person working on their phone

What is mobile accounting? Now, you know.

The trend has been that mobile was winning. It’s now won.” - Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO.

Do you know that feeling when you realize you forgot your phone somewhere? That mix of horror and anxiety that takes over and only goes away when you’ve located your phone and are positive that soon enough, you’ll be reunited with it. Well, I guess we can all agree that phones have become a vital part of our daily life.

Mobile internet has changed the way we do things and the way we consume information. It rightfully provides access to information anywhere; from the day’s weather, to your email, to your bank account.

Fact is, people spend more time on mobile phones than laptops or other smart devices. So, it comes as no surprise that software companies now focus on developing mobile applications - because there’s a strong demand there. It also makes perfect sense for accounting - the core of financial health - to go mobile.

Anywhere, Any device, Anytime

Mobile accounting fulfills the cloud promise of working anywhere. Mobile accounting systems are now available across most platforms. The ambition to make mobile accounting achieve the ‘3As’ – Anywhere, Any device, Anytime – has been realized. And the benefits? Here is a glimpse:

Greater functionality - signature gathering, receipt capturing and customer relationship management applications have become available on mobile accounting apps. This has brought further advantages into the wider working environment - the one that happens outside the office!

Payment processing on the move - credit card processing via mobile accounting apps is among the most popular new tools of recent months. 

Integrated systems - businesses now integrate their mobile systems with e-commerce sites, payroll processing, give access rights to their accountants and manage inventory.

More providers are now launching mobile accountancy systems. In a recent survey by Software Advice, 64% of the respondents said their vendors offer a mobile accounting app while 36% said they don’t.

What’s in it for business owners?

Simply put, it saves time!

  • Easier and faster back up of data → Cloud computing has revolutionized the ability to store and access documents on the move, which improves accuracy, traceability, and ease of communication.
  • Automation → mobile accounting systems now automatically complete recurrent billing, tax calculations, and reporting.
  • Improve the cash flow cycle → transactions are completed on the spot, instead of back and forth communication between the point of sale and the back office regarding invoicing or making payments.

In addition to saving time, moving invoicing and accounting off the desktop and out of the office makes for a much more flexible work environment. 

What’s in it for accounting practices?

Your accounting practice is better off when your clients use mobile accounting. Clients with well-kept books and a better handle on their business metrics, are good for your practice.

  • Cleaner books →  bank reconciliation is more likely to stay up to date when clients can add and review transactions every day on their phone app. Good books help you better track and advise on business performance.
  • Better expense records →  clients can put their expense data into their accounting software by photographing the receipt. This saves time and effort, since you don’t receive a mass of documents at the financial year end.

Convenience doesn’t have to compromise data security

The question that always comes to mind with mobile apps is security. How to tackle threats, such as, cyberattacks or the loss of mobile devices?

Caseware’s Cloud solutions, for instance, implement two-factor authentication security measure to ensure that only authorized individuals have access to the platform.

There are plenty of reasons to set limitations on who has access, but the most important is security. Finance is a highly regulated and risk-averse industry. For instance, if confidential information falls in the wrong hands, you’re looking at fraud and identity theft cases - or potentially, competitor access to files and data. Allowing mobile access in this arena shouldn’t be taken lightly. 

Security experts will tell you that information security is mostly a people problem. Take password security for instance. Passwords are the first line of defense between our data and third parties, and the stronger and more complex a password is, the better. Yet, surprisingly, some of the most commonly-used passwords of last year were found to be “123456,” “password” and “qwerty.”

“Passwords are an integral component of security hygiene, but beyond password strength requirements, it’s largely a user-driven initiative.”, comments Nate Ford, former editor of the Data Insider in his article about password security habits.

To address these challenges, practices should take preventative measures by setting appropriate guidelines and upskilling their employees. For example, 

  • reduce redirection to false links by running training on common phishing attacks and scams.
  • monitor the use of personal mobile devices to access corporate files.
  • ensure that employees take their password security seriously.

Become a mobile accountant “with existing setup”

Finding an accounting mobile app with great functionality, user experience, and the full features that you have on your current desktop application, can require a lot of restructuring and setup work. A simple solution to move to mobile accounting without changing much of your work structure is hosting your desktop applications with cloud hosting providers. 

The easiest solution, however, is to opt for pure cloud-based applications. Caseware ReviewCompTax is a totally cloud-based accounting solution that’s compatible with multiple platforms and provides immediate access to mobile devices, so you can manage your accounting tasks anytime, anywhere.

Seeing is believing! Register for an upcoming webinar now for a Caseware ReviewCompTax demo.

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