New technology feature
New Kids on the Block
We have seen huge advances in technology over the last decade and this has revolutionised not only the accountancy profession but also the way in which we conduct our everyday lives. This is exciting in itself but what is even more exciting is the fact that this technology is still developing! New products are being invented, new concepts tested and new ideas researched all over the world everyday.
In each edition of the Digital Accountancy Magazine, we are going to focus on some of these new companies and let you know about some of these new and exciting products and services that have been developed.
In this edition, we have spoken to four companies with some exciting new products which all have huge potential in the accountancy world. These are:
You may not have heard of all or any of these companies until now but it is highly anticipated that they will all become common names within our industry over the next 12 to 24 months.
Bmbix is the future, connecting all the world’s accounting systems, one ledger at a time.
65 billion messages are sent on WhatsApp every day. It’s the app for sending small, securely encrypted point to point messages. Sent, received, read. So simple, so useful. Bmbix is WhatsApp for accounting systems.
Where WhatsApp has people, Bmbix has ledgers. Business documents are the messages. If you now have a picture of all the world’s accounting systems chatting with each other, exchanging invoices and credit notes, payment advices and statements, instantly, securely and confidentially, then that’s as good a description as any about what Bmbix is.
So, what does this mean for you? Better business, for both buyer and seller. The seller sends an invoice; virtually immediately it appears in the buyer’s purchasing system. For the seller - no more wondering if the email was tampered with or reached the right mailbox, fewer credit control headaches over late or unpaid receivables, and less time spent servicing customer requests for replacements or copies. For the buyer - Bmbix reduces the risk and expense of purchase invoice processing. With no errors, no scanning, no OCR and no re-keying, Bmbix lightens everyone’s workload.
Inappropriate methods of business document transport are estimated to cost the global economy over £120 billion each year in out of pocket costs. Fraud, inefficiency, error remediation and credit control losses are the biggest culprits. Bmbix addresses these issues directly.
Bmbix doesn’t just save costs. It aims to boost productivity and improve supply chain relationships by creating a platform for an ecosystem of added-value third party services. Think of the explosion of new services developed around the Open Banking Initiative. Bmbix sees opportunities for credit control, supply chain finance, dynamic discounting, ethical purchasing, supply chain diversity and more.
At Bmbix, it’s our mission to revolutionise business document exchange and we look forward to bringing a brighter future to all the world’s accounting systems. One ledger at a time.
Where has Kamozo been hiding?
The latest iteration of Kamozo, a cloud-based app for accounting practices to manage job and compliance deadlines, track time, and gain practice management insights, is still very much alive, and something to look out for in the coming months. Kamozo helps practices automate and manage certain internal processes and workflows, releasing time that can be applied to providing other services, or simply taking on more clients while utilising the same amount of resource.
Originating from an in-house solution developed by Managing Director, Mark Hill, to ensure that his own practice could track and manage client filing and compliance deadlines, Kamozo takes the core requirement from Mark’s original software solution and re-engineers it from the ground-up to provide an imaginative, cloud-based solution that other practices can get benefit from.
“With the fast pace of change in the industry, and a growing number of clients, I found that much of pipeline or job management software didn’t fully fit the needs of my accountancy practice, nor did they seem to accommodate the numerous ways that accountancy practices provide services and charge their clients. I wanted software that could accommodate these differences, together with meeting the increasing challenge of efficiently keeping on top of client
requirements, managing staffing resources, advising of impending deadlines, and accurately billing clients for the myriad of jobs we actually complete for them.
Kamozo is the net result of a number of years of development to create a piece of software that can be utilised by a wide range of accountancy practices who want to improve the efficiency of their services”. – Mark Hill, MD, Kamozo Ltd.
Securely accessible across any internet enabled device, Kamozo automatically populates recurring due dates for jobs, and lets you assign tasks to users, track time, and then bill clients accurately - all from one place! Kamozo’s clear dashboards and reporting provide crucial information to help monitor output, balance workloads, and track time spent on client tasks. More importantly, it allows you to track Out of Scope jobs easily and quickly, providing better visibility of time spent on unscheduled work, more proactive client communication, and higher potential billing!
