Want to automate your monthly accounting work? Had enough of digging through your bank statements and trying to reconcile RM5 from your statement? If yes, then SmartB bank feed might be something for you.

As I write this article (June 2017), SmartB has successfully created a bank direct feed into our accounting module for Maybank, CIMB, OCBC and we’re in the midst of kicking off a few more banks as the requests comes in. As we continue to build our presence in Malaysia, we continue to “conquer” the rest of the banks. Eventually, our goals is to reach the rest of South East Asia.

In case you don’t remember dates, this was slightly before Xero launched its official bank feed with CIMB Malaysia.

For those of you who isn’t familiar with the accounting world, I hope this article can help illustrate the power of the bank feed and help you appreciate this feature a little more. And in order to get there, let’s first understand how things were (and probably still are) done.

Traditional Accounting Methods

As many of you may (or may not) already know, the role of an accounting has always been crucial in helping a company meet the financial reporting as well as the audit requirements. While that is a regulatory requirement, the accountant is also a trained (financial) adviser to the company (though not everyone would agree on this – but I’ll explain why) with regards to it’s financial strategy.

Sadly, many of the accountants end up spending long hours working, digging and scratching their heads trying to workout the most basic part of the bigger equation – the bank reconciliation process (the bridge between the bank statements and the accounting entries).

Why?

Because, as far as the law is concern, the bank statement is one of the most important piece of information that you need to validate your financial position. Pretty much all your sales and expenses claims that were made in your business is backed by a monetary trail (aka your bank statement). And these transactions is the make up of your Profit & Loss report – and, subsequently, the amount of tax you need to pay (which is usually the key concern of business owners).

In other words, your bank statement is the supporting proof to the total amount of tax that you need to pay.

The Biggest Issue

Many owners would like to reduce their accounting fees while the work load that they provide to the accountant is actually insane. So, in order to “survive”, many accountants would take the job for a lower fee.

What most SMEs don’t realise is what goes behind the scene when your accountant prepares your accounting reports for you? And what happens during annual submission period (submission to the tax authorities and SSM)?

Just to be clear, I’m not here to judge the integrity of your accountant, but I’m here to explain that many of these accountants struggle because of the mountains of un-reconcilable bank statements that they get. And this is what leads to the biggest issue that accountants face – Time.

With the thousands and thousands of bank transactions that they need to verify, they spend a lot of time calling out business owners to explain the statements. And do you think the business owner can remember what these transactions relates to? Probably not.

Hence, by the time the accountant submits its report, they barely have the energy to be the adviser that they should. Many of them would submit the report purely just to meet the basic regulatory requirements and that’s about it.

So, if you want better quality accounting work, you can either increase your budget or automate your accounting.

The Power of Automation

So, all of that leads me back to my original topic – the power of a bank feed.

In case you don’t know what this is, a bank feed is a semi-automated process where you bank transactions is load into your accounting system – that on its own is already powerful. On top of that, in SmartB, our accounting module can take it one step further as it is already integrated.

What does that mean?

It means, that while you already reduce the time required for data entry. You can reconcile your bank statement on-the-go. That’s because, our system auto-matches the bank transactions with the accounting entries for you – and this is done by the closest date and amount.

That also means that you manual and tedious work is completed with little effort. With that, you’ll get more time from your accountant, as well as for quality review.

In case you want to know how it works, make sure to check out the video below:

Anyway, that’s all for now and remember to be smart in your business and automate your work.