Four Landmarks in the History of Accountancy

Article source: Accountancy Age

Dr Richard Willis provides a several thousand-year history lesson of the profession, from origin to modern-day

THE ORIGINS of the accountancy profession offer some interesting insights into the work of accountants today.

The landmarks in their history and those leading to what has shaped the profession in modern times can be understood by looking at ancient civilisations, the contribution of Luca Pacioli in the 15th century, the part played by industrialisation, and the introduction of the modern professional associations.

Modern research shows that the use of accounting techniques was around in ancient civilisations. Substantial evidence indicates that inventory such as gold, silver and grain was recorded on tablets.

These did not have the sophistication of modern accounting methods and they often consisted merely of lists of expenses, assets, and payments.  Such records emerge from collections of clay artefacts dating from Egypt and Mesopotamia.  They go back as early as 3,300 BC when the work of governments called for the listing of basic accounting information.

Papyrus scrawls

Accounting records around more than 7,000 years ago have been discovered after archaeological excavations focusing on the ruins of ancient Assyria, Babylon and Sumeria. Crude ledgers detailed on papyrus or stones allowed tradesmen and business entrepreneurs to keep track of purchases and sales and to calculate surpluses or losses from farming, trading and other commercial enterprises.

Ancient Iranians, and more recently the Phoenicians and Romans, laid down the fundamentals of accounting practice and have all featured in historical research on early advances on which modern accountancy is based.

It was Emperor Augustus (63 BC to AD 14) who kept valuations of his buildings, religious sacrifices and expenditure on theatrical plays and who used rudimentary management accounting techniques.

There was also a need for audit and regulation to check the actions of Roman leaders who engaged in fraud.  The famous Roman general, Mark Anthony, celebrated for his role following the assassination of Julius Caesar, was known for being corrupt in the use of public funds and renowned for recklessly spending money in what has been labelled ‘shady dealings’.

It was, however, not really until the early part of the thirteenth century that accounting took on the modern form that we know today, for there is evidence of documents prepared around 1210 in Renaissance Italy that give traces of a double entry book-keeping.

Merchants made calculations involving credits and debits, and capital expenditure in readiness of audits of interest to investors, managers and businessmen.  Accountants then were motivated by what they saw as significant moral and religious influences. Divine intervention and belief in tallies of ‘life’ and ‘death’ and keeping a balanced account of one’s conduct induced merchants to maintain accounting figures on a daily basis.

Pacioli’s seminal influence

Against this background, a key player was Luca Pacioli who in 1494  –  in Summa de Arithmeticὰ, Geometria, Proportioni et Proportionalita  –  wrote a treatise on bookkeeping and subsequently went on to write about double-entry accounting.

Pacioli referred then to this innovative method of keeping accounts and following his study of the financial practices of Venetian merchants, he became known as ‘the father of accounting’.  In the 15th century, he experienced the workings of a monetary economy making use of ‘debit ‘and ‘credit’ in daily transactions.

As a numbercruncher, Pacioli also published mathematical puzzles and his bookkeeping went on to be recognised as the standard text for accounting practice.  He enabled entrepreneurs to apply a system of accounts which was later to provide the bedrock of modern accountancy.


The extent of Pacioli’s contribution cannot be emphasised enough, and he did so much in terms of putting accountancy on the map with his use of formal ledgers in the preparation of accounts.

Shrouded in religious sentiment, Pacioli was as much concerned with the management tools of commerce as he was with the virtues of man and his relationship with God.  The introduction of joint-stock companies took Pacioli’s formula a step forward in the 1600s, as the demand for a reliable set of accounts called for financial expedience in the presentation and recording of accounts, backed by regular audits carried out by independent and external auditors.

Industrial Revolution

The expansion of business at the time of Britain’s Industrial Revolution was a further milestone in economic history underlining the importance of some of the methods initiated by Pacioli.  The manufacture of textile products, for example, in an effort to gauge profit and loss within financial markets, acted as a further incentive. Irregularity and fraud among railway companies in the 1800s acted as an additional motive to regulate business activity.

