This feature allows you to schedule and make payments directly from the platform, ensuring bills are paid on time, every time. You can also set up recurring payments, so you don't have to worry about forgetting to pay your regular bills.

Ramp also provides real-time insights and analytics. With detailed reporting, you can easily track your business's spending habits and gain insights into areas where you can save. This can help you make more informed decisions and drive your business's financial success.

Ramp is more than just a corporate card — it's a comprehensive financial management tool that automates and simplifies the financial processes of your business. By taking the heavy lifting out of company card management, expense reimbursements, and bill pay, Ramp allows you to focus on what matters most: growing your business.

 

Relay

Redefining Business Banking for Small Businesses

Today's small businesses need banking solutions that keep pace with their growth and innovation. That's where Relay comes in. This digital banking platform is designed to automate and streamline your business's financial processes, from banking and company card management to expense reimbursements and bill pay.

Relay's online banking system offers a seamless banking experience. Say goodbye to long waits at the bank and hello to instant, online access to your business's financial information. With Relay, you can manage your business's money anywhere, anytime, with all your financial data right at your fingertips.

One of the standout features of Relay is its integrated company card management. You can issue company cards to employees, set spending limits, and track expenses in real-time. This not only helps control expenses but also eliminates the need for cumbersome expense reports.

But Relay doesn't stop at card management. Its platform also automates expense reimbursements. Employees can simply upload receipts, and Relay matches them to card transactions, eliminating the need for manual data entry and reconciliation. This significantly reduces the time and effort spent on expense management.

When it comes to bill pay, Relay has you covered. You can schedule payments directly from the platform, never missing a due date again. Plus, you can set up recurring payments for regular bills, saving you the hassle of manual payments each month.

Relay also offers real-time insights and analytics, providing you with a clear snapshot of your business's financial health. This can help you make strategic decisions and identify areas for potential savings.

Relay is more than just a digital bank — it's a comprehensive financial management tool. Its automation features simplify and streamline your financial processes, giving you more time to focus on growing your business. By taking the heavy lifting out of banking, company card management, expense reimbursements, and bill pay, Relay truly redefines what business banking can be.

 

Dext Prepare

Revolutionizing Document Management for Small Businesses

Document management is an essential part of running a small business, but it can also be a time-consuming chore. That's where Dext Prepare steps in. This cutting-edge platform automates the collection, extraction, and processing of your paperwork with a remarkable 99% accuracy, freeing up time for you to focus on value-adding tasks.

So, how does Dext Prepare work its magic?

At its core, Dext Prepare is a digital hub for all your paperwork. Whether it's a receipt, an invoice, or a bank statement, you can upload it to Dext Prepare via the mobile app, email, or auto-invoice fetch. Once uploaded, Dext Prepare extracts the crucial data from these documents — no manual data entry required.

This means no more laborious input of figures or worrying about typing errors. You get the accurate numbers you need without the manual labor. It's a brilliantly simple way to bring all your paperwork together in a standardized, digital format.

But Dext Prepare doesn’t just collect and extract data. It also seamlessly integrates with various accounting software and supports over 11,500 banks and institutions. This means your extracted data can be automatically processed directly to your accountancy software, maintaining an accurate and up-to-date financial record of your business.

The benefits of Dext Prepare are not just theoretical — they're proven. Accountancy firms using Dext Prepare report saving up to 5.5 hours per client, per month on manual data processing. That's a significant amount of time that can be redirected towards strategic decision-making, business development, or simply achieving a better work-life balance. It also seriously cuts down on your monthly accounting bill– money that can be used in other areas of your business. 

Dext Prepare is a game-changer for small business owners, offering a streamlined and efficient approach to document management. By automating the collection, extraction, and processing of your paperwork, Dext Prepare gives you the freedom to focus on what truly matters — growing your business to new heights.

 

Dext Precision

Streamlining Month-End Close for Businesses

The end of the month can be a stressful time for accountants, with the need to reconcile accounts and finalize financial reports for a long client list. Dext Precision is here to change that. This powerful tool automates (part of) the month-end close process, ensuring accuracy and improving efficiency. We love this product so much that we use this with every one of our accounting clients. 

Dext Precision works by using the data fed into your Xero account. It scans this data and alerts us to any discrepancies, ensuring your financial records are accurate before we even begin the closing process. This saves us the time and effort of manually checking for errors, giving us peace of mind that we're starting from a place of accuracy.

But Dext Precision doesn't just ensure accuracy. It's also packed with features designed to enhance insights and streamline our workflow. With Dext Precision, we can automate repetitive tasks, freeing our time to focus on delivering strategic advice to our clients. We also have access to in-depth reports, giving us a comprehensive understanding of your financial position.

One of the standout features of Dext Precision is its ability to identify potential issues before they become problems. Whether it's duplicate transactions, inconsistencies in data entry, or unusual account activity, Dext Precision keeps us in the know at all times. It's like having our very own forensic accountant assistant, working 24/7 to help us keep your business on track.

Dext Precision is more than just a financial tool — it's a game-changer for month-end close. By automating the process and ensuring accuracy, Dext Precision takes (some of) the stress out of month-end close. It's like having a financial assistant who never sleeps, ensuring your business's financial health is always in top shape.

