The history of bookkeeping as a profession stretches back thousands of years, with the earliest known accounting records being over 10,000 years old. Over the ages and as technology progressed, so did ways to track finances.
Today, many companies keep fiscal records using cloud computing, remote collaboration, and artificial intelligence using live bookkeeping services. These modern solutions have become more prevalent, especially among small businesses that might not have access to the resources to hire their own in-house bookkeeper.
Explore the concept of online financial tracking, the technology’s latest trends, and how it can benefit your organization.
What is Live Bookkeeping?
Modern business bookkeeping platforms leverage various technologies to provide real-time, professional record-keeping assistance. Unlike traditional methods, these services don’t depend on periodic updates or in-house staff. Instead, they can continuously track, process, and manage a company’s transactions, allowing them to build up-to-date records.
Although online records management platforms can benefit companies of all scales, their technologies are especially valuable for small business owners. Their services encompass:
Real-time bookkeeping solutions use cloud computing and related remote technologies to offer instant accounting services from any location. A qualified bookkeeper can remotely provide their skills and expertise to any enterprise worldwide, ensuring their financial records are current and accurate.
Cloud-based software also has various useful features to facilitate the live bookkeeper’s work. For example, they can leverage AI to automate repetitive tasks like expense tracking and categorization. They can also support collaborative editing, allowing a business owner and a live bookkeeper to review and edit the same records simultaneously.
Most online solutions integrate data analytics technologies to provide complementary accounting functions. They can analyze your firm’s fiscal performance to identify trends, build reports, map cash flows, and provide basic financial forecasting.
While they don’t replace the expertise of a dedicated accountant, these functions can be invaluable to small ventures, enhancing their decision-making processes.
Remote bookkeepers may also have additional qualifications, such as CPA certifications. They allow you to benefit from a professional opinion and receive valuable insights regarding your firm’s economic health.
Online accounting functions can communicate with programs and software your organization may already use, expanding their functionality. Common examples of integrations include:
- Dedicated account management software
- Customer payment processors
- Customer relationship management (CRM) systems
- Payroll processors
- Banking and financial services
- Business intelligence (BI) software
- Inventory management software
Using software integrations can simplify record-keeping and improve decision-making in many ways. For instance, integrating with customer payment processors enables real-time recording of sales and expenses, minimizes errors, and reduces dependence on manual data entry.
Additionally, integrations with banking and financial platforms can help ensure your internal records match your bank statements, increasing their accuracy and providing a more precise view of your firm’s fiscal health.
Trends in Live Bookkeeping for 2024
As we move towards the future, cloud-based bookkeeping is gearing up to embrace new trends that will make it even more practical and helpful to businesses that use these services. Here are some of the most important technological trends for 2024:
Enhanced AI Integrations
Artificial intelligence is one of the fastest-rising new technologies today. Although current accounting systems use artificial intelligence to a certain degree, the extent of AI integration is expected to grow steadily.
Projected new capabilities powered by AI include:
- Enhanced predictive analytics,
- The production of more detailed financial health reports and forecasts
- Improved automated features, such as transaction categorization
Better Security Measures
2023 was one of the biggest years for cybersecurity, both in terms of data breaches and advances in security technology. Organizations in all sectors, especially smaller firms with fewer security resources, are at greater risk of a cyberattack than ever before.
For these reasons, cybersecurity is at the heart of new developments in remote accounting software. Many new and improved measures to protect sensitive fiscal information are planned, including:
- Improved data encryption
- Multi-factor authentication
- AI-powered threat detection
- Better cloud infrastructure security
Improved Mobile Accessibility
In 2021, 85% of Americans owned a smartphone, and many start-ups and small businesses are operated entirely from mobile devices.
As a result, online financial management services are becoming more mobile-friendly, expanding their capabilities on mobile devices and matching or exceeding options available on desktop computers.
How Live Accounting Impacts Small Businesses?
Live accounting solutions are affordable subscription-based plans providing organizations access to a remote record-keeping specialist. They allow small companies to benefit from the expertise of a certified bookkeeper and the conveniences of a modern, technologically advanced software solution for a manageable monthly cost.
Small business owners can save time and reduce stress by using an online accounting platform. With this tool, they can delegate record-keeping and some accounting tasks to a certified professional, giving them more time to manage their organization and focus on operations. This ensures that their records are in good hands, and they can rest easy knowing everything is taken care of.
Most of these services are designed to provide the best user experience (UX) possible, offering convenient features such as scalability, access to live support, and flexible payment plans.
Small businesses can benefit from customized records management services that help them achieve their goals, protect their financial data, and comply with regulations. These options are designed to meet their specific needs and make the process more efficient.
Adopt Live Bookkeeping Services and Reach Your Business Objectives
Live bookkeeping platforms are already helping small company owners manage their organizations more efficiently and securely. In 2024, the sector is set to continue adopting the latest technological trends, enhancing efficiency, convenience, data security, and accessibility.
If your firm hasn’t transitioned to an online record-keeping solution, consider reviewing the features and options they provide. The right features can transform your financial management processes, streamline company operations, and minimize the risk of record-keeping errors.