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Post Info TOPIC: Autoentry


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Autoentry


Is it as good as it says it is? It's soon coming up to the next tax year. I have a few annual returns which come in early, one is quite big with LOTS of invoices/receipts. I've tried to get him more regularly but to no avail. Have seen autoentry entry suggested a few times. How does it work, just scan a load of invoices and it produces a spreadsheet with all the details? Thanks Lyndsey

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Master Book-keeper

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Hi
Never used it, sure someone who has will comment on that part. But your once a year guy will have to change eventually, how about driving the way with stepped pricing. Don't deliver X by X date, rate is £X, then higher as time goes on (or state as high price in first instance, get a discount for earlier). Drive his behaviours rather than him driving yours.

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Joanne †McCormick

Fallows †Hall †Ltd

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He is always early, normally in end of April. But I have suggested to get it quarterly so I can spread workload and he can track profits etc through the year. He may have to change for MTD, but that has been put back a few years (he is under VAT). He was one of my first customers and has passed a work my way over the years so I don't want to push him away with pushing him too much on prices. Just looking at making my april/may easier!

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Master Book-keeper

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Oh yes sorry Lyndsey, I nly scan read it - of course he is early, albeit its a pile in one go. Just spread the work across an extra month or so, although the scanning idea might be a good one if things rae relatively straightforward. There was a post on here a while ago about a scanning stuff if I recall correctly, few months back - might be worth a search out. How much is that software you mentioned? Could be a good time to trial it for free. Might be interested myself for one that has now been almost cmpletely embedded into a new system, if it can split the cost codes on invoices.

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Joanne †McCormick

Fallows †Hall †Ltd

Winner - Bookkeeper of the Year 2015, 2016 and 2017

Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.



Master Book-keeper

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I've had a brief look at autoentry and in my opinion it can work out expensive, although obviously for large volume work it can save a lot of time.

Some time ago someone on here suggested a multifeed scanner that has software attached which acts a bit like receipt bank and produces a csv file of the scans. †The scanner was around £350 but can't find the thread now. Not sure if that what you were referring to Joanne?



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John†

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I think remember that post, was a while ago. I can't seem to search on my phone. Will have another check on laptop when I start working (on a Saturday!). The auto entry looks like about 17p per scan (£17 pm for 100 entries), which does sound expensive. Not sure how many entries I would need.

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The scanner is Fujitsu scansnap ix500

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Master Book-keeper

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Lyndsey wrote:

The scanner is Fujitsu scansnap ix500


†That's the one, thanks Lyndsey.

By expensive I mean in terms of cost ratio. †A 100 receipts would take 2 to 2.5 hours to enter in manually so say £50 client cost. †£20 inc VAT is a 40% profit hit. how long though will it take to scan them? †I find I can enter a receipt quicker than I can scan it individually, which is why I like the sound of the fujitsu. I don't know what their receipt software is like, but if its as good as autoentry, you may not need that as well.



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John†

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Thanks for the heads up on this product.

We are currently using receipt bank for a client using Xero and this might well be a cheaper option.

I am just setting up my account now.

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bk


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I invested in the fujitsu scanner. Absolutely brilliant. So quick and transfers immediately to a file to be stored. Haven't tried transferring it directly into software so can't comment. However, I now charge it as an additional service to clients for secure storage of their receipts. It's paid for itself doing this.

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Debbie Brown-Kane

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Leger wrote:
Lyndsey wrote:

The scanner is Fujitsu scansnap ix500


†That's the one, thanks Lyndsey.

By expensive I mean in terms of cost ratio. †A 100 receipts would take 2 to 2.5 hours to enter in manually so say £50 client cost. †£20 inc VAT is a 40% profit hit. how long though will it take to scan them? †I find I can enter a receipt quicker than I can scan it individually, which is why I like the sound of the fujitsu. I don't know what their receipt software is like, but if its as good as autoentry, you may not need that as well.


†That was also my concern. How much time do you have to spend sorting & scanning? I have a document feeder on my printer/scanner, but invoices always come with bits stapled on/together, if paid by card the receipt it attached etc. Duplicates/delivery notes and other random stuff. I suppose you can sort duplicates quite easily in excel, but then you have paid over the odds for stuff not needed.

Just trying to think of ways to improve processes.

I may have a look at that Fujitsu scanner, I would love to hear reviews on the software.

thanks Lyndsey



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Found the old post you were talking about John, yours from over a year ago!

http://forum.bookkeepers.network/t61588868/scanning-documents/

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Master Book-keeper

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Thanks Lyndsey. †I did a search using scanner this morning but stupid me was in yahoo when I should have been in Google. †

Anyway I've decided that when I've done the CIS bods I'm treating myself. †I will report back on my findings.



