Following the Coronavirus lockdown, in fact in a large way due to the Coronavirus lockdown, so called ‘automated’ bookkeeping and accounting is very much grabbing the headlines. The introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for Value Added Tax (VAT), requiring HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) approved software for the digital submission of VAT returns and, preferably, the basis of the financial records has also had a huge impact upon the development of bookkeeping and accounting software, with the increased competition in the marketplace having a knock on effect on both efficiency and cost.

But, what does automation mean to the typical client of bookkeeping and accountancy practices?

Generally it means that they have as little personal input as possible and receive timely and reliably accurate output.

To produce that, for most bookkeepers and accountants, involves much more than simply hooking up the software and relying on existing staff to deal with the processes. It means that they have to produce new systems and train their staff specifically in dealing with and reviewing data digitally, possibly also coping with the rapid growth in distance working.

The starting point has to be the software, nowadays SaaS in the cloud, readily accessible to all devices that can access the internet. A key requirement must then be ‘automation’ within the software, so that from the single database all aspects of financial and tax c0mpliance and are dealt with at the ‘press of a button’, with minimal additional human input. That would include such as VAT, whether or not within the scope of MTD, annual accounts and tax computations, the tax returns (personal, partnership and corporate) and all statutory reports for filing at Companies House.

The emphasis shifts very much from the end product to the initial input, both in the time taken and control. It is essential that the bookkeeping and accounts processing is updated on a regular and frequent basis and that the records are maintained perfectly – fully balanced, reconciled and reviewed. Errors or omissions ion the prime records can have somewhat dire consequences further down the line, as accounts and returns based on those records will also be incorrect.

So, for the client, it’s a matter of minimum in, maximum out, such as with the Accountomatic Automated Accounting System. With Accountomatic , the client scans their documents into an encrypted, secure ‘vault’ at an agreed frequency and, apart from any questions that arise and which are dealt with on a timely basis while still fresh in the mind, that’s the end of their bookkeeping and accounting duties. The remainder is dealt with by Accountomatic's specially trained, constantly monitored and regularly mentored staff, all overseen by a fully experienced Chartered Accountant.

Accountomatic is a great quality and value for money service, for the latter the emphasis being shifted to a competitive, affordable and fully inclusive monthly subscription so, for tax and financial compliance you know exactly what you are paying, with no nasty surprises when you receive the annual accountancy bill.

There’s also an ‘automated’ payroll administration and management service, provided on a similar basis.

It’s well worth a visit to the Accountomatic Automated Accounting website.