Like most things, bookkeeping and accounting practices have seen some changes during the pandemic. And many of them have led to simpler, more streamlined processes for businesses. As teams adapt to working remotely, internet based software and apps are more important than ever. Today, Managing Partner John Geraci, CPA, MST and Janine Danielson, CPA, Managing Director of the outsourced management accounting team, discuss some of technology that’s helping businesses maintain and improve their accounting processes.
Full Transcript:[John]: Hi, John Geraci here, Managing Partner at LGA. And I’m here with Janine Danielson, who is the Managing Director of our outsource management accounting practice. So thanks for joining me today, Janine.
[Janine]: No, happy to talk about the subject.
[John]: So just wanted to spend a few minutes talking about how this pandemic has sort of shifted the accounting and bookkeeping function with a lot of organizations. And I guess just from a big picture standpoint, Janine, what’s the major change that’s occurred.
[Janine]: Big picture really can be summed up paper versus paperless. Some companies that were heavy paper with the flow of information and working together, it clearly has been disrupted now that we’re all remote.
[John]: Yeah. So yeah, I suppose there’s been a lot of manual processes that had to sort of go to an electronic process. So as you think about it, a lot of organizations well were actually well teed up for this, and they were already prepared for sort of a remote working environment. What are the technologies and tools that they’re leveraging that made it more seamless for them?
[Janine]: Sure. For an accounting software, the individuals that switched from switch from QuickBooks, desktop, local server, local computer to QuickBooks Online 24 – 7 Online, that was a switch that QuickBooks online is not a new software. People have heard of it, but that was, that was a switch. And secondly, online banking. So individuals that again were using not paper checks, electronic checks, some have been doing that. And now some have quickly adapted that technology.
[John]: Yeah. So there’s obviously you can go through, you can go right to your bank account and actually pay bills online. Some people leverage, you know, bill.com that might be a familiar term. So yeah, there’s definitely been some technology for them to leverage and it seems like it’s actually increasing. I thought I read recently something about not just the integration of, uh, online bank feeds to QBO, but actually the automatic producing of statements to QuickBooks.
[Janine]: Yes. Yes. I think based on the pandemic Intuit has been extremely busy since March making enhancements and we get, we get updates and news feeds on a regular basis. And that one is a very, very new one that you’re talking about. So that one, if your bank supports, it will automatically download the monthly bank statement to the bank rec section. But even if your bank doesn’t support it, then you can as a user go and download that statement and upload it to the bank rec section. It is a great, great feature for the preparer. And then also someone that’s reviewing the bank rec is really just a click PDF away.
[John]: That’s wild. Yeah. I imagine it’s going to be changing fast and furious. So now there’s also a lot of apps that integrate with QuickBooks. And, um, again, as we continue to shift to more of an electronic based processes world, how are these apps sort of taking shape and making an impact?
[Janine]: Yeah. So before where companies knew that there was apps out there, but didn’t need it because again, their flow of paper didn’t support it in ‘electronic world’. Now people are actually looking at those apps with a closer eye and one is expense reporting. We all have employees that need to be reimbursed for expenses. So, Oh, there’s an app called Expensify. That’s wonderful. That works very, very well with QuickBooks. And basically the old process was that an employee would fill out their, their expense report and staple the receipts and leave it on someone’s desk. So now that has gone away Expensify, the employee will take a picture with their phone. They’ll upload, send that expense report to the approver. And then finally the reimbursement will be, by the accounting department, in their bank account. So all paperless, very, very easy to use.
[John]: Wow. Yeah. And I’m sure that’s, and that’s been around for a little while, but again, a lot of people have been sort of thrust into adopting new technology. And I think the app world would probably be very busy trying to solve other issues and processes moving forward. So I guess final thoughts are sort of from, uh, as any of this resulted in a shift in the way that organizations have their accounting functions performed. I.E. You know, obviously there’s always been sort of an in-house versus an outsource model. Have you seen a shift for people sort of moving it from an in house and now starting to outsource it to organizations more than you might’ve seen before?
[Janine]: Yes. Yes. People are embracing it again where their process didn’t really require it or need it now looking at it is a cost savings and time. And again, every, every business is different, but also it can be customizable. So if you had an individual or, uh, many hats and accounting was one it’s hard in a remote environment to still maintain the quality of what that individual did with all the other duties that they had. So we’re certainly seeing a shift based on internal controls, segregation of duties, and basically using a little, or using a lot. And depending on the volume of their business that can change very, very quickly and easily in an outsource model, more than a remote working mode.
[John]: Sure. Yeah. Obviously in an outsource, it’s very scalable, right? I mean, as more demands, you just, you require more time with the outsource provider, less demands you, this, you pay less and use less. So, um, this has been extremely helpful Janine, uh, I, I hope that if anyone has any follow up questions, they’ll absolutely reach out to Janine and the entire OMA team here at, uh, LGA. I’m sure we can answer any questions that you have and sort of direct you as you sort of migrate your processes to a, more of a virtual based remote process. And or if you’re considering any outsourcing, uh, they’d be happy to talk to you about how they can satisfy those needs as well. So thanks Jeanine.
[Janine]: Thank you, John. Appreciate it.