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bk


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Can definitely recommend the Fujitsu i500. What used to take me a couple of hours using the document feed on my printer/scanner now takes a matter of minutes. Well worth the money for the time saved. Bonus is it is a small unit too so doesn't take up too much desk space

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Debbie Brown-Kane

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bk


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Sorry meant ix500

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Debbie Brown-Kane

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Master Book-keeper

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Lyndsey wrote:

Found the old post you were talking about John, yours from over a year ago!

http://forum.bookkeepers.network/t61588868/scanning-documents/


Yes John that was the post I was thinking about and thanks Lyndsey for finding it.

Debra - do you drop the info to csv file? †Or it is just as a data storage method?



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Joanne †McCormick

Fallows †Hall †Ltd

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Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

bk


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Hi Joanne, Sorry for the late reply, I've been snowed under. I haven't tried converting anything to csv file. I use it only for data storage

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Debbie Brown-Kane

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We are now using Autoentry extensively. †Better than receipt bank for following reasons

1. You buy credits rather than client licences. †We buy 500 credits for £75+VAT so works out at 15p each as needed. †Receipt Bank charges £10 for up to 50 invoices per client. †But if client has only say 20 invoices each month is still £10 (50p per invoice) on receipt bank whereas in Autoentry we would just use 20 credits which costs £3.

2. Autoentry much better at recognising duplicates and not valid invoices

3. Once set up you can post in bulk and recognises where to categorise invoices next time. eg BP to motor expenses

4. We have a futijitsu scanner FI 7160 (i think). †Cost about £800 a few years ago but worth its weight in gold as can scan 80 receipts a minute. †(we also use the scanner with Docusoft for Document Manager)

5. Can use credits for bank statements and sales invoices if needed. †Receipt bank only deals with purchase side of things.

Now when a job comes in our admin assistant will book it in and go through and scan all purchase invoices, sales invoices, bank statements as needed into autoentry either using the scanner or app. †Means that when job ready to be started everything is in autoentry and †staff just need to allocate things. †Can easily cut 50%+ time off the job. †Plus the charge out rate of the admin assistant is a 1/3 of the accountant's charge out rate and they can pretty much scan the stuff in the same time one of our accountants can.†



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Mark Stewart CA

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Providing accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to small and medium sized businesses across Central Scotland and beyond.



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you don't need a special scanner. any printer that will scan to pdf is OK. I've started to use it but I think it's too expensive. I can enter the invoices manually for a lower price than using Autoentry. So after paying their fees I wouldn't make any money. It's a shame as it's really cool. you can set it to automatically scan and enter stuff directly into QuickBooks (or whatever you are using) and it would save a lot of time. If only it wasn't so expensive... it's cheaper to set up bank rules in the software for the regular invoices. The advantage is that Autoentry puts a pdf of the bill into QuickBooks as well. again. if only it was cheaper.

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Master Book-keeper

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Princess wrote:

you don't need a special scanner. any printer that will scan to pdf is OK. I've started to use it but I think it's too expensive. I can enter the invoices manually for a lower price than using Autoentry. So after paying their fees I wouldn't make any money. It's a shame as it's really cool. you can set it to automatically scan and enter stuff directly into QuickBooks (or whatever you are using) and it would save a lot of time. If only it wasn't so expensive... it's cheaper to set up bank rules in the software for the regular invoices. The advantage is that Autoentry puts a pdf of the bill into QuickBooks as well. again. if only it was cheaper.


I think you are missing a few points here.††

One example of which is† †- the 'special' scanner mentioned can scan at least 80 receipts a minute, any old 'printer that will scan' cannot match that and often needs manual intervention so the time take is much much more.

You cannot key 80 invoices in a minute.†



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Joanne †McCormick

Fallows †Hall †Ltd

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Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.



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Hi Joanne

I can do 50 - a hour!† (on a good day)† Just realised it said 80 a minute and I was reading it as 80 a hour

So what happens with this data once it's scanned in?† I'm assuming some analysis will need to take place, and to ensure it's been categorised correctly. Any idea of the time that takes?



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Time it takes really depends on the types of invoices.† If you have lots of singular invoices from different suppliers it will take time to go an allocate them out.

