Going Mobile: Accounting On Your Smartphone
You do almost everything else on your mobile device. Why not accounting tasks?
For better or worse, we live in a 24/7 world where work is concerned. That’s great when you want to be connected, and not so much when you’d rather not be considered available. But it’s possible. You can interact with co-workers and contacts on email, social media, and other collaborative applications and venues whenever you want.
Beyond communicating, you can actually get work done on that little screen that you carry around in your pocket or purse. It’s difficult – but possible – to create documents and spreadsheets, for example. Other types of productivity applications have abbreviated versions of their browser-based sites that can share data with their browser-based counterparts.
Accounting is one of these. While you could access a site in its entirety on a tablet, your iOS or Android phone’s screen is just too small to accommodate that. So developers have created smartphone versions of their financial applications that contain the features most commonly used by employees working away from the office. These include:
Contact management. You may or may not be able to create new records on a smartphone version, but there might be occasions when you would want to call or visit a customer or supplier who already exists in your accounting application’s database of contacts. You should at least be able to access a physical address, phone numbers, and email address – maybe even a map to their location. There might also be a dedicated space for note-taking and a history of your company’s interaction with them.
Invoices. A lot of your sales are probably done on your website and over the phone, but there may be occasions when an individual makes a sale away from the office, like at a trade show or conference, or even in a customer’s office. These road warriors need to be able to enter sales transactions. Smartphone-optimized accounting apps let them do so.
You can create and view invoices using the mobile apps associated with some cloud-based accounting solutions.
Receipts. Employees who spend money while out of the office need to be able to document those expenses. This keeps the records in the office-based accounting solution updated, and it provides a record for staff members who need to be reimbursed. Since this is such a common occurrence, and since companies need a variety of information about off-site expenses, the receipt forms in smartphone versions allow for numerous details about the transaction, including the vendor name and a description, the date the expense was incurred, and possibly a category name and reference. You can usually even take a picture of a receipt and upload it to home base.
Miscellaneous accounting tasks. Accounting apps designed for smartphones also have a dashboard — a home page of sorts — where you can view account balances and historical sales transactions, for example, and complete tasks like account reconciliation.
Mobile apps for cloud-based accounting solutions sometimes provide tools for processes like account reconciliation.
24/7 availability has its drawbacks. But in terms of your company’s financial information, that kind access can be quite beneficial.