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Do you ever feel like the mountain of paperwork on your desk is keeping you from what matters most in your practice?

When I first bring new clients on board, I find that many of them spend a lot of time shifting through mounds of paper, trying to stay on top of vendor bills and payments and other administrative activities. If you’re feeling the same pain, please know there’s light at the end of the tunnel! Accounting technology has gone through a revolutionary shift over the past few years, creating significant efficiencies in back-office functions. Accounting services have evolved from being labor and paper-intensive to a more streamlined approach.

Technology-based accounting services remove a tremendous burden for optometry practices and other small business owners, who opened their businesses to serve patients and customers, rather than to focus on bookkeeping tasks such as managing invoices, bills, and receipts.

Where to start?

Based on my experience, I find that many business owners are unsure of where to begin. Here are some practical ways to get started on your journey to a painless and reliable, technology-based accounting function:

  1. Rethink how you collect your source documents. Get rid of paper-based bills by asking your vendors to submit them to you electronically. Bills can be sent to your email, or better yet, if you use a cloud-based app such as Bill.com, your vendors can send them directly to your designated Bill.com address to be processed.
  2. Transition your payment methods. If you pay vendors via paper checks, make the move to ACH payments, which cost less per transaction. Take an inventory of your recurring vendors who are paid by checks and work on moving them to e-Payments.
  3. Automate Cash Receipts. Review your recurring customer accounts and how those payments are made. If they’re still paying you with paper checks, focus on changing their payment method to e-Payments. As you bring on new customers, members or program participants, incorporate automated payment methods into your contracts and establish the wire transfer authorizations up-front. This will save you time chasing down Accounts Receivable by facilitating prompt collections.
  4. Use Apps that integrate with your Accounting System. Take stock of workflows that require a lot of time and effort to reconcile to your accounting records. There are many cloud-based apps available that can address your business needs, such as travel and expense processing, bill payment, and timekeeping, to name a few. Choose ones that integrate with your accounting system, to eliminate manual processing and simplify the reconciliation process.
  5. Make your Accounting System do the heavy lifting. Take advantage of automated features in your accounting system. For example, accounting systems such as QuickBooks can memorize and automate recurring transactions, such as monthly journal entries. Key financial reports can also be memorized and automatically sent to key stakeholders on a scheduled basis. These features make it easier for you to minimize processing time.

Technology Can Streamline Your Accounting Function

Automating your workflows using integrated applications can save you time to focus on your strategic objectives and lead to the following benefits:

Ten years ago, who would think a self-driving car was possible? Similarly, it’s time to re-imagine your accounting function, as it too can be transformed using innovative technology solutions. Minimize your paperwork so you can spend time on what matters most! For more information, visit www.consultancellc.com.

Orin Schepps
CEO and Founder of Consultance Accounting that focuses on the way accounting services are provided to the optometry profession. I understand the various challenges that ODs face on both the practice side and the accounting and finance aspect. My goal is to help you grow your practice while achieving your financial goals.

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