Why I believe the “Modern Bookkeeper” who embraces the cloud, will not become redundant.

BLOG: Confessions of a Modern Bookkeeper

A savvy bookkeeper knows that they get one or two truly great opportunities in their lifetime (1.introduction of GST in 2000) and (2. “Online Accounting”). Some spot an opportunity, know how to make it work and, most of all, know how to turn the given opportunities into reality, so long as they have the best tools of the trade to deliver, able to offer a unique approach and have a network of gifted peers to work with.

By implementing & introducing “online accounting” to their clients, bookkeepers/consultants are on the cusp of a beautiful beginning. It is far easier for bookkeepers to interact and engage with their clients when they have these sound systems in place.

A very interesting article published in October 2011 http://www.boxfreeit.com.au/Finance/do-you-need-a-bookkeeper-if-you-use-cloud-accounting-software.html and raised a considerable amount of concern amongst the bookkeeping profession. The comments in support of their bookkeepers from SME/business owners was indeed pleasing to read.

I have found that the business owner who embraces the cloud, understands where they are heading in the future, are wanting more than what they are given in a box off the shelf, they want to interact with their accountant and bookkeeper and work with the applications of their choice, whether it be inventory, job management, payroll, point of sale, reporting tools, – the client can choose which system they need, find a consultant(s) who specializes in bringing all these amazing applications together, and ultimately having an incredible ensemble of systems to deliver results.

Recently, I had the opportunity to present my services to a potential client who was looking for a Xero Advisor. During the course of our meeting and evaluating their needs, had the opportunity to see first hand their “online web-based motor assessing system”. The system is extremely comprehensive, with an elaborate interface encompassing facility for raising quotations, claims, invoicing, receipting, generation of statements, GST & BAS reporting features, a section for storage of photos of damage to vehicle(s). I learned from the client, that within the system he was able to key in details of claims and lodge these electronically to repairers and insurance companies, send out invoices to the client, cutting down the hours of work by eliminating the “old way”. e.g. (previous mode in the past writing up claim forms and mailing out to the respective parties concerned).

AutoIntegrity the 1st Web-Based Motor Assessing System

http://autointegrity.com.au/features-benefits/

A simple web-based, mobile system which works electronically with all repairers.

Understanding how modern web-based systems work, my thoughts went into over-drive, thinking how much time could be saved by pushing invoicing thru to Xero, rather than manually entering same into Xero. I asked the question “does your system integrate to #Xero? Answer was no, not at the moment but we can ask the developers if they can do this. Yay -love a challenge.

By the time I had returned to my office had made contact with CEO of AutoIntegrity and was in dialogue asking what information was required to make it happen. Within days had confirmation systems were in place and they were in test mode ready to push data. What a pleasure to work with a team with the “yes we can do” attitude and who are able to make things happen.

With the challenge and determination ahead, started pushing data from AutoIntegrity dashboard using Xero’s templates, a bit of tweaking here and there, had push the data into Xero in Draft mode. This was was a short term work around, knowing AutoIntegrity had already started working on the API and promised delivery within 2 weeks of request.

Now some Bookkeepers/Data Processors/Consultants may think “what about the loss of potential billing hours”? I believe by adopting a proactive approach, by assisting the client to streamline their processing and day to day record keeping, this helps the business owner concentrate on running their business, ultimately helps with their cash flow,to ease the burden of having to worry about compliance issues and will enable the bookkeeper/consultant to give the client a better and more efficient service.

The Team Made It Happen ! Yesterday afternoon (11 November) just after 5pm it was all systems go! using www.teamviewer.com the developers accessed my computer, had me run a few test url’s – with Xero running in the background and by accessing AutoIntegrity dashboard keyed in a range of dates to produce invoices generated – this produced a considerable amount of invoices which needed to be processed in Xero. All that needed to be done was “authenticate” access to client’s Xero org and with a simple click of the mouse pressed the magic button “SEND TO XERO”

Case Study: What was achieved ? this has saved at least 2 hours a week having to manually enter or manipulate data in Excel templates to achieve the same result. I had the pleasure of working with a team of developers who were able to deliver a simple solution just by asking the question “can it be done”? on behalf of the client.

To see first hand the successful integration using Xero’s API, sending invoices into client’s Xero, identifying the tracking departments setup to filter accessors sales for tracking commissions, KPI’s this truly is the icing on the cake.

My sincere thanks to the fabulous team at AutoIntegrity for making this happen, you have saved hours of tedious data entry.

http://blog.xero.com/2008/12/benefits-of-xero-for-bookkeepers/

http://blog.xero.com/2008/12/invoicing/


Gillian Rossouw