If however you have a tradesman and say he has 200 invoices from B&Q, Jewsons and Trade Centre for materials and 200 invoices from Shell, BP and Gulf for fuel then you can sort them by supplier, highlight them all at once, and allocate them to materials and fuel at once.† Can literally process 400 invoices in 10-15 minutes.

You can even step it up a notch by setting autopublish so that whenever the suppliers above have invoices processed that they automatically get pushed through to the accounts software (Xero, QBO, Kashflow, SAGEOne etc) without you even have to code things up.

We are finding we are saving 40 - 75 % of time to process using Autoentry compared to traditional method of typing each invoice into software or spreadsheet.† This has two benefits;

1. We dont have to do data entry which frankly is rather dull.

2. Frees up our time to provide value added services to our clients such as; helping them grow their business, pricing consulting, providing up to date information via management accounts and tax planning.† These are the services that we find our clients really want and will pay premium price for compared to bookkeeping and a set of accounts which is a compliance service and a necessary evil because needs to be done for Companies House and HMRC.



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Mark Stewart CA

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But it costs 14-17p per invoice so regardless of how many invoices you can scan a minute, auto entries fees are more than I can charge the client! My time to add them manually without their fees is cheaper for a lot of invoices. With invoices such as builders where Im opening the last one, copying it, changing the amount and date and closing it takes seconds. I can probably do one of those invoices for 10p. And I get that 10p. If I use AutoEntry I have to pay out 17p per invoice before I start. If there are multiple line items its 34p. It will also take time to sort through the paperwork to work out which ones can be scanned (some will be automated on QuickBooks already so wont need it, some maybe not suitable or in a fit state to be scanned and may need copying first etc) so I would have to bill for my time to do that as well as the 17p autoentry cost. I can see it may save me time but i cant see how its going to make me money when the Autoentry fees are higher than the costs for my time. The client would be paying more and none of it would be coming to me!

I think its a great concept, I'd love to not do so much data entry, I just need to work out how to make money out of it. I like the fact it puts a pdf of the invoice on QuickBooks and if I was doing that manually it would be quicker to use Autoentry but my clients arent bothered about that.




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MarkS wrote:

Frees up our time to provide value added services to our clients such as; helping them grow their business, pricing consulting, providing up to date information via management accounts and tax planning.† These are the services that we find our clients really want and will pay premium price for compared to bookkeeping and a set of accounts which is a compliance service and a necessary evil because needs to be done for Companies House and HMRC.


Are you not saying there that if you want to make money work as an accountant not a bookkeeper?

That's fine for people such as ourselves but there are many here who do not have that skillset.

For bookkeepers who want to be bookkeepers is it not better for them to save money on additional software and do the data entry themselves increasing their own profits rather than third party software companies. Once they grow to have more clients than time to service them then fine to use additional software but whilst they get there I don't think that there is anything wrong with manual data entry (and associated higher profit).

kindest regards,

Shaun.



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Shaun

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As well as the point Shaun raised:

"Time it takes really depends on the types of invoices.† If you have lots of singular invoices from different suppliers it will take time to go an allocate them out."

That alone is an important consideration - that says that autoentry (etc) is not the great panacea it's being made out to be.

I'd be interested in knowing how (IF!) these services detect issues and oddities on invoices, as well - for example, I occasionally see invoices with VAT charged but no VAT registration number - and what they do to address the problem.

Do they cope with messy, hand written invoices, with crossings out and other mistakes on them?

What about details of supplier accounts? Do the services have records of what suppliers are set up on the accounting system (or in the case of cloudy stuff, access to the db itself*) in order to set up new supplier accounts? Or does that have to be done manually?

In another thread, John mentions that he employs someone to do some inputting, and that made me think: someone junior could probably learn a lot from basic inputting, especially faced with some of the rubbish I see (see above!).

"If however you have a tradesman and say he has 200 invoices from B&Q, Jewsons and Trade Centre for materials and 200 invoices from Shell, BP and Gulf for fuel then you can sort them by supplier, highlight them all at once, and allocate them to materials and fuel at once."

But what if that tradesman is slightly bigger, and needs to allocate those invoices not only to the right expense type, but also to different projects/jobs?

* I'm thinking data security and GDPR here, of course.



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VinceH wrote:

As well as the point Shaun raised:

"Time it takes really depends on the types of invoices.† If you have lots of singular invoices from different suppliers it will take time to go an allocate them out."

That alone is an important consideration - that says that autoentry (etc) is not the great panacea it's being made out to be.

Yes, it certainly wouldn't work for me.

