Like other organizations, accounting services are subject to constant changes – especially in recent years with the advent of digitalization. However, as I defined in the article about Digital Accounting Confusion, simply digitizing business operations (for entrepreneurs and accountants alike) doesn't automatically lead to increased efficiency. So, what are the fundamental steps that accountants need to take for greater productivity?

Basics of Productivity and Factors in Accounting

This topic is quite extensive and needs to start from the very beginning – why there is inefficiency or where the reasons for the need for increased productivity lie. In my opinion, one of the key reasons can be found by opening any economics or business textbook. That reason is competition. The accounting industry is quite diverse, and experienced accountants often offer insightful observations about "how things are in our industry"... To put it positively – it's competitive. We can call it free competition, aggressive, even unfair – but the fact remains that in terms of supply and demand, this industry is anything but dull.

In addition to economic theory, we can immediately add aspects of modernization and changes in recent years. As mentioned in the introduction – yes, the world is becoming almost entirely digital. In the near future, every entrepreneur will probably put at least part of their business in an online, digital form – and this will also affect accountants... Especially when invoicing or payment transactions for entrepreneurs will also be automated, electronic, etc.

Foundations of Productivity and Automation in Accounting

In such an environment, accounting services must establish a solid foundation for their productivity and efficiency (automation) – these are, in my opinion, the foundations:

  • Adapting business processes,
  • Digitalizing business operations,
  • Conversions and imports,
  • Programs and systems.

Now, I will first pay some attention to the area of Adapting Business Processes, and in the future, I will cover the remaining aspects.

By the way – this very topic will also be part of the FREE SEMINAR we're organizing in DECEMBER. This is a particularly suitable moment when we're setting our New Year's resolutions – and I think every accountant should start acting in this direction. When if not now?

In such an environment, accounting services must establish a solid foundation for their productivity and efficiency (automation) – these are, in my opinion, the foundations:

This is how we get the first round of documentation. Of course – some things are missing. At the same time, the client has also opened a PayPal business account and now has (at least) 4 payment methods – with a card online, by pro forma invoice, cash on delivery, and now a new PayPal option... They've just noticed that Fintech (Financial technology companies – often also payment intermediaries) has also become popular recently.

Adapting Business Processes

Business processes, of course, occur in every organization, company – even in the case of individual entrepreneurs, so in all accounting services. These are certain procedures, tasks, and routines that we perform – as we've set up the workflow. Whether we've consciously and systematically established them or we just do things "this way" is a different question. And this can indeed be a key difference between productivity and non-productivity. Working "ad-hoc" can be efficient only to a certain extent. At some point, reflection on what, why, how, and when we do something becomes necessary. How tasks are executed, how our service flows, whether we use standardized procedures, forms, emails...


Stages of Adapting Business Processes

Essentially, there are multiple stages in adapting business processes:

  1. Identifying and defining the current state,
  2. Preparing and implementing changes,
  3. Evaluating progress and continuing improvements.

 

In the first stage, you need to determine the existing state. This essentially means observing and documenting how business is conducted, what procedures are in place – how we work, how we provide services. As I called this step in my book "Find and Document."

The next step of preparing and implementing changes essentially means improving the existing state. Bit by bit, you identify potential improvements and implement them. So, you start working "in a new way" – thoroughly considering what makes sense, how it could be more efficient, what doesn't need to be done at all, and what – in the spirit of novelty and change – has become necessary for us as well.

Finally, being aware that this isn't a one-time or completed process – rather, it's more of a "circular thing." You need to monitor and assess progress repeatedly and continue with improvements. This means nothing is set in stone; we operate according to a system while always keeping in mind that we strive to improve procedures and business processes.

To summarize – adapting processes means updating our perspective on how we deliver services, perform tasks, and how things flow in our business. This also involves studying modern trends, changes in the industry, customer needs, and the benefits of technological advancements. All of this is systematically introduced into the actual execution of our tasks and services, while continually seeking additional opportunities for improvement.

This is one of the foundations on the path to greater productivity and automation in accounting. Without this, we can't even know what we're dealing with and what we need.

This topic will be covered in even more detail in the seminar taking place on December 13, 2022, at 5:00 PM in the Ljubljana ABC HUB (BTC).

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).