We’re living in a world of BIG data. The blistering pace of computerisation and digitisation has resulted in the datafication of industries across the board, and accountancy is no exception.
Data has always been at the heart of accounting, so it stands to reason that the bigger the data, the more value accountants can deliver to their SME clients.
Or does it?
Big data is not without its challenges. Put simply, big data is larger, more complex data sets, especially from new data sources, arriving in increasing volumes and with more velocity (big data’s three Vs). All this means that big data is … BIG and disseminating it is both challenging and time-consuming. Finding value in big data isn’t only about gathering it, that only gets you so far, it’s about visualising it, understanding it and ultimately doing something useful with it.
When it becomes hard to see the wood for the numerical trees, dashboards can be a lifesaver especially when it comes to data heavy processes such as payroll.
These technological tools can greatly assist accountants in making the right decisions for their clients, by visualising critical data in a single view. In addition to being able to organise and display important information at a glance, really intelligent dashboards will allow users to replace manual number-crunching with time-saving automation, resulting in more accurate information and significant efficiency gains.
But not all dashboards are equal.
Join us as we take a look at how the power of Modulr’s Payments Dashboard helps to keep accountants firmly in the driving seat.
The data-heavy nature of payroll
Let’s face it, as complicated, data-heavy processes go, payroll is up there with the best (or should we say worst). It can be easy to get lost in the large quantities of data required for its successful administration and processing it can leave little time for the high value advisory services increasingly demanded by today’s clients.
To make the situation worse, traditional payroll methods are riddled with clunky interfaces and downtime. There’s little transparency of payments and significant room for errors when inputting data manually. And payroll is one of few big data processes to be constrained by definite deadlines that have serious real-world consequences. So, it has to be fast and precise processing. Payroll mistakes and missed deadlines are expensive and time-consuming to resolve, incurring hidden fees and draining resources. Not to mention the impact errors have on employee morale and satisfaction, and ultimately client relationships.
For accountants, this complexity is further compounded with different clients using differing accountancy software platforms.
In order for an accounting dashboard to be truly intelligent (and useful) it needs to deliver not just payroll visibility, but it needs to have some serious payments power under the bonnet. It needs to ease the burden of processing not just the information, but also the payments. And, if it’s going to really dismantle those accountancy data silos, it needs to integrate with the leading software platforms that accountants and their clients already use, bridging the technology gap between disparate systems for that over-arching view.
A digital dashboard with added payments power
Modulr’s Payments Dashboard provides quick, easy data visibility but also so much more behind the scenes. Driven by the same API technology that Big Tech uses as standard, Modulr’s underlying payments and accounts functionality merges payroll and payments to create one simple, cost saving and streamlined process. The dashboard ensures accountants have complete oversight of all client payment workflows from one single online portal, no matter which accounting software they use. Accountants can see everything in one place and manage all their payments in the exact same way.
Seamless integrations with leading cloud accounting and payroll providers, such as BrightPay, IRIS and Sage, ensure that data flows effortlessly and payments are made in real time (we’re plugged into the Faster Payments scheme for 24/7 instant settlement of funds). Accountants can assess funding needs, view pending payments, approve beneficiaries and automate workflows - all via the centralised portal.
Payments efficiency can be maximised through the automation of client payment workflows, eliminating manual errors and repetitive tasks, and reducing payment processing time by up to 80%. Accountants no longer need to log in and out of different systems and then manually process the payments (either by file upload or manual rekeying). This onerous, labour-intensive process is replaced by intelligent automation that’s completed without manual intervention; making account, payroll and HMRC payments simple, smart and digital.
Extracting value from data: what accountants can now offer
With a dashboard that puts data (and payments) at their fingertips, accountants can introduce higher value (and higher margin) advisory services, including cash flow forecasting, working capital management and scenario planning. The centralised dashboard, and its real-time data, will provide invaluable insight and actionable numbers to inform smart commercial decisions which will delight clients and make an accountancy proposition ‘stickier’. Accountants can also make the most of the extra scope that digitisation, centralisation and automation brings to grow their practice and their client base.
So, to bring the car analogy (and this blog) to its natural conclusion, a truly intelligent accountancy dashboard will not only show you, at a glance, how far along you and your clients are on your respective journeys, but it will also give you the insight, time and sheer (payments) power needed to get you where you both want to go.