A couple of the main accounting software companies like MYOB and Xero are developing products at lightning speed for small business.
Xero is moving towards mechanising bank reconciliations, an idea it calls "code-free accounting". It is doing this in two different ways, and the first is how it is capturing data. It declared at Xerocon that it had acquired HubDoc, an application that "gets" invoices or documents from suppliers. For instance, you give HubDoc login info to your telco and it will download automatically a PDF of the bill for your telephone and interenet each month, and save it into a folder, your cloud drive or server.
Xero utilises optical character recognition and other different strategies to pull data, for example, date, due date, amount and GST, and adds these to a draft bill for you to check and then ok.
The second step is to give Xero more control over bank reconciliations. A subscriber of Xero can set up a bank rule for recurring transactions from a supplier and then the subscriber can check a box and Xero will reconcile all transactions for that supplier in the future. The subscriber won't even see those transactions listed in the bank reconciliation screen.
Reconciliations are much easier with the more information that you provide in these recurring transactions. It won't be long and all accounting software will make these simple transactions themselves.
MYOB is also working on ways of improvement to the quality of the data and automation. It allows a direct download of your bank transactions every day plus major suppliers. MYOB's online accounting software will receive direct transaction feeds from trades' suppliers Reece and Tradelink, plus Officerworks.
The MYOB subscriber can add a P.O. at the checkout and the Reece integration will allocate each line item to a job in MYOB. Then, when you invoice your customer, MYOB pulls onto the invoice all reimbursables for that job. It's all about automating the workflow.
Subscribers can also forward a PDF invoice directly into MYOB for coding and processing. Also, auto reminders for overdue invoices are out and about which is great for cash flow.