According to a recent survey conducted by the accounting software manufacturer Xero, fully 75 percent of accountants say they would benefit tremendously from being able to view their client’s financial information in real-time. The consensus is that the capacity to review client finances in real-time would allow them to provide more thorough financial advice.
There are a number of cloud based accounting software systems that allow for real-time access to financial data and other important information, but the numbers of accountants and CPAs who are using those programs is relatively small. However, it is expected that more of them will begin to implement these programs into their repertoire since real-time financial data can provide a clearer picture of a company’s financial health and allow for more targeted guidance to business owners and managers in increasing profitability.
The Xero survey also found that less than 5 percent of accountants have 100 percent of their clients utilizing online accounting systems and services. This indicates that most accountants are either unaware that such services exist online or they are not aware of the benefits that they offer.
Real-time financial information and the technology that facilitates it can be integrated with several different software applications such as bill payment, internet based time tracking, and job costing. Also, inputting data through real-time services is faster, cheaper, and more efficient.
One of the other major benefits of online real-time financial data systems is that they provide a means for more efficient and consistent communication between accountant and client, which is important year-round but is especially beneficial during tax season.
More than 44 percent of accountants, according to the Xero survey, believe that business owners and their accountants should be in contact with one another at a minimum of once per month. 21 percent believe that contact should be made at a minimum of once per week. Online real-time financial software systems allow for that level and frequency of detailed communication.