From £30 a month for up to 100 client entities, Kamozo is in the final stages of intense beta testing, with the long awaited launch of the live product expected in May 2020.
Introducing Payments as a Service
Over the past few years, accounting firms have introduced a number of new services to help guide their clients through the challenges of modern business. Strangely, the vast majority have steered clear of offering payment processing services – but why is this the case, and is it a service worth considering?
What is it?
Most small business owners spend an unnecessary amount of time and energy making tedious individual payments to a variety of parties (employees, suppliers, HMRC, and so on), so it goes without saying that they’d rather deploy these resources elsewhere. One way this can be achieved is by outsourcing these administrative tasks to their accountants, while remaining in control of the funds leaving their bank account, and this presents a huge opportunity for accounting practices willing to offer such a service.
What are some of the challenges?
After speaking with many practice owners over the years, it seems that very few currently offer payment processing services, with most saying they will only make client payments when absolutely necessary, and even fewer firms offer the service on any kind of scale. This is perhaps due to the fact that, unlike other services, making payments on behalf of clients allows very little room for error, as one little mistake can have disastrous consequences for the client.
A limited number of options
There are few viable options for making client payment. Those available are as follows:
- Set up a bank mandate – this is an ideal solution if dealing with a single client (although the process of getting a bank mandate can be time-consuming), but things will quickly become complicated as you scale your business.
- Operate a client’s bank account – you will be in control of their funds, but this naturally comes with the related liability, and you may require FCA licensing.
- Use a BACS Bureau – this requires bank sponsorship and is only really suitable for mid-sized businesses (not to mention the fact that BACS payments take three days to clear).
The above options continue to be employed by those accounting firms offering client payments as a service, but none support a scalable model.
But great news, there is an alternative!
With the right supporting technology, it’s entirely possible to offer a robust and efficient client payment service. Telleroo is an innovative, full-service platform for accounting firms looking to easily make payments on behalf of clients, which eliminates the need for banking or BACS sponsorship. You can manage payments across all of your clients without leaving the platform, and our well-formulated processes allow for a clear separation of duties - leaving you and your clients in control of the process while saving you from the hours of hassle required to input individual payments.
Flux – Re-inventing receipts
Flux is a fast growing fintech that is reinventing the world of receipts. Flux delivers fully itemised digital receipts into banking apps within seconds of a purchase and attaches them to the corresponding transaction. This innovative technology addresses a crucial need for any business owner - the retention of accurate and real time receipt data to support compliance and record keeping. Right now Flux is partnered with Barclays, Monzo and Starling bank to deliver receipts for their customers. Flux continues to hit key milestones with nearly 1 million receipts now delivered and the foundation is in place to achieve our mission of fully liberating and standardising the world’s receipt data.
Flux’s solution is unique
Flux knows how important receipts are to both businesses and consumers, which is why we’re working to digitise the 11.2 billion that are currently printed every year in the UK. Unlike other solutions on the market Flux is unique in that we do not require photo capture or OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology. This means that in the future there is no need to digitise or file our paper receipts once they have been printed.
Flux offers a far more efficient method of tracking and evidencing business expenditure. Receiving receipts straight into your business banking or expense card app immediately after payment saves time and hassle in the reconciliation processes and Flux itemised receipts also include VAT on a line basis.
The future of receipt data
At Flux we believe in putting you in control of your receipt data. Information is power and the ability to see item level spend, in near real-time means business owners of the future will have greater control and visibility over their finances. In much the same way as Making Tax Digital has revolutionised VAT returns, Flux’s technology can ‘make receipts digital’ at true scale. We believe that ultimately there will be endless opportunities unlocked for SME customers through our partnerships with business banks, expense management organisations and the wider accounting ecosystem. Liberation of this data set will give businesses the power to understand and control item level expenditure, so they can identify better value suppliers, set more meaningful budgets and more effectively manage their finances.