March 13, 2020 | Louise Basse
There’s no denying it. Keeping up with accounting is not always a walk in the park.
But with new technology on the market, it’s finally time for accounting software providers and ERP systems to automate time-consuming and manual processes to the benefit of all businesses.
To explore how one of Denmark’s largest accounting providers has relieved thousands of businesses from the burden of manual accounting, we’ve had a chat with the CEO of Billy, Jonas Midtgaard.
With 20,000 live customers in Denmark, Billy has become one of the go-to accounting platforms for small and medium-sized businesses.
To create smarter and faster accounting solutions for its customers, Billy recently teamed up with Nordic API Gateway. With access to real-time data from Nordic banks, Billy was easily able to build new features that enable businesses to skip the manual process of employing the online bank to handle simple bookkeeping tasks.
Now Billy’s customers are ‘pinged’ with transactions from their bank account, which then allows customers to perform bank reconciliation based on the bank transaction itself. In this way, you can make sure that your bookkeeping is always aligned with your bank accounting.
But to take bookkeeping to the next level, you cannot only look at automation itself. According to Jonas, automation is also about making businesses more disciplined when it comes to accounting tasks – without even noticing it:
“The fact that you get pinged live with data from the bank saying ‘we need this invoice’ makes our customers more disciplined. Put simply, we nudge our customers to handle small tasks continuously to make the VAT settlement at the end of an accounting period more smooth,” Jonas explains.
Automating accounting with access to real-time bank data is only the beginning for Billy. The company is currently developing a system that enables its customers to pay invoices by taking a photo of it. The Billy CEO explains further:
“Normally, you have a long process in which you book an invoice, pay it via your bank, export a CSV file, load it into your accounting system and then you finally reconcile. That’s a huge, time-consuming task that takes up a lot of resources,” Jonas says and continues:
“With Nordic API Gateway, we’ve created a live feed from the bank that removes friction when invoicing and bank reconciliation. With the new service, the system will be able to recognise a transaction and match it to a specific invoice automatically. As our user, you can set up a rule that this invoice should always be booked as rent. In this way, you never have to touch that invoice again. I believe all invoices should be handled like that.”
There’s no doubt that open banking means open opportunities. According to Jonas, open banking has empowered Billy to build an accounting system that’s based on one single data set instead of two separate ones. And that is a revolutionising step for the accounting space.
“Today, there’s no reason behind having the data from the bank and the data from the ERP system,” Jonas insists. “With open banking, we’re able to unify those data sets to make it more simple, easy and fast for accountants to reconcile.”
With the new changes in the accounting space, there’s no doubt that the future of the accountant looks different. So what does that mean for accountants that have traditionally taken care of most manual bookkeeping processes? According to Jonas, there will still be a need for accountants in the decade to come:
“In the future, I believe the role of the accountant is to give advice and not do anything that has to do with manual bookkeeping. As an accountant, you need to develop your relationship with your customer. You need to be their trusted advisor,” he concludes.
Curious to explore how you can follow in the steps of Billy and easily build new ERP and accounting features like e-invoicing, automatic bank reconciliation and more with our out-of-the-box open banking platform? Drop us a line today.