Chances are, you’re relying on more digital tools now than you were 10 years ago—but can you truly say you’re taking part in the digital transformation everyone keeps talking about?
If not, you might be behind the competition. According to the 2018 RHI Benchmarking Survey, 75% of firms are either currently using or plan to be using cloud-based technology in their accounting and finance functions.
If your firm falls into the 25% of respondents who are still on the fence about digitizing their payment collection processes, it might be time to reconsider.
For accountants, payment software is absolutely essential. Not only does it allow you to get paid for the services you offer, it is a touchpoint you have with all of your customers. Relying on outdated means of collecting payments (read: mailing out paper invoices, collecting checks and driving to the bank each week), not only slows your business down and takes time away from billable work, it could be hurting recruitment, employee morale and customer retention.
Yes, moving your business away from manual business processes in favor of automated, technology-driven processes requires an up-front investment, but the benefits can pay out 10-fold. Here’s how…
Why Accountants Need a Payment Software
1. Improved Cash Flow Thanks to Automatic Payments
Payment software makes automatic recurring payments simple to set up and even easier to collect. Without such a software, recurring payments require a large amount of manual, repetitive data entry—every month you would need to bill the same customers the same amount on the same day. However, thanks to automation processes built into payment software options like PaySimple, accountants can now experience more of a “set it and forget it” mentality.
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This makes the work of an accountant less monotonous and repetitive, and it also might lighten your administrative workload, meaning you can devote more time to billable client work. But the real benefit here is your company’s improved cash flow. Without the process of manually submitting invoices on a monthly basis, your company automatically processes payments on a schedule, giving you more clarity into your cash flow and reducing the chances that customers will pay late.
2. Import Data into Your Accounting Software
Manual entry is reduced with the use of a payment software. The other exciting side of that coin is the ability to import that data into your accounting software. Today, it’s hard to remember that accounting once required a manual entry for every item on a general ledger. Now, thanks to payment and accounting software integrations—like PaySimple’s integration with QuickBooks Online—data can be imported, exported, and integrated seamlessly.
This improvement in processes has benefited both individual accountants and their companies. Accountants save time and get to transition out of a data-entry role and into an audit/analytical role. Companies benefit from reducing the amount of potential human error, which has the impact of improving the accuracy of their books—win, win. The bottom line here is this: Efficiency is key.
3. Give Your Customers Options
Do you remember when everyone paid by check? Most checkbooks these days are collecting dust, but there was a time where this was the preferred method of paying a business invoice. Today, things are very different—the key to ensuring customer satisfaction is in providing multiple payment options.
Over 75% of consumers prefer to pay by credit card. Others might prefer to have the money paid through an ACH or eCheck payment. In any case, catering to the needs of your customers can be a vital differentiating factor for your company. By offering multiple payment options, you create a positive customer experience, making them that much more likely to return next time your services are needed.
4. Give Your Accounts Receivable Function a Facelift
Your accounts receivable team very likely drives the flow of cash into your business. As an accountant, you are likely tasked with managing and improving specific metrics, such as Inventory Turnover Ratio, or Days Sales Outstanding. Increasing positive cash flow into your business is very likely to be on that list, but how can you do that without a detailed understanding of your outstanding receivables?
Employing the right payment software will take this worry off your plate. One of the most powerful elements to payment software options like PaySimple is customer management and reporting. With the click of a few buttons, you can see what sales you have yet to collect on, how long they have remained unpaid, or which of your customers consistently pay late. Not only does this level of granularity serve your company well by reducing the time to collect on receivables, it also helps you look like a rockstar when it comes to crushing your numbers.
So, having reflected on the values of a quality payment software, you might now agree that the work (and life) of today’s accountant has been irrevocably improved by digital transformation. It is my hope that these improvements allow you to lead a life that is less stressful and more rewarding. A life where you ultimately have the ability to contribute greater value to your company, and in turn, the world.
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