The Blurred Lines Between Practice & Accounting Software
As technology evolves in the accounting industry, the options available when it comes to accounting software are evolving with it. To put it simply, there are two distinct areas:
- Accounting software for businesses (Client software) – The accounting software a plumber, doctor or logistics company e.g. non-accounting practice may use.
- Business software for accountants (Practice management software) – The practice management software accountants use to run their firm and deliver services to their clients.
Over time, the line between client software and practice management software has become blurred.
In the pre-cloud era the most common providers of client software were generally MYOB or Reckon Accounts (formerly Quickbooks), but a lot of people also used a shoebox to keep their records. Global software businesses saw an opportunity in this, and over time Xero has taken a large share of the market to become the market leader. Competition has come from MYOB Essentials, Reckon One, Kashbooks, Saasu, Banklink, Wave, Sage One, Zoho Books & many more.
This is great for businesses that want accounting software to help run their business, but where does that leave the accountant? If you do work in the client ledger, you can find yourself using 10 different pieces of software on any given day. Then there’s also catering to the process for the non-cloud clients, as well as the clients using ERP systems, or a spreadsheet. This means a lot of different processes for the accountant which makes it hard for the teams.
A solution to this problem is one that starts with the accountant, rather than the client. Utilising cloud technology in your Practice Software to ‘Collect’ client data on a regular basis.
Cloud technology can do the work:
- Collecting from your clients’ cloud ledgers, whatever they are using.
- Collecting data from client’s desktop ledger where appropriate.
- Importing data from ERP system
- Standardizing that data in your practice software in a consistent format.
This then allows you to do your work in your own system, and then push the adjustments back into the client ledger irrespective of what software they’re using.
The McDonald’s brand grew to be as strong as it is on the consistency of its product. When you walk into a McDonald’s in Paris, the burgers smell and taste the same as they do in New York or Sydney. Consistency in product and process helps businesses scale effectively.
Using a tool to collect and standardize your data means that you are keeping all the data in one place – your system. This is also “Validated Data”, not source data. Having it all in one place, and in a standard format means you can analyse it and compare it.
APS has been developed with this in mind, as the platform designed for accountants.
Written by David Burke
To find out more about APS software, visit www.aps-software.com.
APS is a division of Reckon, an ASX listed company. We develop the software used by the best Accounting Firms in Australia and New Zealand to run their business’ and advise their clients.
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