 

Fathom

Accelerating Business Decisions with Insightful Reporting

In the fast-paced world of business, quick and informed decision-making is crucial. Fathom is a business management solution designed to facilitate just that. Combining insightful reporting, rapid cash flow forecasting, and actionable financial insights, Fathom transforms data into a powerful tool for strategic decision-making.

Fathom's reporting feature is a standout. It allows us to create in-depth, visually appealing reports at the click of a button. These reports are not only easy to understand but also provide a comprehensive view of your business's financial health. This means no more sifting through spreadsheets or complex financial documents — just clear, concise, and insightful reports.

But Fathom doesn't stop at reporting. It also offers fast and accurate cash flow forecasting. With Fathom, you can project future cash flows based on your current financial data, helping you to plan and prepare for the future. This means no more guesswork or uncertainty — just accurate forecasts to guide your business decisions.

What sets Fathom apart from other business management solutions is its actionable financial insights. Fathom analyzes your financial data and provides clear, actionable insights to drive your business forward. Whether it's identifying areas for cost savings or highlighting opportunities for growth, Fathom equips you with the insights you need to make informed decisions.

Fathom is more than just a reporting tool — it's a comprehensive business management solution. By providing insightful reports, fast cash flow forecasting, and actionable financial insights, Fathom empowers you to make quick, informed decisions, and keeps you from having to create tedious spreadsheets when you could be doing stuff you actually love. 

 

Zapier

Your Key to Seamless Accounting Integration

In the world of business, efficiency is the name of the game. Zapier is a tool designed to maximize efficiency by connecting your systems, automating tasks, and ultimately, reducing or eliminating manual data entry. While not an accounting software itself, Zapier provides incredible value in saving time and reducing errors with accounting automation.

Zapier works by connecting different apps and automating workflows, creating a seamless link between various systems. Whether it's your accounting software, payroll system, or HR platform, Zapier can integrate them to enable automated data transfer and processing.

Here are few ways that Zapier can make your life a whole lot easier: 

 

Syncing Stripe and Xero

If you use Stripe to process online payments and Xero for your accounting, Zapier can help you create a seamless workflow. Instead of manually creating invoices in Xero every time you receive a payment in Stripe, you can automate this process with Zapier.

 

How it works: Set up a Zap where the trigger is a new payment in Stripe, and the action is creating a new invoice in Xero. Whenever a payment is processed in Stripe, an invoice will be automatically created in Xero with the relevant details. This eliminates manual data entry, reducing the risk of errors and saving you time.

 

Integrating Shopify and Google Sheets

If you run an e-commerce store on Shopify, keeping track of your sales can be a daunting task. But with Zapier, you can automatically populate a Google Sheets spreadsheet with your Shopify sales data.

 

How it works: Set up a Zap where the trigger is a new order in Shopify, and the action is creating a new row in Google Sheets. Each time an order is placed on your Shopify store, the order details will be automatically added to a Google Sheet. This gives you a real-time, easily accessible record of your sales data, without any manual data entry

 

Streamlining Receipt Management with Expensify and Google Sheets

If you're using Expensify to track expenses and Google Sheets to maintain an organized record, Zapier can help simplify this process. Instead of manually entering expense data from Expensify into a Google Sheets spreadsheet, you can automate this process with Zapier.

 

How it works: Set up a Zap where the trigger is a new expense report in Expensify, and the action is creating a new row in Google Sheets. Each time an expense report is approved in Expensify, the report details will be automatically added to a Google Sheet. This provides you with a central, real-time record of your expenses, eliminating manual data entry and ensuring your records are accurate and up-to-date.

 

Zapier acts as a bridge between your systems, automating data transfer and processing. It's an invaluable tool for businesses seeking to streamline their operations, minimize errors, and save time on manual tasks. With Zapier, you can let technology handle the mundane tasks, leaving you free to focus on what truly matters — growing your business.

 

The Power of Automation in Your Hands

As we've journeyed through the realm of accounting automation tools, it's clear that the future of accounting is not just about numbers, but about leveraging technology to transform the way we do business. From digitizing and organizing your paperwork with Dext Prepare to streamlining your month-end close with Dext Precision, enhancing business insights with Fathom, and seamlessly connecting your systems with Zapier, the power of automation is truly extraordinary.

But as with any journey into the unknown, it can be beneficial to have a guide — someone who knows the terrain, understands your needs, and can help you make the most of these powerful tools. That's where we come in. At Accountingprose, we're more than just accountants, we're accounting automation enthusiasts. We eat, sleep, and breathe this stuff.

We're passionate about helping small businesses like yours harness the power of automation to streamline processes, reduce errors, and free up time to focus on what truly matters — growing your business. We offer personalized guidance and support, helping you choose the right tools, implement them effectively, and optimize their use for your specific needs.

So why navigate the world of accounting automation alone when you can have an expert by your side? We invite you to get in touch with us today. Let's explore how we can transform your accounting processes, together. After all, the future of accounting is exciting, and we'd love to help you embrace it.

Ready to take the first step towards accounting automation? Contact us today and let's write the future of your business, together.

 

Bookkeeping doesn't have to suck | Accountingprose

 


 
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