By Stephanie Elsen
Are you frustrated because your accounting data entry takes so long and seems so inefficient? Do you feel you should be able to cut down on data entry time and human errors? Here are some ways accounting software can help you do just that. Check to see if your accounting software offers these time-saving functions.
Date Entry Shortcut
When entering dates into your accounting system, you should have the ability to simply type the day and it auto-fills the month and year, or enter just the month and day, and it will complete the year. It should also have an option to not enter separators (hyphens, slashes, etc.) between the month, day and year. Many systems will have an auto-fill function that intuitively knows what you are trying to enter, and provides options for you to choose and shorten your typing time.
The majority of fields in your system should have lookup functions so you can find the information you need for the field if it doesn’t have a default value. Many systems will also allow you to decide which fields it should look for a match in when something is entered in a field. For example, if you are in a field where it’s expecting a customer code, do you have to enter the actual code, or can you enter a customer name, phone number, etc. and it will still find a match. Having this intuitive lookup capability can help you find things more quickly and reduce frustration.
As you might be aware, function keys (F1, F2, etc.) are available to shorten functions you perform on your computer most often. Using them can really shave off data entry time from your day! Learn how the function keys work within your accounting software and you can save several clicks per transaction, adding up to a good amount of time saved per day!
Set as Default
If you find yourself selecting the same choice in a field every time, you would likely benefit from changing the default option to the choice you select most often. Many accounting software systems will allow you to change the default to the selection you use most often, saving on data entry time, and ensuring accuracy.
Some accounting programs allow you to add or remove columns of information within modules such as accounts payable and accounts receivable. This is extremely useful, since most programs must have a wide variety of fields/columns of information to meet many kinds of businesses. Remove the columns of information you don’t need to see, and add those you do need, which can really help streamline your job.
Set Tab Stops
Fields of information within your accounting software may not always be ones you choose or need to use. That’s why many applications will allow you to skip past fields you never use or fields that auto-fill with the correct information. That way when you are hitting the ‘tab’ key to get to the next field, the ones you don’t use will be skipped, and you will instead be directed to the next field you actually want to go to.
Monthly utility bills, insurance payments, and rent payments are all examples of payments you can set up as recurring transactions. Setting them up as recurring transactions eliminates the job of entering the same details each time you need to process the transaction. Furthermore, if you bill your customers on an ongoing basis you can also set those up as recurring accounts receivable invoices. Setting up accounts payable and accounts receivable transactions as recurring transactions can not only save on work, but can also help you become more organized.
While every accounting software system is different, check out your system to see if the above time-saving functions are available. Every little savings of time can really add up!