The last couple of years has seen the accountancy market in the Netherlands changing, accountants facing new changes and challenges. New government regulations, clients more critical of service pricing and wanting more insight into what their accountant actually – in other words, they want ‘more value’. As such, there’s an ongoing discussion among a group of accountants on how their business should change to make it more transparent and provide the extra value their clients are looking for (see TUACC, in Dutch).
Collaboration between accountants and clients is one of the foundations of Exact Online. The accountancy solution already contains a lot of functionality that helps the accountant work together with clients. However, to help accountants realise their goals, we need to provide even more tools to increase efficiency and add value. During discussions and workshops with accountants we have identified several areas where we can help even more. Having already released a new version of Exact Online with new options to promote further collaboration, further functionality to help accountants check the financial status of clients is also on the way…
Activating functionality in clients administrations
You work with a client in Exact Online, having access to their administrations. They have assets but do not want to do all the registration work, asking you to do it for them. With the new Accountancy version you can now activate the assets functionality in the client’s administration, allowing you to do the asset registration and processing. The functionality is only visible to you. The only thing the client will notice are the financial results.
You can activate payroll, budgeting and banking functionality in the same way. This functionality is currently available for accountants with the Exact Online Accountancy Advanced solution.
Sometimes a client’s administration activities are stopped, but for legal reasons they still need to have access to the financial data. In November we will release the option to archive your administrations. This means that you cannot enter or change any of the data in the administration, but can still view it. Archived administrations are not free – when you archive an administration an archive administration will be added to your license in place of the previous fee due.
It is very common for clients to collect all their purchase invoices, receipts and other documents, put them in a shoe box and deliver it to the accountant. The accountant than has to make sure it is entered manually in the financial system so it can be processed. This involves a lot of work and is not very efficient. Fortunately technology has advanced in such a way that there is a better way to handle the documents. With the Scanning service in Exact Online it is no longer necessary to manually enter purchase invoices from the documents. The client can scan his invoices and upload them in Exact Online. The scans are sent to the scan service where the invoices are transformed to entry proposals. The only thing you have to do is check the proposal and press the button to create the entry. Even better, this functionality is also integrated in the Exact Online iPhone and Android apps! Simply take a picture of the invoice or receipt and upload it to Exact Online using the app (for more information or to download the app see the Apple app store or the Andriod market).
The scanning service is currently in controlled release, but we expect it to become generally available in the coming months. Feel free to join the controlled release program if you want to know more right now.
Over the last couple of weeks the development team created three new overviews that will help you decide which of your clients needs attention based on their financial results. These overviews will become available in November.
The first overview will show all the clients and administrations you have access to in Exact Online with some key financial figures for a period (revenue, margin, DSO, etc). The overview also shows the difference between the reported period and the previous period. Administrations will be marked if there are big differences between the compared periods, so that you can quickly see which clients need your attention.
With the second overview you can easily compare the period results on general ledger account level for an administration with the results of another period. You have great flexibility which periods you want to compare, for example the overview has standard options to compare the period results with the same periods in the previous year or with the previous periods. This allows you to look for differences between comparable periods.
You see that revenue has dropped 30% compared to last period? It could be that the client has forgotten to book some invoices, or maybe sales were really down. In any case it is worth a call to your client.
The last overview shows in which journals general ledger accounts have been entered. This will allow you to easily spot entry mistakes that need to be corrected. For example when a bank account entered in a general journal is not something that you would expect to see.
I hope that with this functionality we will help you work more closely and more efficiently with your clients. But our work does not stop here, we have more plans and ideas that we will realize in future releases. We will keep you informed on these developments, so keep an eye out for more posts on this blog. If you have ideas for functionality in Exact Online that would further help you in your work let us know in the comments or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Top image credit: www.SeniorLiving.org