The Best Accounting Automation Software: The A Team’s Top Picks
If you’re like many business owners, you may be apprehensive about doing your company’s accounting. For a busy professional, it can be tedious and time-consuming, not to mention confusing if you’re not familiar with all the terminology.
What if there were a way to make the process less daunting? Accounting automation software can do just that, saving you time and money while improving business efficiency and productivity.
What Is Accounting Automation Software?
In a nutshell, accounting automation software programs help streamline many of the tasks associated with managing finances. Much of the work that once had to be done manually can now be automated, which means business leaders can spend less time crunching numbers and more time running their businesses.
How Can Accounting Automation Software Help You?
Since every business is unique, the “one size fits all” approach of out-of-the-box software solutions often don’t fit. This forces business owners to scrape by with a compromised solution that gets them only part of the way, and still requires time consuming manual entry and maintenance.
Automation solves this problem. It works best when specialized products work together seamlessly. Combining useful data from your integrated applications (e.g., inventory, time tracking, or CRM software) with your financial accounting interface helps build dynamic, insightful and immediately useful reporting, including rolling cash flow forecasts, sales pipelines, and staff performance metrics that out-of-the-box accounting software do not generate.
Once the appropriate software is connected with your company’s financial activity and ledger, it can begin to streamline tasks such as:
- Data entry
- Formulas and calculations
- Invoicing and billing
- Financial reporting
- Financial tracking and analysis
Many different cloud-based accounting automation software packages can be used as stand-alone tools or in conjunction with other programs. A large number of popular business technologies have been designed to work synergistically with one another, and to allow businesses to manage their accounting needs from any computer.
Platform Recommendations From Our Fractional CFOs:
The following Cloud Accounting Software platforms perform effectively and efficiently for small to medium-sized businesses. Each can be scaled to fit your company’s unique needs.
- Accounting Interfaces: QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero, Sage Intacct
- Accounts Payable Systems: Ramp, Bill.com
- Receipt Management Systems: Expensify, Concur, Divvy, Brex, Abacus
- Ecommerce Integration Systems: A2X, Zapier
- Inventory Management: SOS Inventory, Fishbowl
- Not-For-Profit: GiftWorks, Neon CRM
- Business Intelligence: Fathom, Qvinci, PowerBI
Cloud-Based Accounting Interfaces
QuickBooks: Available in both desktop and a cloud-based versions, QuickBooks automates business tasks including invoicing, tracking expenses, making payments, and managing inventory. It’s flexible reporting module helps identify where money is being spent and received, helping CEOs make informed strategic decisions.
Xero: A cost-effective tool, this small business accounting software has unique approaches to functions like reconciliation that some users, especially non-accountants, might find more intuitive than QuickBooks. In addition, Xero offers an unlimited number of users on all plans and has a fully-functional and easily accessible smart-phone app so users can access accounting records and reporting at any time, from anywhere.
Accounts Payable Systems
Ramp: This all-in-one expense management system consolidates corporate cards, expense management, bill payments, accounting, and reporting into one simple solution, allowing employees to easily track and manage company spending.
Bill.com: This accounting automation software, which integrates seamlessly with accounting interfaces like QuickBooks and Sage Intacct, is a robust accounts payable management system. It leverages OCR technology to scrape useful metadata from uploaded documents to reduce data entry. It can be configured with sophisticated approval workflows that may not be available via accounting interfaces’ own payables workflows. Once your payables are managed in the Bill.com application, all data is seamlessly and automatically synced with your accounting interface to eliminate duplicate entry inefficiencies.
Receipt Management Systems
Expensify: Available as a mobile app, this expense management software simplifies filing and paying employee expenses. Expensify makes it convenient for employees to create and submit expense reports or supply supporting receipts and descriptions for charges on their corporate credit card. The data collected can seamlessly be integrated with accounting interfaces like QuickBooks and Sage Intacct.
Concur: Along with best-in-class corporate card and expense report management tools, this versatile solution enables employees to easily manage travel expenses while on the move. Users can simply photograph receipts and attach them to their expense claim. From reimbursement requests, through approval to booking and settlement, this integrated platform digitizes and connects all processes around the end-to-end management of business travel.
Divvy: This expense management solution helps small and mid-size businesses automate expense reports, budgets, and reimbursement processing all in one place. Divvy integrates with existing accounting platforms to provide the insight and control needed to manage expenses and stay profitable.
