Accounting software can do a lot to make your business more successful whether you are a bookkeeper, a small business owner or part of the management at a corporation. The automation that is typical to accounting software brings ease, speed, and convenience to data entry, its categorisation, and its retrieval. You are able to eliminate human error; you get on the go insights that are live and updated and you have the tools to measure where the maximum resource bleed is taking place.

But simply adopting accounting software isn’t going to do the trick any more than simply buying a pair of dumbbells gets you automatically buffed up. Just like you need to train with your gym equipment or miscellaneous workout gear for it to have any tangible effect, you must correctly deploy your accounting software and encourage its full utilization for it to make a difference to your organization.

Here are 5 top tips as recommended by satisfied users of accounting software

Tip # 1: Don’t ignore the lower rungs of organizational hierarchy

Data entry tends to be an all-encompassing task – nearly everyone in the organisation probably needs to file expenses and nearly everyone on your sales team probably needs to clock company income. Why then do we only pick the brains of departmental heads – or the company boss – when considering our accounting software needs? Involve everyone who uses company funds or rakes in earnings.

It need not be a herculean exercise either. Send out a short questionnaire or hold a quick meet and simply ask yes and no questions that can be responded to by a show of hands. You can achieve both of these remotely.

Detailed insights can be invited in the same way that people hold a Q&A after a panel discussion or a lecture.

Tip # 2: Implement stricter submission deadlines

Ever had Deliveroo estimate order delivery in 20 minutes, only to get held up because your order isn’t ready yet at the restaurant?

Your accounting software is capable of giving you live and updated access to your company’s books but what they’re giving you is not going to be accurate if your people haven’t filed their expenses for the last six months and if your sales champs haven’t scanned their deal closures into the system.

Yes, you have access to your books because details flow directly from your business bank account to your books, but what you owe in terms of reimbursements is missing from the picture. Worse, anticipated earnings are missing from your forward cash flow calculations. You might miss out on an opportunity that calls for investment assuming you have fewer resources in the pipeline than you actually will have.

Set deadlines for expense submission and expense approval. Depending on what the norm is at your organization use either incentives or penalties (or both) to encourage your people to make on-time submissions.

Tip #3: Action insights quickly

So you’ve noticed some areas where you’re spending more than you should? But you’re swept off your feet with other tasks. Put someone on the job to fix it or have the department in the spotlight for the wrong reasons get their act together independently.

You need not get into the actual brainstorming and fixing – however, letting insights churned out by the software go unnoticed means that you are not making complete utilization of the software. It’s like buying those dumbbells we talked about earlier and picking them up only once a month.

Tip # 4: Hold a “training” and offer incentives for utilization

Every time you get a new smartphone or a new laptop, you do spend a few hours acclimatising, right? These are personal gadgets that you cannot do without. Now picture the same sentiment playing out for some new software that has been deployed at the workplace and you will realize that people are likely to procrastinate on figuring it out.

Hold a quick demo (don’t email it because that could result in procrastination again) that lasts no more than 15 minutes and offer some tangible incentive to the employees or teams that are able to show maximum use of the software and corresponding resource conservation. It doesn’t have to be something grand – maybe your sales team says they each save one hour every day because of the software. Reward the team by letting them off an hour early one Friday evening the following, perhaps? Make sure everyone knows what they got!

Tip # 5: Don’t assume that double-checking is no longer relevant

When a receipt, bill, or invoice is scanned the resulting entry must be checked by the user, and errors, if any, must be corrected.

Sure, your data travels automatically from your business bank account to your books but that does not mean you no longer need a bookkeeper – your bookkeeper must ensure that the data is accurate and complete.

The software also flags up errors and discrepancies in data. It is up to your accountants and bookkeepers to vet these and correct the course.

Accounting software is able to track deletions. It also saves a copy of all scanned images when an entry is captured from the scan. That means that damage from unscrupulous elements – if any – in your organization can be limited, but your accountant/ bookkeeper should be checking for these.

Opt for a free trial now and use these hands-on tips to understand the impact that the best software for cloud accounting can create.