Today, accountants are expected to offer financial services that match the speed at which businesses function. However, meeting company performance demands can’t come at an expense to compliance, risk and regulatory adherence. This places the spotlight on accountants to add more strategic business value. As cloud adoption grows and network architectures evolve, applications are becoming more agile, offering accountant’s flexible access to resources, centralised data libraries and automation functions largely absent in prior iterations.
For smaller practices, technological advances also bring opportunities to compete against bigger, more sophisticated firms and meet the changing needs of their clients. So with the playing fields somewhat levelled, let’s look at how modern financial statement software helps accounting professionals bring about practices that are efficient, robust and in tune with the fast-moving environments they operate in. Accountants today have many avenues to pursue to keep up with both technological and client demands.
The importance of integration
In most practices it is often found that client data is stored across stand-alone computers and network drives. Much of accountants’ time can be spent searching for documentation or previous years’ files. This highlights just how important an integrated and centralised platform is. Information stored in one central environment can save staff many unproductive hours of scouring for data across disparate platforms. But thanks to more powerful computing power, massive increases in storage capacity and cloud and internet ubiquity, modern financial statement software solutions are lean, integrated and highly available. This integration results in significant reduction of administrative overheads as well as allows for deeper process visibility for improved risk identification and efficient workflows that meet regulatory demands and add value to the business.
Find a solution that completely eliminates risk
As businesses expand and objectives change, so do internal processes, making the job of maintaining suitable controls that safeguard the business a challenge. Eliminating risk and non-compliance is one of the top priorities on any accountant’s list so finding modern systems and software with built-in validation tools that reduce inaccuracies is a business imperative. Having peace of mind that all risk has been eliminated from your practice means you will have more time to focus on other areas of your practice. Thus it is suggested that when looking at financial statement software, keep an eye out for features that have built-in validation tools that reduce inaccuracies.
Automation equals less risk and more time
One way to eliminate risk is automation. No matter the size, accounting practices are inherently process-heavy. With manual task-repetition infamously prone to human error, it is almost a given that the more automated your daily functions and processes are – the better. Spreadsheets and spreadsheet-based solutions introduce high levels of risk and are often mentioned to be the most damaging to businesses productivity. Thus, when looking for a solution for your practice, the number one rule to follow would be, “If it can be automated – get a solution that can automate it”. Here is a great article on the disadvantages surrounding spreadsheet-based solutions.
A comprehensive and future-ready solution is imperative
Value, performance, cost and efficiency are challenges facing all practices. Gone are the days when clients patiently waited a week for their accountant to prepare their financial statements. Businesses are now operating in a space where they expect same-day delivery, to be given priority and more value. With solutions such as CaseWare Working Papers this is possible. With over 15000 users and serving customers ranging from public entities to auditing firms and blue chip companies. CaseWare works closely with organisations such as the South African Institute of Professional Accountants (SAIPA) to ensure our systems meet and exceed the compliance and performance demands placed on modern financial statement software platforms.