The main promise of IT experts when introducing computers and machines into modern business – including accounting services – was that technology would help us save time and money. But has it? A typical example of extraordinary progress and innovation in business is the solutions provided by Fintech companies – at the same time, they cause a lot of headaches for accountants... many times, they complain that they feel like they've gone back 10 years (in terms of how this documentation is processed).

Foundations of Productivity and Automation in Accounting

This is the third article in the series about the foundations of productivity and automation in accounting. We've already covered topics such as Digitalization in Accounting and Adapting Business Processes in Accounting Services. In January, we also invite you to a highly interesting free seminar where we will delve deeper into this topic and have a candid discussion about the best approaches.

Digitalization is Not Just Replication

So, we talked about digitalization last time – but if there's one thing to remember, it's that digitalization can't just be a replication on a computer screen. The majority of effort in digitalization needs to be focused on enabling us to automatically import and process data – without retyping and manual work. In other words, having data automatically "fly" into our information systems.

Once again – by the way, this topic (and others in the series) will also be part of the FREE SEMINAR we're organizing in January.

Practice in Importing Data

In recent years, a method of working in accounting has become popular where, for example, data about bank transactions is obtained in the form of an XML file. This is a structured data file that can be easily imported into any accounting software. Similarly, we're becoming accustomed to directly importing various other documentation (such as issued invoices, daily sales reports, etc.).

This practice has also led to enormous time savings, reduced the number of errors, and relieved us of unwanted manual work and verification. Many accountants still remember how frustrating it was to search for errors in entries when you finish an extract with 40 or 50 transactions and the closing balance doesn't match.

Fintech Solutions Don't Allow XML Export

As the volume of entrepreneurs' online transactions increases, so does the amount of transactions conducted through Fintech providers. And here comes a typical example of inefficiency in accounting... Most of these modern solutions don't allow entrepreneurs to obtain XML files in the way traditional banks do. This leaves us in a dilemma of what to do with all this data and these transactions. If we try to process them "manually" – whether through manual entries or transforming CSV and Excel files and preparing them for import – we waste a lot of time, and the data is usually not well-prepared, requiring many things to be manually recorded.

 

Other Examples of "Poor" Data

There are even more examples of this – for instance, non-standardized forms of sales data prepared by specific business (POS) program providers; various reports on traffic on payment-credit cards, combined personal-business accounts of sole proprietors – and we could continue listing more. What they all have in common is that working with this documentation is considerably more time-consuming, more errors occur, more coordination is needed... and entrepreneurs sometimes find it difficult to understand why the processing of this documentation also leads to higher accounting costs.

Savings in Time and Added Value by Accountants

There's no greater harm in accounting services than a highly skilled individual manually typing data and searching for nonsensical discrepancies in entries. This is not just about time and nerves – it's also a question of – what's the added value of such personnel? What's the cost per hour of their work – and at what price can we charge for such mundane tasks (typing)? We'll tell you right away – the calculation doesn't work out here. Just think – can you charge a client 100 EUR or more for processing one PayPal statement – which means 2 hours of data entry (let's say a few hundred transactions)? "It's just 3 pages," the client will say.

The savings aren't only in terms of conversions – the other sections of this topic (foundations of efficiency and automation in accounting) are important as well... and all of this will be the theme of the seminar taking place on January 11, 2023, at 5:00 PM in the Ljubljana ABC HUB (BTC).

Conversion and Importing Speed Up Your Processes

When documentation is digitized in a way that enables actual direct import and data processing, you've made some progress. This is reflected in exceptional time savings that you'll achieve. It also has another impact – the speed and up-to-dateness of your service. This way, you can process a client faster, and even at the end of the month, you might have a day left for calmer work, instead of rushing to submit tax returns at the last minute.

To summarize – conversions and imports are crucial for operating in this evolving business environment. Without this, we often regress to manual work, retyping, and time-consuming posting and checks. In accounting services, it's essential to strive to obtain virtually all data in a way that it can be imported – only in this way can we remain efficient and enable accountants to dedicate their time to tasks and work with higher added value.

The development of DigiAce is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund.
The development of DigiAce is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia and the European Union from the European Regional Development Fund, with a financial support of EUR 54,000 under the P2 2022 call.
 The aim of DigiAce is to automate the import of statements and transactions when dealing with FinTech providers. This promotes the transition to digital and more efficient business operations and encourages the recruitment of high value-added staff.
Short description of the results of the operation:
The operation has developed, refined and commercialised a web application for the conversion of business data through FinTech providers and its direct import into accounting and ERP software. In addition, we have developed and integrated the Bankconnect module, which allows a significantly simplified direct retrieval of bank statements also from traditional banks. Within the project, we have prepared the basics for building an API interface for more modern integration with other applications. In addition, the project implemented a number of other solutions, such as integration with the CRM system, integration with the payment and subscription system (Stripe) and a multilingual website - including a back-end multilingual interface (application).