What about details of supplier accounts? Do the services have records of what suppliers are set up on the accounting system (or in the case of cloudy stuff, access to the db itself*) in order to set up new supplier accounts? Or does that have to be done manually?

Got to be manually I would have thought, and rightly so. My understanding is that Autoentry will scan the supplier name and remember it for future inputs.

"If however you have a tradesman and say he has 200 invoices from B&Q, Jewsons and Trade Centre for materials and 200 invoices from Shell, BP and Gulf for fuel then you can sort them by supplier, highlight them all at once, and allocate them to materials and fuel at once."

But what if that tradesman is slightly bigger, and needs to allocate those invoices not only to the right expense type, but also to different projects/jobs?

Or, as I sometimes get, a mix of expense type on the same invoice.




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Autoentry links to the bookkeeping software so knows what suppliers you have in there I think. It can either let you allocate the account(s) or if it's a supplier that is always the same it can be set to post it to the bookkeeping software automatically. So in those cases where there would be no involvement and you potentially could get the supplier to email the invoice directly to the autoentry email address for that client you could do nothing at all and the bill would be in the bookkeeping software automatically. If all goes well. However, for most of my clients that wouldn't happen and you are charged for duplicates and anything that they are able to get data off so I'm not sure I'd be too willing to give the email address out to clients for them to send stuff directly at this point.


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At the end of the day do what is right for yourself and your clients.

We have found that autoentry works for us in saving us time without impacting on what we can charge.††

You just have to look at how accounts processing has changed in the last 10 years with cloud accounting and apps such as receipt bank/autoentry.† That change is only going to get faster over time.

It is predicted that in 10-15 years time 95% of bookkeeping/accounting work will be automated.† Whether that will actually happen of course no one can say for sure but my feeling is it wont be too far off the mark.

We as a firm have taken the view that this impact together with the added cost pressures on compliance that will inevitably result (and which are already starting to happen) means that you have to add value to a client in other ways in order to generate the same historic level of fees.



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Mark Stewart CA

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Providing accounting, bookkeeping, payroll and tax services to small and medium sized businesses across Central Scotland and beyond.



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MarkS wrote:

It is predicted that in 10-15 years time 95% of bookkeeping/accounting work will be automated.† Whether that will actually happen of course no one can say for sure but my feeling is it wont be too far off the mark.


Reminds me of my first job at the end of the 1970's where in one of my first training sessions I was told that within ten years offices would be completely paper free.

Technologies moved on dramatically but it's no closer now than it was then.

Lets always remember that to get the people through your door in the first place they came for compliance work. Only once they are clients do you get to sell them anything else. So, if your distopian predictions do materialise, you will be just as affected as bookkeepers no matter what other services you may offer.

If bookkeeping / accounting is automated then the likes of KPMG will be able to undercut any high street accountant via economies of scale, offshoring and investment in AI.



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Shaun

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Master Book-keeper

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From what Ive read the business model between Mark and Princess is poles apart and that brings some bearing then on what is feasible, but certainly agree that added value creates more income opportunities, but what that looks like can differ vastly from client to client and in truth from the professional providing it (via qualifications/experience within the industry but also background outwith the industry, or the lack thereof).

Interestingly I notice that you, Mark, on another forum state today that ''The services I see expanding over the next 5 -10 years are 1. Bookkeeping''

You do go on to state '' those clients who do the bookkeeping themselves will now be able to outsource this to their accountant to do it cost efficiently using online software such as Xero/QBO and Receipt Bank/Autoentry''

(although 'efficiently' and 'online software' are not mutually exclusive).

In my experience the ones who outsource this to their Accountant (or a good bookkeeper) are one of three types - they cannot be bothered doing it themselves in the first instance; they want a proper/complete job doing and/or they have slightly more complex requirements than the norm.

For one - I will be retired and sitting on a beach somewhere within the timescales you mention so I dont much care.

Some of the aforementioned cloud offerings, along with the one purchased by RBS in the last few days are actively promoting cutting out Accountants, as is HMRC with its DIY Accounts/CT600 etc. So for the sole trader/very small end of SME market there will be some knock on effect on professionals, but for the three reasons above plus at the more interesting (IMO) end of the SME market I think there wil be plenty of work for the foreseeable. I personally see the bookkeeping training companies are going to cause more pressure than automation. Looking at the numbers bandied around by the likes of ICB, IAB and AAT, it appears that the market is being swamped.





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Joanne †McCormick

Fallows †Hall †Ltd

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Thoughts are my own/not to be regarded as official advice,which should be sought from a suitably qualified Accountant.

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