When Automated Bookkeeping Isn’t Enough
I remember the first time someone told me that they were working on software that would automatically upload your expenses and categorize them into the right bucket. Wow, I thought – that would be a time saver. But reality quickly set in and we realized that no one had developed software that was judgement proof. Sure, you could upload your credit card statements and the software would sort through all of your expenses. But you still had to take the time to make sure that they landed in the right place and, often enough, they didn’t. So, not much time saved there.
What we quickly realized is that automatically uploading your credit card statement or your bank statement might be fine for very small companies or people who were self-employed, it rarely made a dent in the time we spend on our clients’ files. Once a business gets past the $1million mark (revenues or annual burn rate), it quickly develops a whole different set of accounting needs. If you’re selling software as a service, how do you deal with deferred revenue? How do you do determine the costs of a particular project? Is it a fixed asset or can it be immediately expensed? Those are the things we spend most of our time working on. And, by the time we get to the end of the month, most expenses have already been inputted and categorized. At that point, a bank rec takes minimal amount of time and uploading the Bank Statement can create more pain.
So, until someone really cracks the artificial intelligence of bookkeeping, there’s no easy way out!