Once upon a time, all our accounting functions had to be done in the office on a clunky old computer.
Some of you may not be old enough to remember some of the things we had to do pre this online world we now live in, so let me fill you in
We did a daily backup onto big tapes – like a music cassette tape, that had to be taken home each night in case there was a fire or some other catastrophe at your work premises. If we had to restore a backup, we had to put the tape into the main computer and then restore the whole system to that tape. Heaven help us if we had done any work before we restored as this would need to be entered again.
When we did a software upgrade it took all day, and then, assuming that the upgrade actually worked, which it didn’t always, it took all the next day to catch up on the work from the day before. Times were tough.
We had to wait for bank statements to be posted in the mail (ha ha) mostly monthly or in some lucky cases weekly, or if we wanted up to date information we had to physically go to the bank and get a statement printout. These would then need to be coded and entered manually into the accounting system.
When it was invoicing time, either weekly or monthly in most cases, you had to get all the paperwork together, then enter the invoices in the system, print them on a dot-matrix printer which took aligning and re-aligning several times to make sure they printed within the pre-printed invoice templates. Then once printed they had to be folded correctly and placed in a window envelope with a postage stamp and then posted in a post box. The same process was used for statements, realign the printer many times, print and post. Then customers would post cheques or pay cash, which we would then need to take to the bank, and you would need to wait 7 business days for the cheques to clear. Cashflow was a nightmare.
Supplier invoices had to be entered and matched against manual purchase orders, and then you used that dot-matrix printer, aligned, realigned several times just like the invoices, to print cheques, which then, of course, needed to be signed and then posted to the suppliers. The supplier would then need to take their cheque to the bank and wait for it to clear, so their cashflow was a nightmare too.
And who remembers the old-school cashbooks – you had to write all your outgoings and incomings on the little cheque butts and then make it match the bank statement at the end of the month. These were then given to the accountant at the end of the year along with copies of all supplier invoices and receipts.
Oh, how times have changed since then!
As a Bookkeeper cloud products like Xero, Dropbox, and internet banking, have changed the lives of business owners and their bookkeepers and accountants.
- No more having to backup, as everything is stored in the cloud. The software is always up to date and can never be lost.
- No more software upgrades that rarely worked without issues.
- No more waiting for bank statements as direct bank feeds come into our accounting software daily.
- No more leaving the invoicing until once a month. You can invoice as soon as the job is finished which means you get paid quicker and cashflow improves
- No more going to the bank to deposit cash and cheques and waiting for those cheques to clear before you can use the money. Customers pay directly into the bank account.
- No more writing out cheques to your suppliers. You can pay your suppliers online.
It is life changing as a Bookkeeper to have all these amazing products available to us all now. It means we can spend more time with our clients focusing on refining their business systems, helping them to understand what’s going on in their business, and generally helping to make life easier for them.
So, thanks cloud technology! You rock.
Coming up next: What tech is out there and when you might use it.