FROM KEEPING THE BOOKS TO FINANCIAL DATA ANALYST & ADVISOR
For many years, ‘keeping the books’ has been a critical function for businesses, however AP professionals, bookkeepers and financial controllers are often the unsung champions of day to day financial discipline and reporting accuracy. Recording, managing and reporting financial information, meeting critical deadlines, managing credit control and running payroll has traditionally been a labour intensive process requiring diligence, persistence and expertise.
However, an increasing number of business owners and clients are demanding more. These days, access to accurate real time business information 24 x 7 is essential to running a successful company. In the connected economy business leaders need to monitor company performance from where-ever they are located. Business systems need to be joined up and processes automated to eliminate inefficiencies.
Better business decisions need to be made faster. Managers cannot wait for monthly or quarterly financial reports – they require instant access to the information they need to run their business.
So, what does this mean for bookkeepers and financial controllers?
Dependent on your point of view, this drive toward efficiency and transparency is either an opportunity or threat. The days of healthy fees for low value tasks are at an end.
Forward thinking accounts payable professionals are staying ahead of their internal customers and external clients by introducing cloud based accounting systems such as Xero and Quickbooks Online. However, even these platforms often don’t have the capabilities to effectively streamline purchase requisitions, orders and invoice approvals for employees. Therefore, adding cloud based accounts payable solutions such as Zahara provides the ideal solution.
For companies using installed accounting software, Zahara revolutionises the processes of raising and managing purchase requisitions, orders and invoices.
Increasingly, smart AP professionals are seeing the opportunity for managing their client’s purchasing approvals to help them stand out from their competitors and expand their range of services.
PURCHASE APPROVALS – THE OPPORTUNITY
Accounts Payable (AP) is more than ready for automation and this presents one of the most compelling business opportunities for bookkeepers and financial controllers.
Cloud based Purchase Approval Platforms, such as Zahara, are capable of delivering control over purchase requisitions, orders and invoice approvals for all business units, departments and locations of a business. Unlike traditional accounting software which is only used by knowledgeable financially trained employees, Purchase Approvals has to be user friendly and accessible to all employees, approvers and managers across the company. Additionally, platforms such as Zahara enforce budgetary control and auditable data and integrate seamlessly into accounts software such as Xero, Sage and Quickbooks online.
For bookkeepers and financial controllers, the new breed of cloud based Purchase Approval Platforms, such as Zahara, seamlessly integrate with accounting software to co-ordinate supplier information, enforce budgetary controls and streamline approvals from initial requisition through to order and purchase invoice.
Unlike manual approval processes or the cumbersome approvals workflow in traditional accounting software, employees love the ease of use, speed of working and the 24x7 access to information. With cloud based Purchase Approval Platforms, management have full control over company expenditure, real time view of KPIs and a full audit trail of every transaction.
Purchase Approval Platforms makes life easier and more efficient.
Purchase Approval Platforms removes the manual menace of data entry, the pain of chasing invoice approvals, eliminates duplicate invoices and dramatically reduces the potential for fraud with a resultant cost saving for client organisations.
Innovative AP Professionals are recognising the opportunity for being an agent for change. They are either recommending tried and tested cloud based systems to their clients or delivering web enabled services such as accounts payables.
Technology such as Zahara can enable bookkeepers and financial controllers to set up and manage multiple clients or business units in a single platform. They can define user permissions, set budgets and controls, manage suppliers, store important documents, produce reports and automate information into accounting workflow. Management can provide easy to use, cloud based software, to all employees within the client organisation in order to capture requests, raise POs and approve invoices.
For the new cloud enabled world of accounting, Purchase Approval Platforms is critical to delivering ongoing value to clients and gives finance real time visibility of client data.
Armed with such powerful information, the new breed of AP Professional will be the analyst of financial data, the controller of company spending, the investigator into excessive costs and the trusted advisor to help management make better, more informed decisions.
NEW SERVICES, NEW BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES
With increasing levels of process automation and integrated workflows, bookkeepers and financial controllers are freed up to add more value to clients, expanding their range of services, delivering web based services in return for recurring income from retained client base.
An ongoing monthly fee is often attractive to clients and enables bookkeepers to spread their workloads, deliver more services and increase efficiencies.
AP Professionals of the future will continuously monitor the real time financial health of their clients using best of breed cloud based platforms such as the Zahara Purchase Approval Platform.
So, for bookkeepers with an entrepreneurial spirit, Purchase Approval Platforms is an essential technology to help grow ongoing relationships and revenues with clients.
To find out how you can deliver more value to your clients, take a look at Zahara.