Originally posted on 6 Jan 2014

We all know the problems of dealing with clients who have incomplete records. The carrier bag clients. The boxes of invoices, vouchers, receipts and (if you are lucky) all the bank statements for the accounting year. These delightful parcels often arrive just before or just after the Christmas break.

Your job as accountants is to make some sense out of this pile of paperwork and do it as economically as possible, After all, clients categorised as incomplete record clients can’t afford to pay very much and (according to the latest gossip down at the local pub) there are plenty of firms out there who will cut your miserable fee in half.

To add to your problems, the client is always late in paying your fees and (just as importantly) is always late in giving you all the information in time to complete his/her tax return before 31 January.

While £billions are spent annually on manual data entry tasks by accountants across the industry globally, simple strategies can be used to significantly automate these tasks and eliminate a significant portion of this spend. The process of completing bank reconciliations and carrying out accounts preparation for incomplete record clients can be time consuming, frustrating and costly. Many accounting practices fail to address this problem by not equipping themselves with the necessary tools to fully optimise their operations for efficiency when carrying out accounts preparation for these paper based clients.

The solution may be a product called AutoRec from OCRex. They specialise in the development of OCR software solutions and have developed AutoRec to automate the process of performing bank reconciliations and analysis from paper bank / credit card statements. They claim that, for accountancy firms, AutoRec reduces the time taken to perform bank reconciliations by up to 90%.

The software has been subscribed by over 600 accountancy practices since its release. AutoRec can extract all the transactional data from your scanned paper statements and recognises, interprets, consolidates, cleanses and formats the data into a spreadsheet before automatically identifying and reconciling cheque payments and outstanding cheques before sorting, categorising and sub-totalling receipts and payments with appropriate tax rates and nominal codes preparing for you a full set of analysed accounts in a fraction of the time normally taken to complete these tasks. AutoRec then provides an export of this reconciled and analysed data that can be imported directly into other bookkeeping and accounts production software packages.

You can download a free paper from here (registration is required).

Martin Pollins

Martin Pollins

Managing Director at Bizezia
Martin Pollins is a Chartered Accountant with wide experience in corporate finance and business management. He holds a number of directorships and has served on the boards of several companies, including those listed on the London Stock Exchange, AIM and OFEX.

He was a Council member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales from 1988 to 1996.

Martin Pollins ran his own firm based in Sussex and was the first Accountancy firm in the UK to advertise on television and Martin went on to create and launch the CharterGroup Partnership (the UK's first Accountancy network) and then LawGroup UK (one of the largest networks of lawyers in the country).

Martin started work on the Bizezia concept in 1996, developing the broad range of information resources and products over the past 18 years.
Martin Pollins
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