We all know that keeping our different IT systems in sync with each other can be a constant battle. In particular, the finance or accounting system is the most reliant on information from other systems, whether it be HR, payroll or CRM. Despite this, many organisations are put off by full integration and go through the tedious process of re-keying data from one system to the core accounting platform. However, these methods have many drawbacks compared with true integration that delivers automated updating of information between systems in real-time.
Here are some of the benefits you could be missing out on.
Reduced accounting administration
With a fully integrated accounting system, you can save hundreds of hours spent copying data from one place to another. This isn't the only problem; staff need the discipline to remember to copy data across systems, it also takes a huge amount of time in re-keying, formatting and checking. It makes far more sense to enter the data once and let technology take care of the rest. With modern integration methods there's no need to worry about varying file formats; you can simply use what are known as feeders' to monitor activity in one application and ensure it is replicated in the core accounting software system.
Elimination of accounting errors
If you have a number of different people manually moving data, then it will inevitably result in multiple errors, duplication of records or even lost information. Through integration you can side-step the middle ground' where mistakes occur, making your finance data more up to date and reliable.
Once your data starts being automatically updated in real-time, you can then prepare invoicing as soon as a product or service has been sold or delivered. Not only can you get the bills out faster, you can also be confident that the figures are accurate. Taking into account all the latest information from every department also means that no sales are overlooked and you bill for everything you sell.
Better credit control
Knowing who owes what and when can be crucial if you want to maximise your cash flow and chase outstanding debtors. By integrating your accounting software with other systems such as CRM or stock, you can create high level reports allowing managers or even account managers to spot customers that may be in trouble or identify those that should be given shorter or longer credit terms. Furthermore, if you use cloud accounting software, you can then access this information wherever you are.
If all your departmental managers have up to date information on expenditure then there are no excuses for over-spending. Having budgets that are always current means that both managers and finance professionals can keep a closer eye on purchasing, resulting in improved cash-flow and more effective future planning.
More accurate reporting and informed finance management decisions
An end of month report by its definition is out of date by the time it is compiled. Why not rely on daily reporting that can be created by managers themselves? With fully integrated accounting software, it is now possible to allow department heads and/or budget holders to see summary information, at a glance, on a range of subjects knowing that the facts and figures are based on information that has been gathered in real-time.
The business environment is more fragile than ever, so senior managers want the reassurance of knowing exactly what is happening in the business. By Having the most up to date financial data you can spot a problem with dwindling sales, outstanding debtors, soaring expenses or even a new sales opportunity, and take action before it is too late. This is made even more convenient through the use of online accounting software which can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
Save on IT costs
When older software systems become difficult to extract data from, it may be tempting just to replace them. However, rather than write off the investment, integration tools are capable of monitoring all types of third party applications regardless of the operating systems involved.