One of the most important tasks we carry out as business professionals is our bookkeeping. Accounting is not only a legal requirement, but this financial information is what allows us to make intelligent business decisions. The most we understand about our company’s finances, the more information we have available to help us improve our profitability.

Not that long ago accounting required a ton of manual labour. Even simple inquiries would require us to pour over our books to find the data we need. Today, technology has made this process incredibly simple. Let’s take a look at the 5 technologies that have streamlined our accounting procedures.

1. Digital Communications

Gone are the days where we’d have to spend months locating a suitable candidate for our training systems. We no longer need to spend a day going door to door in order to meet with our banks and financial professionals. Today, almost all financial matters can be taken care of over the internet. Even lenders are now moving to an online-only system. Cashfloat, for example, is a popular lender that doesn’t require any in-person visits. They’ve modified their financial systems to work entirely over the internet. Even when it comes to getting your books done, often all it takes is a quick email with a few attachments to complete the procedure. Historically we’d need to spend a few hours going between the printer and the post office to complete the same task.

2. Mobile Access

Tired of waiting for your employees to turn in the receipts from their business expenses? Most accounting software is now mobile accessible. This allows staff to snap a quick photo of their receipts the minute the transactions take place, so you’ll never be left wondering where your money is going. If you’re looking to check up on your books to make a quick business decision, often all you’ll need is a few quick taps on your phone and you can have all the data you need available at a glance.

3. Optical Character Recognition

In the past, you’d need to have dedicated accounting staff to manually dig through a huge pile of receipts and enter them manually. Thanks to OCR, or Optical Character Recognition, your software can automatically read receipt scans and images for you automatically. All your staff needs to do is quickly double check the numbers for errors, and enter a description if necessary. This means that your books can always be up to date, with very little manual work.

4. Software Integration

You probably have different pieces of software for everything. One program to handle payroll, another tax, and another for internal use. Today, all of these systems should talk to each other. Whenever you make a change to your payroll, the data should be automatically updated in all of your other systems. This saves you tons of work balancing your books and prevents there from being any discrepancies.

5. Access Management

There are two reasons why it’s important to manage access. First, this mitigates the risk of employee fraud or theft. But aside from the rare occasions where an employee will attempt to behave dishonestly, access management simply makes the lives of your staff easier. If you have a manager who needs to track purchasing expenses, why should he have to dig through pages of irrelevant content? Access management ensures that users of your financial system only see the information they need. This saves them time and your money.