Cash or Card which do you prefer?
As a recent convert to contactless payments I love the convenience and speed of each transaction. Simply swiping a card is so much easier than visiting the cashpoint, storing cash in my wallet and fumbling around for change whenever I need to pay for something. It strikes me that we all feel comfortable working in a certain way until we discover a new way of working. It’s at that point we suddenly see the world in a different light.
One example of this is online bookkeeping solutions. They provide great flexibility to accountants and clients alike. Clients can add transactions as they arise, accountants have visibility as they require and the details can be automatically imported to an accounts production package to create a set of final accounts.
When preparing the final accounts there may be times when the accountant needs to make adjustments to the transactions recorded in the bookkeeping system. One big challenge is where these changes are held.
The whole premise is that the final accounts (and the software holding the records that produced them) along with the bookkeeping records should always be in sync, then the client and the accountant are always looking at the same figures.
IRIS believes the bookkeeping solution should hold the details of all transactions the business has undertaken. This is illustrated with the integration between IRIS Accounts Production and KashFlow.
Once a client indicates they have entered everything they feel is necessary the accountant can import the trial balance from KashFlow. The transactions can be reviewed from within IRIS Accounts Production, from either the interactive report or from the posting screen. Double clicking on a ‘posting’ seamlessly logs you into KashFlow and will show you the detail behind the figure, which is all the transactions that make up the trial balance figure. At this point you can make the amends within KashFlow directly. As you then close the screen it reminds you to ‘reimport’ the figures, this will then cancel only the relevant figures and import the new amounts into IRIS Accounts Production.
This ensures both KashFlow and IRIS Accounts Production are up to date, streamlining the process of producing the final year end accounts.
Other providers have adopted an alternative methodology. One vendor mentions their 2 way integration with a leading bookkeeping package. Their approach allows practitioners to import a trial balance into Accounts Production, then make adjustments in Accounts Production and send them back to the bookkeeping package as ‘journal entries’. At this point Accounts Production and the bookkeeping software are showing different values. The obvious question is who updates the bookkeeping package with these ‘journal entries’? The likelihood is that the accountant takes this responsibility, but do the journals contain all the information they require to update the bookkeeping product? Is the data from the journals automatically added to the bookkeeping product or does the accountant need to add it manually?
Both approaches work but ultimately the choice comes down to simplifying the workflow, reducing the risk of errors and improving the efficiency of producing the final accounts. I guess it’s the difference of carrying cash or carrying a card.