For those that are still doing accounting manually and paper-based… “Where is that document located?” is a common question that keeps popping up in the domain of bookkeeping. The art of finding a great bookkeeping service in Canada is to make sure it is beyond organized, but a true soldier in the management of company financial documents. There are so many moving parts to managing the day-to-day financials, it can be overwhelming. In addition, there are still those that do it manually and completely analog. Take a moment and imagine walls and walls of financial documents, receipts, expenses, invoices, every single letter received in the mail, or printed via email and stored in a binder, by category and by year. The image comes up of a library of documents.
Through all of this extensive use of paper, regardless of the environmental concerns, it still happens, and many companies still have some sort of physical presence with their documentation. In some cases and based on regulatory reasons, some businesses might have a need to keep physical documents and have the bookkeeping partially digitalized. In other cases, it could be a simple case that they believe their financials are so complex and the current system is working. They are slow to shift to new software or processes, due to the fact that it could be too expensive to change, or too risky due to filing reasons.
Online Bookkeeping Service Not Being Used
This is what most companies end up doing. The documents come in and are filed properly. The transaction is recorded into a big spreadsheet, that gets bigger and more complex with every year. As new people join the team, and old people leave, the excel sheet or similar spreadsheet software, starts to become a mind of its own. It is filed down to only the current year, and then it is rehabilitated by someone with extensive VBA experience, only to have that person leave and forget to put the instructions to make any changes.
Within a few years, the excel sheet becomes a Frankenstein, as it has different versions. A Microsoft Access database hastily built and connected through a DMBS that can only be accessed on the local network, and the overall vision and mission is lost. This was to make bookkeeping simple and easy. Now the company is stuck with a system that is too big to leave, where only a few people fully understand it. And training up of new employees is not based on bookkeeping training, but how to work and continue to feed the beast that is the accounting management system.
In addition, there are two major points of failure – the storage medium and the human being.
On-premises server storage
The data server and/or the backup could go down periodically or permanently without any sense of recovery. Some of these systems also need a complete reconfiguration process when moving locations or even changing the IP of your internet. Remote Access can become difficult with on-premises servers. Maintaining these types of servers also requires an expert in server maintenance and system architecture which can get quite expensive.
Versioning of documentation can be a major issue. Since the bookkeeping system is based on spreadsheet software and file management, without constantly doing an organizational check – this limits collaboration and can lead to versioning issues that lead to data loss. Yes, there have been instances where a day’s work can be mishandled due to this type of issue.
This, as one can see – is why there must be an alternative to this whole system. Enter the ERP
All in one system such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, Salesforce, and Netsuite
ERPs or Enterprise Resource Planning systems, are highly complex systems that can take anywhere from three to six months to complete, based on the complexity of the company or organization using it. They are not a bad system but can become entirely too complex. Think of a chainsaw to prune a flower. It works but can be seen as overkill. A lot of these systems are becoming more cloud-based, so the benefit of file safety and security is there. They are also built for collaboration, and there is usually only one main version of a file that is worked on at any time. Most of these have some sort of financial focus, especially in the case of Netsuite that primarily focuses on financials and bookkeeping as their core module.
Sounds great right? Then the price tag comes in, and these can cost anywhere from several hundred thousand dollars to millions. That is just the set-up and software fee. Then comes the annual licensing systems that are required for anyone that even touches the system. These fees are also very complex to discover and can easily change year over year. This will also require the collaboration of many departments to utilize the system, and use it correctly, which means extensive training, and a very large overhead of people. All in the name of digital online bookkeeping.
Cloud Bookkeeping Service
Wait – when I google “cloud-based bookkeeping service in Canada”, I get so many low-cost options, why not one of them?
There is a whole market now creating so many different types of software. They have amazing demo videos, free trials with all the dummy data to make all the charts brighten up, and so many tutorials to easily become an expert. These are created by developers with a developer/sales mindset, and rarely with the mindset of a bookkeeper.
The bookkeeper is a highly extensive role that requires consistent management and following deadlines on a daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly and annual basis. They rarely have the time or the need to figure out how a new system can work. They are cloud-based yes – but it’s important to run your business not have you dragged down running your bookkeeping.
Does this sound like I just became a technology company?
Bookkeeping is not something that technology can solve. Even if one of the above solutions are used, that only prepares the information for your CPA or accounting firm to process your financial statements, expense reports, payroll statements, and on the off chance, audit reviews. So much is spent on these larger systems that then are downloaded again in some .csv or .xlsx or even paper copies for the licensed accountant to manage everything. This is essentially doing the work twice.
Let’s say you choose to focus on your business and decide to outsource your bookkeeping services? Smart choice, right? You handle the day to day, you have some internal system collecting everything and you pop it on over to your accounting team so that they can run into the same issues above. Different versions, loss of files, not getting all the accurate data on time? Basically, pushing the burden away? Then having your accounting team part ways with you because they are literally drowning in paperwork, redundant systems lost documents, paperwork everywhere. The list of what can go wrong is extensive and adds uncertainty and complexity.
Is the cloud safe?
A common question, where stories and Hollywood emphasize the bad over the good. The cloud is very secure and safe and can be portioned into smaller clouds that would specifically secure your data. In the rare case of a breach, it would have to breach extensive security, as well as every single cloud instance to even access the data. In the case of data loss or failure, the cloud is built to constantly make backups of itself, away from points of failure, to ensure data protection.
Ok – What is the solution? Cloudcpa
The solution is to find a bookkeeping service in Canada that handles everything in the cloud so that you can access your business information whenever you need it, wherever you are. Why struggle to remember your RSA token number to access your P&L or GST quarterly review from your home, when you can easily access this and more information sipping Mai Thais at your beach office? Work smarter not harder, and have experts do what they do best, which is something great in their focus. As one of Canada’s premier online cloud-based bookkeeping services and an elite member of QuickBooks pro advisor program, we are your go-to solution to take all the worry out of bookkeeping.
We handle all of the grittiness and nastiness (and physical paperwork) and shift you at your pace to a digital format based in the cloud. We work on transforming you over with our CPAs to not only transition you online but also become a service provider for your accounting. This means that you can finally take a breath whenever the tax office sends you a letter you have no clue what to do with.
We use the latest top accounting and bookkeeping software and take that technological component out of your hands. The only piece we give you is your management-level information that you need to make key strategic decisions, while we make sure you stay compliant and have everything filed properly. We will cover your day to day – incorporate or enhance your existing process and make sure anything related to your finances can be accessed online by you and your stakeholders as is needed.
By using a cloud bookkeeping service, data availability does not depend on any specific employee or one that resigns unpredictably. This can save time and other resources, as well as maintain data retention as required by Canadian law.