With the pace of change accelerating for small business who do you turn to assist with charting your course into the digital future?
Much of the technology adopted in business today has traditionally centred on the Accounting, Payroll and Administration systems; however there is a transition underway to further extend from this hub to cater for more of the overall business processes.
We are seeing the role of your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper evolving too. The traditional compliance (tax return) and data entry roles are becoming commoditised and streamlined, with some new generation software systems removing entire swathes of work previously undertaken by each party. This change is providing the opportunity for your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper to take on the role of Identifier and Connector. They can identify which business processes could benefit from using technology and then connect you with the provider(s) who specialise in those solutions.
Adoption of further technology in your business leads to increased efficiencies and systems that streamline your business operations; however it is important to get it right.
The Accounting and Bookkeeping professions are working feverishly to identify the solutions that will serve their clients (you) in building stronger businesses for the future. We can see the world becoming further specialised in this space with Accountants and Bookkeepers continuing to favour 1-2 core accounting solutions and building on their skill sets to identify the add on solutions that connect with the core accounting system.
So what solutions will help round out the use of technology in most small to medium sized enterprises? Let’s start with a “Big-6” pack of solutions that may be appropriate for many small /medium sized businesses;
- CRM (Customer / Client Relationship Management Systems, Email Marketing, Time Billing)
- Web Store Integration (Connecting your Online Store with your Accounting System)
- Electronic Document Management (storing and linking documents)
- Payroll Portals (Including Rostering and HR)
- Advanced Inventory (Including Manufacturing & Distribution)
- Dashboard (KPI) Business Intelligence Reporting
Whilst all of these areas may not apply to your organisation it’s highly likely that some do and here is an opportunity to identify and assess which may be appropriate – now and in the future.
So who do you turn to for advice? Your Accountant and/or Bookkeeper. They know your business, are a great place to start and have strong vested interests in seeing your business develop integrated systems that work effectively. Whilst it is early days in the professions, we are also starting to see specialist consultants who can integrate the “Big-6” solutions (and beyond) into your accounting system.