11 Jun Small Businesses, This Crisis is Telling You That It Is Time to Modernize Your Processes
One of the silver linings, if there is such a thing, of this crisis for Clearline has been a realization of how ready we were as a firm for such a crisis. We have invested heavily in IT infrastructure over the last few years, especially when compared to other CPA firms. Our IT readiness included things such as laptops for all staff, remote server access, essential IT security hardware and software, our “Exchange” client file sharing portal, as well as round-the-clock IT assistance from BMC Networks (“BMC”). BMC is a Vancouver-based firm that we outsource most of our IT functions to and specializes in serving legal, financial and accounting firms. As such, all of our staff had the necessary resources to safely and securely work from home right away without any downtime whatsoever. It is our understanding that many other CPA firms, big and small, were much more negatively impacted by the social distancing rules and had to cease operations temporarily while they figured out how to have staff work from home. Others have still not made these investments and have had staff working in their offices in shifts to ensure proper social distancing.
The partners and employees of Clearline have strived to ensure that there was little to no impact in our service to you as a result of COVID-19 and we hope that we have hit that mark of service excellence.
We expect that investing in such IT resources has become a larger priority for most small business owners as a result of this experience. In the last few years we have been writing and discussing with our clients the need to modernize their accounting and information processing software. The benefits include, but are not limited to, being able to access business information anywhere, anytime. Other benefits include having more timely and accurate information, making it easier for clients to pay you thus speeding up collections, and finding ways to cut administrative and production costs. This means getting rid of dated software programs and moving to the cloud. It also means using more intelligent and automated data capturing and processing tools rather than relying on manual entry by a bookkeeper, or even worse the business owner.
To name just a few software applications we recommend, we have been helping clients convert to QuickBooks Online (“QBO”) for their accounting systems and using tools such as ReceiptBank and Plooto to capture invoices and receipts and automate collections and payments. You do not need to be a large company or have deep pockets to take advantage of these tools as we have implemented them for very small businesses and not-for-profit organizations. If you are interested in ditching the old ways of manual journal entries, financial statements that take months to produce, and internal reports that you just don’t trust to be accurate and start to take advantage of the benefits of process automation and cloud accounting, please contact us to start the discussion.