But such regulatory cases were not typical of how the profession evolved within the nineteenth century. It was in Scotland that professional inroads were made, often with solicitors providing accounting services to businessmen wishing to ensure that their books were in order.

The emergence of the limited liability company led to a growing demand for corporate accounts and in 1854 around 50 Glasgow accountants petitioned Queen Victoria for a Royal Charter.

Royal Charters

In 1880, a number of professional bodies merged into the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. At the outset, 600 registered for membership and a system of examinations was introduced.  International trade, engineering works such as the construction of roads, bridges and railways, and the manufacture of textiles were accompanied by a desire for financial regulation and audit.

In the meanwhile, the US established the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. So by the late nineteenth century, the accountancy profession took on a modern form resembling the work of accountants today.

In the late 20th century, a greater reliance on computer technology took place and globally there are now a vast number of professional accounting associations.

Greater international dependency has resulted in the establishment of key corporate players, such as the Big Four, in a world where economic growth and failure have drawn upon the accountant to give financial expertise and acumen to gather, analyse and communicate data to clients.

Dr Richard Willis is a prolific writer of articles and books.  He is presently a visiting research fellow at the University of Adelaide

Get to know your fellow ICBA Members

How much might you have in common with your fellow ICBA members? Get to know your colleagues through ICBA member stories and find out! If you are inspired, why not share your story here too.


ICBA Testimonials(1)


Success = Loving What you Do – Lize Botha


It all started when I studied junior bookkeeping in 2014 and joined the ICBA.

Then, while I was a Financial Manager at INT, in 2016 I bought my own franchise of Organizit Party Styling that I have been managing since June 2016.

My life changed drastically since April 2016 when negotiations started to buy the franchise, I have since I left INT and I am very blessed to work for myself and be the owner of the Organizit Centurion branch.

What’s been tough is the hard work and very long hours. It’s very labour intensive to own a business, especially when doing it all, from marketing to styling and bookkeeping alone.

That said, it is more rewarding than words can describe to build up a business from nothing and to be in charge and be working all hours for the love of what you do and your clients. I am living my dream!

My ambition is to grow my business to more successfull. What would I say to someone thinking of starting their own business? Take the chance even if you are scared, “if not now”, when? If not me, who?”


ICBA comp entries(2)


Malitlhare’s Aspirations for Expansion 


My name is Malitlhare Lisene I am a practicing accountant and tax practitioner based in Vanderbijlpark.

I have always wanted to work independently but I only started focussing on this goal from around the middle of 2015.

While searching for strategies that could help me to achieve my dream I came across an online article by ICBA entitled “How to start your own bookkeeping or accounting practice.” Following the steps outlined in that article contributed a lot to my journey and to where I am today.

In 2016 I applied for ICBA membership and received a Certified Financial Accountant designation, which enabled me to apply for membership with the SAIT and become a tax practitioner. In 2017, I was approved by SAIT and have been granted the Master Tax Practitioner designation.

Financing a newly established business and getting clients in order to get the business running has been a challenge but taught me to have patience, be focused and always have the bigger picture in mind even though the business is not “there” yet.

My aspiration is to have offices in all three towns in the Vaal, namely Vanderbijl Park, Vereeniging and Sasolburg.

The most important tool that I need now is marketing because bringing in more clients means growth for the business which will enable us to expand and serve clients more effectively.

Some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs? Education is very important and only you can pursue your dream because it’s your dream and nobody else’s.


ICBA post


I identified a need and made it my niche  – Losha Ramdin


Two years ago I decided to make a bold move by registering my own accounting practice, I identified a need for this skill within the entertainment and social sector specifically and decided to make it my niche. I work with artist, performers, event companies, film, media and production companies and the Department of Art and Culture. I have a successful company with various client throughout the country and abroad.

