The complete guide to accounting automation
What is accounting automation?
Accounting automation uses software to handle financial operations with minimal or no human involvement. You can automate everyday accounting tasks, including updating financial records, creating invoices, preparing financial statements, reconciling accounts, budgeting and forecasting.
Traditionally, businesses built complex ledger files and spent countless hours on analysis and maintenance. Now, accounting automation software gives companies a faster, more efficient way to handle the tasks in their accounting workflows.
What are the benefits of accounting automation?
As accounting automation software follows strict rules, data input is controlled and accurate. For example, if you update data in one place in your software, it’ll update your financial records. Having reliable, up-to-date data helps you make better decisions and avoid costly business mistakes.
Better data quality
Manual bookkeeping is a tedious, time-consuming process. Accounting software automates data entry and reconciliation tasks. This automation removes the need for manual checks and keeps everything in sync.
With automation in accounting, searching for data won't require you to sift through stacks of paper. Organising your finances and finding transaction records is easy using a single, easy-to-use dashboard.
Accounting automation software can help you maintain compliance. For example, when payroll is integrated into your accounting software, you may benefit from single-touch payroll reporting to the ATO, or automated payday filing to the IR.
The automation of tasks like accounts payable approval workflows and the issuing of invoices makes these processes more efficient. Integrating systems in your company can enable workflow automation, while simplifying data sharing and improving communication.
Cash flow visibility
Poor cash flow management is dangerous for any business. Automation in accounting helps companies understand their real-time cash flow. Planning for expenses and making informed financial decisions is easier with a clear picture of current cash position, income and expenses.
Accounting automation software relieves accountants of tedious manual tasks, such as data entry and reconciliation. This frees up capacity for them to focus on higher-value work and generate more revenue by offering additional services.
With cloud-based accounting automation software, you can complete accounting tasks on your mobile. Whether you need to capture an expense or make a payment, it’s easy to do it from your smartphone.
Accounting automation software, such as the MYOB Capture app, allows you to take a photo of your receipt and leverage machine-learning to extract the data and automatically populate a bill in your accounting software — no data entry required.
Secure data and file storage
Digital records reduce the need for physical storage space and increase data security. Additionally, cloud accounting software automatically backs up, so that you don’t need to manage this process yourself.
Accounting automation software can generate reports quickly. Managers and accountants can use these reports to analyse trends and guide their company or client's financial and strategic decision-making.
Due to accounting automation, accountants have more time for analysis and strategy. With less time spent on repetitive tasks, these experts can spend more time upskilling to unlock more value and offer their clients additional services.
Accounting automation: how to get started
1. Document your accounting processes
To determine what you can automate, assess the day-to-day tasks in your accounting workflow and identify the ones you'd like to move off your plate. Among the options are:
budgeting and forecasting
2. Choose a software solution
Once you've identified what you can automate, look for software that offers the features you need. Some key things to consider:
Cloud-based software lets you work from anywhere, while also looking after your data storage, security and back-up.
Automatic bank reconciliation gives you an accurate, up-to-date view of your business’ cash flow.
An open platform allows you to simplify your working day by connecting other apps to your accounting software.
MYOB Business offers automatic bank reconciliation and integrates with more than 350 apps. It’s easy to manage everything from point of sale to email marketing. Want to see if MYOB is right for you? Try your free 30-day trial.
3. Set up and test an accounting workflow
There are three key steps to accounting workflows in automation software:
The trigger is the event that starts the automated workflow.
The action is the response the software takes after the trigger event.
The outcome is the desired result.
If you’re using customisable software like MYOB Advanced Business, testing new workflows is essential to ensure the triggers and actions deliver the desired outcome and user experience every time.
Work with your implementation partner to decide which financial processes to automate and to customise your workflows to suit your business structure and needs.
Accounting software FAQs
Does accounting automation remove the need for accountants?
Automation helps make financial operations more efficient and cost-effective — but it doesn’t remove the need for accountants, who provide companies with the insights and analysis they need for strategic decision-making.
Recent CPA Practice Advisor data shows that 86% of accountants expect technology to drive business growth. Automation improves systems and processes so accountants can spend less time on menial, repetitive tasks. With reliable data and better analytics, accountants can make better, more strategic decisions to help their clients and companies.
Is accounting automation software secure?
Accounting automation software is cloud-based and highly secure. It uses encryption technology and the most advanced security features to protect financial data. This level of security is critical as cybercriminals may target sensitive financial information.
How long does it take to get up to speed with new accounting automation software?
While switching to automation in accounting tasks may seem daunting, the good news is MYOB makes it easy. The MYOB Academy offers hundreds of free courses, with many short lessons you can complete in 5-45 minutes.
The self-service learning modules include all the critical topics of accounting automation, such as:
Benefit from accounting automation with MYOB
MYOB is a business management platform that allows you to connect all key workflows with your accounting system, so that your financial information is always up to date.
With MYOB you can manage your customers, employees, suppliers, projects, finance, accounting and taxes, all in one place. And, with accounting automation built into all plans, you can benefit from the efficiency gains and accuracy that automation in accounting delivers — whatever your business size. Get started with MYOB today.
Disclaimer: Information provided in this article is of a general nature and does not consider your personal situation. It does not constitute legal, financial, or other professional advice and should not be relied upon as a statement of law, policy or advice. You should consider whether this information is appropriate to your needs and, if necessary, seek independent advice. This information is only accurate at the time of publication. Although every effort has been made to verify the accuracy of the information contained on this webpage, MYOB disclaims, to the extent permitted by law, all liability for the information contained on this webpage or any loss or damage suffered by any person directly or indirectly through relying on this information.