The workload for accounting professionals in 2021 is markedly different from even 2 years ago. The pandemic and its economic implications have added to an already heavy workload and much like their clients, bookkeepers are learning to pivot and re-assess their business practices regularly.
If it wasn’t already apparent, using the right technology tools not only aids bookkeepers in visibility across workload and easily collaborating with their clients and teams - it’s also crucial in maintaining and growing a bookkeeping business in modern times. It’s a vital part of adding value to your clients, while increasing your bottom line (without having to lose your sanity in the process).
The repetitive tasks of bookkeeping and auditing are the perfect place for AI solutions and automation to be integrated. And embracing tech solutions to help you level up in your professional services is not just smart, it’s lucrative. Here’s why - and how - you can use AI audit and workflow management tools (and automation) to help take your productivity to the next level:
AI and machine learning have allowed bookkeepers to evolve their professional services, moving from number-crunchers and data entry professionals to trusted advisors. They’re able to use technology to add value to the profession and their clients.
No longer do bookkeepers have to waste non-billable time checking work or their team’s work. Many mundane but necessary checks like ABN and GST cross-checks can now be easily automated, freeing up time and brain space for bookkeepers to focus on what really matters in serving their clients.
At XBert we have more than 60 AI Audit risk alerts checking your Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks data multiple times a day, flagging any errors, inconsistencies and patterns as they arise. This reduces a whole host of your manual tasks and but eliminates the headaches of discovering inconsistencies and errors on BAS, TPAR or EOFY deadlines.
Artificial intelligence and machine learning is being used in many ways to help bookkeepers reduce risk and liability not just for their clients, but their own businesses.
As the volume of online transactional data increases, so does the potential for fraud, manual accounting error and dishonest payments. This has made compliance a lot more complex – but AI can review the data at speed, in almost real time. Detecting anomalies like duplicate invoices or bills, unusual spending, billing or transactions, GST anomalies, coding errors, ABN checks (even across the attachments on your bills and invoices) – these all save you, as a bookkeeper time and money. Not to mention the headache of finding these at a late stage - or when it’s too late.
In XBert, each of these alerts have quick links to resolve the issue within the accounting software. They’re also written in a way that’s easy to understand for your clients, so if there’s an issue that needs overseeing from their perspective, you can easily assign it to them and ask them to take the appropriate resolution steps.
If you’re looking to grow or scale your business, working from complicated spreadsheets and checklists as long as your arm is just not sustainable. Using a smart workflow tool is a simple way for you to streamline, standardise and automate your processes, tasks and schedules.
XBert’s Templates allow you to create standard workflow templates for all your recurring processes like BAS, Monthly Reconciliation, Payroll, Superannuation and End of Financial Year (EOFY). You can set them to occur on different schedules for your different client types and assign them to a particular role within your business.
Not only does this drastically reduce your manual tasks, it also removes the margin for error or miscommunication, increases productivity and ensures a standardized offering of services for all your clients. Onboarding new clients is a breeze - and so is onboarding new staff. There is no room for ambiguity when there is a standardised, automated workflow checklist for every process. It also enables you to easily manage your teams (and your own) workflow, so if there are gaps or errors in the process you’re more easily able to identify them and upskill your staff or manage workload accordingly.
Smart AI and machine learning will even start to help you grow your advisory services more efficiently and easily. You can be alerted to issues, inconsistencies and even behavioural patterns in the data as they arise, which will allow you to provide proactive, smart advice to your clients in a timely manner...without a whole lot of extra leg work from you.
Using XBert’s analytics and business intelligence reports, you have quick access to high quality data that’s presented in a way that’s readable (and useful) for you to make high-quality predictions and share with your clients. This is a game changer for advisory in any bookkeeping practice. A bookkeeper is no longer a simple data entry professional, they can play a more advisory role. Think one click reports on your client’s business health, with shareable links to send through to them for overview. This will change the game for your relevance, value add and help you open meaningful conversations with your clients.
What’s more, having quick access to analytics and reports on client files is changing the way bookkeepers bill clients, manage their time and run their day-to-day. Whether it’s checking a new client’s file health so you can onboard (and charge) in an appropriate manner, or finding meaningful insights to share with your clients about their business – it’s a win/win.
XBert is your trusty sidekick, tirelessly checking the data for errors and helping you manage workflow easily.
Sign up for a 30 day obligation-free trial, load up a Xero, MYOB or QuickBooks files and our customer success team will be in touch to show you how XBert will work best, for you!