Accountants embrace the cloud with Sage Pastel My Business Online

27 June 2013

Accountants and bookkeepers who gathered at Sage Pastel’s offices today to learn more about My Business Online were surprised to discover that it is not just an end-user tool, but one which improves the efficiency of their own practices as it enhances the level of service they offer their clients.

Among the new practice management tools that Sage Pastel has added to My Business Online is an Accountant’s Console, giving accountants a bird’s eye view of all their clients along with pertinent information for each one, such as date of year-end, due date of next VAT submission, and notes, including those sent by clients via the program.

“Our message to accountants and bookkeepers is that the future of their practices depends on getting their heads into the cloud,” said Steven Cohen, MD of Pastel Accounting. “Accountants are conservative by nature which is why we’ve spent so much of our programming resources adding fantastic new functionality to My Business Online. We want to make it not only easy for them to modernise, but very attractive too.”

Pastel has used the full power of cloud computing to make it easy for accountants and bookkeepers to collaborate efficiently with their clients not just from their offices but wherever they are, whether on the road, at home, or away.

Said Cohen: “Today’s service businesses depend on three things: mobility, mobility, mobility. Cloud computing enables accountants to service their clients anytime, anywhere. Most importantly, it ensures that everyone involved – all the client representatives, the accountant, the bookkeeper – always has access to the most up-to-date version of the client’s accounts. Never before have so many efficiency tools been so available to accountants and bookkeepers. They will get left behind if they’re not using them,” he warned.  

In support of mobility, My Business Online has a new Windows 8 Tablet App which allows users to log on from wherever they are for an up-to-date, bird’s eye view of their businesses, including sales and purchases for the day, bank balances and a yearly view of sales compared to the previous year. Users can add their favourite customers and suppliers and view up-to-date information on them, check their due and overdue tasks, process quotes and invoices and then email them directly to their clients – all on the go.

The My Tasks and My Calendar features of My Business Online have been released in Beta. “We have done a great deal of testing and we are confident that this feature works well, but of course we welcome feedback,” said Cohen.

These new additions are designed to help users keep track of the various accounting or bookkeeping tasks they perform for each of their clients. My Tasks can create single or recurring tasks while My Calendar provides an overview of the tasks and notes for each month or each day, offers timely reminders, and allows the user to change status from “Not started” through “In Progress” and finally “Completed”.

The new, and popular, Automatic Bank Feeds in My Business Online now supports multi-factor authentication bank accounts, where online banking websites such as Capitec and Investec have additional one-time authentication on top of user credentials before you can access their websites.

With enhanced Budget features and a Profit and Loss Report with budget comparisons, keeping track of spend is even easier, as is Customer and Supplier Adjustments using the new Quick Entry Grid feature.

My Business Online now also allows for the printing of Copy Tax Invoices so that if a customer loses or misplaces a Tax Invoice, you can issue a Copy Tax Invoice and your customer will be able to claim tax on it as it meets the requirements for claiming input tax. This is in accordance with SARS rules.

A host of other new enhancements help to keep reporting neat and uncluttered.