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It's about (real) time... - Jamie McKenna

In today’s world technology is moving faster than ever. Social media has proven to be a great method in reaching out to potential clients, but how do you maximise your level of service to existing customers?

These days in business, real-time accounting can help keep you ahead of the crowd.

Direct bank feeds

One of the biggest steps forward in recent years has been the integration of bank statements with accounting software packages. Whether it be a direct feed from the bank, connection via a third-party software provider or by importing statements manually by 'csv' file, more and more firms are moving away from the old spreadsheet approach to categorising and reconciling bank statements. The beauty of importing information to an accounting package is that the volume of transactions is not important, whether it be 10 or 10,000 per month. Automatic input greatly reduces time and the risk of human error as the statement will always reconcile. With regards to identifying transactions, modern software allows the user to create rules which can pick out specific wording in a transaction line and assign it automatically to a nominal code. This facility can be used as much or as little as the client would like, but for the majority of businesses with regular income and expenditure this is a massive advantage. For customers/suppliers there is a “matching” facility which enables the user to match bankings/payments with corresponding invoices in the system. In each instance there is a clear audit trail which again simplifies the process.

Client value

For many clients, annual accounts can be seen as a necessity, rather than an added value service to their business. Part of the problem here is that data is historic. With real time accounting however, clients can instantly view how their business is performing with cash-flow information, debtors and creditors reports only a click away. Regular management accounts provide added value to clients, providing instant data analysis and comparable budgets to monitor performance.

From an Accountant’s perspective, real time accounting opens the door to providing a whole new service. A ‘Virtual FD’ so to speak, able to advise on situations as they occur rather than retrospectively.

Remote access

Via a real-time Cloud based package, clients can access their company accounting information anywhere in the world with an internet connection. This does not necessarily reduce control or increase the risk of error - users can instead be given varying levels of access to the software (read-only, or access to invoicing facilities only for example). Information can also be restricted by individual user, and all access can be monitored.

More and more clients are opting for real-time accounting methods and as a forward-thinking business we are proud to endorse and support this.

If you would like to learn more about real-time, cloud-based computing please contact Jamie McKenna at jmckenna@burleigh.co.im.

Peregrine Corporate Services Limited is licensed by Isle of Man Financial Services Authority.