Brex: This software offers a unified platform allowing companies to control global credit cards, expense management, reimbursements, travel, and bill pay. It includes an expense management software that allows you to control company spend. Brex also issues corporate credit cards to employees where businesses can control the spending, use with pre-approved vendors, or not use with certain excluded businesses. Additionally, Brex offers a range of features tailored to the unique needs of businesses, including high credit limits, a rewards program, and seamless integration with popular accounting software packages.
Abacus: This unique expense management system is premised on the elimination of expense reports in favor of a more modern transaction feed workflow. By eliminating the use of expense reports, users can code and submit charges individually, so they post to the accounting interface more quickly. Abacus can be set up to flag or segregate expenses that violate policy, are approaching budget, contain errors, or are potentially fraudulent. The software also has built-in custom reports with real-time data to help identify trends and manage budgets.
Ecommerce Integration Systems
A2X: This ecommerce accounting app helps businesses, accountants and bookkeepers automatically reconcile payouts from their sales channels. A2X transforms payout data from Amazon, Shopify, BigCommerce, eBay, Etsy and Walmart into organized summaries that reconcile with cash activity in Xero, QuickBooks Online, and Sage Intacct.
Zapier: A web-based automation tool that allows you to connect your apps and automate your business processes. If two applications do not integrate with each other natively, you can connect them automatically with Zapier’s user-friendly graphical interface, without having to know how to code. It excels at cross-platform integration, enabling seamless data transfer and communication between different apps and services. By creating “Zaps”, you can automate repetitive tasks, streamline workflows, and integrate various apps to save time and enhance productivity.
SOS Inventory: This inventory management software provides streamlined order placement, fulfillment, and inventory management through an intuitive real-time user interface. SOS is unique in its ability to maintain meaningful inventory management data across multiple locations, whether tracking product just received, in production, or at a warehouse. The software gives users a broad range of functionalities spanning supply chain, production, fulfillment, sales, and finance and integrates with ecommerce platforms and shipping software.
Fishbowl: An ideal solution for small and midsize businesses looking for reliable inventory tools. Fishbowl is a manufacturing and warehouse management software that provides inventory control for companies that use spreadsheets or QuickBooks Online and want to replace their manual spreadsheets with an integrated inventory solution. It automates the ordering, purchasing, and quoting processes, and eliminates double data entry, paper-based inventory management, stockouts, and excessive inventory.
Giftworks: The features of this cloud-based fundraising solution for small and mid-size nonprofit organizations include donor receipt management, volunteer management, event and ticket management and robust custom reporting. It offers integration with QuickBooks and manages all aspects of fundraising events from tracking participants to analyzing ROI.
Neon CRM: Focused on small to mid-size non-profit organizations and membership associations, this secure cloud-based software suite communicates with donors, tracks and processes donations, and reconciles payments in an all-inclusive platform. Its reporting dashboards and administrative tools help organizations gain insights to manage their fundraising campaigns to better serve their missions.
Fathom: Fathom is a powerful financial analysis and dashboarding application that integrates with popular accounting interfaces including QuickBooks and Xero. Use it to build customized management reporting, forecast your cash flow, or track your business via standard or custom-built KPIs. It can even consolidate company financials from multiple QuickBooks company files.
Qvinci: Facilitating informed decision-making, this software helps users to assess business performance, monitor trends and identify improvement opportunities. Qvinci integrates with QuickBooks, Xero, MYOB and Excel to provide insightful reporting.
PowerBI: Microsoft created this technology to help businesses of all sizes make data-driven decisions. The software connects disparate data sets, transforms the data into models, and creates charts and graphs that help bring data to life allowing for data driven decisions.
How Accounting Software Makes Businesses More Efficient
Cloud-based technologies simplify data entry of accounting data, saving businesses time and money. Automation improves efficiency by reducing the time spent on mundane tasks. It gives CEOs useful information that they can use to effectively manage their businesses.
There’s a tremendous amount of value in using accounting automation software. A 2020 poll by Sage of 3,000 accounting professionals revealed that 58% of accountants found that technology had improved their efficiency and productivity. 91% of the respondents said technology had enabled them to focus on their clients and simply be more productive. Automating processes gives business owners and their teams the ability to focus on clients and strategy, rather than mundane repetitive tasks.
Find out how The A Team Consulting can offer automation solutions that are customized to address your company’s unique accounting needs . Our professional accountants and CFOs have extensive experience working with the accounting software solutions that automate and simplify financial processes that once had to be done manually. Let us help your business implement accounting software with repeatable workflows and templates. You can hire our fractional accountants on an as-needed basis at any stage of your project. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about how accounting automation software can help your business.