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Must-have Features in Your Accounting Software

Jun 7, 2022 | By Susanna Williams | 0 Comments

Topics: Technology, Firm Operations

It’s critical for firm owners to keep a close eye on cash flow and expenses. But with so many responsibilities weighing on you, you need a little help managing accounts receivable, accounts payable, and payroll so you don’t have to do it all manually. This is where accounting software comes in. 

Cloud-based accounting software with comprehensive financial reporting will help you build and maintain an accounting system that enables your firm to save time and prevent errors in your financial information.

The best time and expense software for A/E and professional services industries includes features like automated billing and invoicing, project accounting, expense tracking, and inventory management. Read on to determine which features your firm needs, their benefits, and how to get started with accounting software.

What Accounting Software Features Do You Need?

Automation

Digital accounting solutions let you automate bookkeeping, making it simple to organize receipts, reconcile a project’s financial data, and integrate with your bank account to send or receive payment. When your financial reporting is done for you by a machine, you can be positive the numbers are correct.

Automated reminders give your employees and clients a nudge when it’s time to submit a timecard, expense report, or payment for services — saving you from doing it yourself. Using an accounting platform like BQE CORE makes it easy to adopt repeat billing, which is perfect for when you frequently bill clients for a subscription or similar services regularly.

Accounting software also lets you create and send quotes and estimates to your clients and leads in minutes, and with professional-looking templates, there’s no need to start from scratch. Just customize the template for your client and email it to them. 

Categorization

A digital accounting tool lets you organize and sort your financials in various ways and in great detail. The best part is: It’s done automatically with the option to change categorization yourself later.

Once you sync your company’s bank accounts and credit cards with your accounting software, expenses and payments will appear on the platform and can be classified into the categories you’ve set (e.g., office expenses or travel expenses). Categorized expenses will also appear in your reporting dashboard, so you can run financial reports in seconds that tell you how profitable a project or phase was, where expenses are high, show balances, and predict future cash flow. Having this crucial data at your disposal in a centralized place gives you and other project stakeholders the power to make important decisions fast. 

For additional insights, you can use your accounting software to categorize transactions by clients in specific industries and different client levels, as well as track clients across bank transactions and payment methods.

Data and Reporting

Accounting software gives you the in-depth financial reporting your organization needs and makes it instantly accessible. The right platform will help you collect, manage, report on, and analyze your revenue, expenses, and tax data, keeping you organized and compliant year-round. 

With BQE CORE, instead of manually creating new reports every time you need to share cash flow updates at your board meeting or project expenses at a check-in, you can conveniently pull a polished report from your real-time dashboard. Auto-generated reports calculate KPIs faster than your team can and you can set up recurring reports to be emailed directly to the people who need specific figures. 

Some of the BQE CORE reports that business owners most commonly use include profit & loss, balance sheet, trial balance, and general ledger. These reports help you understand if a particular project is more effective than another so that you can replicate that success in future projects.

24/7 Live Support

When you’re dealing with your business and need to make decisions on the fly, you need a platform that will keep up with you and deliver the information you need when you need it. Picking a platform with a responsive, readily available customer support team is crucial, especially if something goes wrong. If there’s a glitch with your accounting solution or your numbers aren’t making sense, you’ll want the provider to be able to give you an immediate response.

Benefits of Time and Expense Software for A/E and Professional Services Firms

Capture all hours and dollars

21% of small business owners admit they don’t know enough about bookkeeping, which is why many would benefit from outsourcing their manual accounting to reliable accounting software. Your firm can’t afford to miss out on any revenue or fail to account for labor.

BQE CORE tracks everything in real time by connecting to your bank/credit card provider, collecting all of your transactions, and categorizing them. This saves you so much time each week in data entry and prevents any input errors.

When you use a powerful time and expense software for accountants with receipt capture, digital storage means you never lose a receipt and can’t expense it. With the BQE CORE app, just take a picture of your receipt and the app turns it into a digital receipt, converting its details into an expense record, including sales tax and expense type.

Other BQE CORE features that ensure you track your firm’s money and employees’ time include overtime compliance, which makes it easy to automatically comply with hour/wage regulations, and budget forecasting, which helps track your spending and increase profits.

Organization

In 2022 and beyond, every firm needs to shift from physical organization to digital. Digital records are much more manageable as your company scales, hires, and adds more clients. On average, workers spend 50% of their time searching for information, taking up to 18 minutes to locate each document. Archiving, sorting through, reviewing, and sharing documents is quicker, more accurate, and more automatable when you keep cloud-based records. It’s also simpler to share with your collaborators and ensure they have access to what they need.

Tax compliant

Unlike doing your own tax preparation or hiring a professional, with accounting software, you can always be sure it’s up to date on changes to tax laws and regulations. Filing taxes for your company is intimidating, especially if you haven’t kept 100% accurate records throughout the year.

With software that centralizes your financial history and prevents errors, you can ensure that your filing won’t include costly errors. For this peace of mind alone, it’s worth making the move to digital bookkeeping and tax prep. You also save time on filing and have detailed, easily accessible records in case you’re audited.

Security

Accounting and financial software is encrypted to protect your company’s, employees’, and clients’ sensitive information and securely store your data. Centrally storing your firm’s accounting information is significantly safer than emailing documents back and forth between colleagues. With BQE CORE, you can schedule the reports to send recurring reports automatically, so you offer your collaborators transparency but share data more securely than attaching an email file.

These digital solutions are designed to be extremely private and secure. In 88% of cases, human error is to blame for cloud breaches, not cloud providers.

BQE Firm Management and Accounting Solutions

Using accounting software for your firm syncs all of your financial records, automates detailed reporting, saves you time, and ensures data accuracy. With BQE CORE’s accounting software, firm owners can automate and add structure to processes for recording and categorizing transactions, reconciling accounts, and creating financial reports that help you increase profits and work more efficiently.  

BQE CORE includes all of the accounting features you need and even more, including expense tracking, time tracking, project management tools, and automated billing. Handle all aspects of your business with flexibility when you work on the go using the CORE mobile app. Sign up for your free trial of BQE CORE or find more resources on our blog to learn more about how time and expense software can help your firm.

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The Author

Susanna Williams

Susanna Williams is the Content Marketing Manager at BQE Software. She has spent 10 years in the marketing field writing and researching for industries that include software, engineering, architecture, health and wellness, legal, education, and more.

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