If ever there was a software tool that’s changed accounting, it’s the Excel spreadsheet. Excel has been an ever-present application in the accounting toolbox since 1985. Whether you’ve used it as a basic spreadsheet, or calculation tool, or to run forecasts, Excel has always been there to get you out of any accounting scrapes.
But with Excel fast approaching its 40th birthday, it may well be time to partner your spreadsheets with one of the new digital accounting kids on the block.
At AccountKit we love Excel, but we also know it’s time to embrace a 21st century way of getting your calculations and compliance work done and dusted.
That’s why AccountKit and Excel are your dynamic duo – ready to jump into action whenever a villainous client returns!
Why Excel has always been your compliance champion
In a traditional accounting firm, compliance is king. For every engagement, there are a multitude of different tasks to get right, calculations to make and data to collect, sort and analyse. And Excel has always been there, ready to step into the breach.
Excel is the simple, familiar way to collect this compliance data and juggle with the numbers. An old friend that you know inside out, with the formulas and shortcuts you need to quickly check the numbers and get the outputs you need.
5 challenges with using Excel for compliance
Excel gets the job done, but there are pain points in the compliance journey that could be better, faster and better working hand in hand with your wider practice systems, especially at a time when we’re so used to cloud software and digital integrations.
Major compliance pain points can include:
- Labour-intensive manual processes – getting all the engagement data you need into your systems takes time. A lot of time! Doing this by hand means entering data into your systems manually, a time-consuming process, prone to errors and (importantly) not the most efficient use of your practice time.
- A reliance on Excel spreadsheets – Excel is familiar and simple to use, so it’s understandable that so many firms rely on spreadsheets for various accounting tasks. Whether it’s completing loan schedules, inter-entity reconciliations or entity diagrams, Excel has remained the go-to tool.
- Time-consuming calculations – you want to calculate interest due on a loan, reconciliations at year-end or GST due in the client’s next BAS return. But doing this solely with Excel can be suboptimal. The process can be slow, errors are prone to slip in and you’ll need to upload the outputs into your systems. There’s also the potential for accidentally overwriting your formulas, and hard-coding rates resulting in significant compliance issues for the engagement.
- Inadequate software integrations – how do you get your data into your accounting software or tax systems? Uploading .CSV files is a common workaround, but it’s not the fastest way to get your systems talking to each other. Direct integrations between your accounting apps can help to speed up the process immeasurably.
- A limited choice of software options – if you want to incorporate Excel into your digital systems, there are limited alternatives available in the market. There are plenty of practice management solutions out there, but very few of them give Excel the time of day - labelling it as ‘old tech’, despite its popularity in accounting.
There’s nothing wrong with keeping Excel as your spreadsheet saviour. But there are ways to maximise the usefulness of spreadsheets, while embracing a digital approach.
Bringing your compliance into the digital 21st century
Excel is still a trusted resource for many accounting firms. But the reality is that accounting technology has seen some fantastic improvements and evolution since 1985, when Excel first appeared on the market and changed the landscape of accounting.
Technology in today’s digital accounting firms includes:
- Cloud accounting platforms – so you can work online with your clients, with all the core advantages of their data being stored and accessible in the cloud.
- Accounting SaaS solutions – with a huge range of different accounting, reporing, planning and forecasting apps available to customise your practice management.
- Tech stacks and app integrations – bringing together your choice of practice apps in one centralised ‘tech stack’, using API integrations to share data and information.
- Intelligent scanning solutions to automate data-entry – removing the need for manual data entry and porting client data straight into your cloud accounting ledgers.
So, with all these amazing tech tools – and the untold benefits they bring to your practice efficiency – perhaps it’s time to partner Excel with some of these new digital tools.
A multifunctional, integrated answer to supercharged compliance
At AccountKit, we know and love Excel spreadsheets. Like a dog that’s going a little grey around the muzzle, they’re not as fast as they used to be, but we hold them in great affection. But we also believe that a multifunctional, modular approach to practice management is the key to being a supercharged accounting firm in 2023,
AccountKit has an incredible selection of practice features, allowing you to choose the tools you need for the job, with Excel still very much part of the mix. Whether you need to automate and streamline your processes, stay in control of your client work, or integrate with your other tech stack tools, AccountKit has the tools you need.
- Automation of your key manual processes – AccountKit's compliance automation toolkit and workflow makes it easy for your firm to perform at its absolute peak. You can import / export data to and from Excel, or integrate with Xero and Xero Practice to get lightning fast access to client’s data and key numbers.
- Calculation tools that supercharge your use of Excel– Use our calculator tools and instantly find the answers you need. Launch our equipment finance, compounding or loan calculators, and quickly get the right results and data outputs.
- Integrations with your favourite practice apps – AccountKit’s integrations with Xero, Xero Practice Manager, BGL, NowInfinity (and a variety of DMS systems you already use) mean you’re instantly able to access the client data you need – all shared safely through our ISO27001 certified data management systems.
- The best choice for hassle-free compliance – AccountKit is the multitool your accounting firm didn’t know it needed. Our multifunctional, modular approach to practice management helps you bring your firm into the digital present, with all the tools, workflow features and integrations to turbocharge your compliance.
AccountKit: your compliance multitool (and friend to Excel)
We know there are many ways of getting your accounting work done and dusted. Your choice of methodology, software tools and practice systems is down to personal choice as a practitioner. That’s why AccountKit has a growing stable of accounting and workflow tools, so you can decide what works best for you, your team and your practice.
If you’re looking to embrace the digital transformation of your firm, AccountKit is the app to add to your evolving tech stack. We’re here to remove the compliance headaches, without you having to ditch the tried and trusted spreadsheet tools you love.
Take the first step in transforming your compliance, engagement workflows and practice management (with Excel still in the mix).
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