I needed more than a pay check so I decided to register with SAIT to become a General Tax Practitioner and the ICBA which looks extremely impressive on my business profile.

There is always that element of fear when you are starting out, fortunately, I have good clients who always honour my invoices. It’s rewarding knowing that I can now pick, choose and refuse, knowing that I can prioritise my family and myself and that all my hard work will pay off.

Ultimately, I would like to do my MBA. If I could give any advice it would be to always have a strategy plan, be positive, put the work in and have faith, the rewards will come!


ICBA post(2)


Gaining recognition transformed my career  – Tinashe Gwativenga


In 2014 I started a PhD in Managerial Accounting at Tshwane University of Technology and in 2015, I started my own business as a consultant. I also have a Certified Financial Accountant designation from the ICBA.

The ICBA membership has transformed my career in a number of ways. I started using the ICBA logo on my letterhead since becoming a member and this earned me a good reputation with my clients, potential clients and investors.

It’s tough getting recognition as a new business but this became easier after I joined a leading professional accounting body, the ICBA. Now, people recognise me as a real professional in my line of business which has been rewarding. I would like to grow my consulting business to greater heights. ICBA membership helps a lot so I am going to make sure that I renew every year and continue to use the ICBA benefits.

To others in the accounting and consulting fields, I urge them to join the ICBA as a professional body member because of the high recognition you receive in South Africa and the world over. As a certified professional, one really does get noticed a whole lot more. Just try it and see for yourself!



Big Business Dreams  – Bethuel Boitshoko Modise


I have always had a desire to start something of my own and eventually, after 22 years as a management accountant at Telkom, I quit in May 2016 and registered a business consulting entity called, B&RKP Business Services and Consulting.

The concept was conceived while I was still employed and I decided to enroll for the ICB courses, starting from foundation phase through to the Certified Technical Financial Accountant, where I am currently with 2 more modules to go!

The ICB qualifications boosted my confidence as an entrepreneur, in that every morning, I step into my office with one thing in my mind, to continually grow in my knowledge to improve the value I give to my clients.

The ICBA helped me change my career and my life, as the first professional body I ever belonged to. It boosted my confidence and integrity. I am in business and live the dream of being up there with the best in the field. The ICBA membership has really opened doors, of which I am busy exploring, as well as memberships to other credible professional bodies like SAIT and SAIBA.

Being a new entrant in the cut-throat business world and with the associated fear of failure, one gets to be despondent but I got into the habit of attending business seminars like the NSBC and the SME Toolkit SA and while mingling with like-minded people, the fear gradually waned. Most of the people I have met in these seminars were also involved in start-up businesses and the networking gradually became rewarding.

I have established a respectable business consulting entity which is associated with professionalism, most of which is attributable to memberships with professional bodies like the ICBA. The number of referrals is also increasing.

My ambition is best addressed by my vision statement: To grow exponentially through value adding, customer centrism and excellent service to clients.

My advice to others is to learn to circumvent the fear to fail and believe in yourself. There are many opportunities out there waiting to be discovered!


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Hope, Hard work and After Hours Studies  – Liz Zielinski


In 2011, I qualified as a CTFA (NQF 5) and what a relief it was for me to have achieved this.  Going back a bit in history I was a single parent raising my son and having no second income.  It was “desperate days” and I focused on improving my status more than going to a lawyer to sue for maintenance.  A challenge…..yes it was, hard work many tears and after hours studies as I was and am working full time.  To add credit, to where it is due, my employer, InstructAbility and the ICBA had all encouraged and helped me in this process.

Today 12 years later and still working for the same company I have not just grown in knowledge but in myself as well.  It has given me a sense of worth and confidence within the work place and outside of it. 

I approach my work with dedication and integrity and keeping my status up by attending monthly seminars to make sure my CPD points are up to date and my mind focused on updates of what takes place in the Accounting world daily.

My new approach for 2017 is to complete my NQF 6 in order for me to just add to what I love doing and that is working and motivating myself and others, as my co-worker Kagiso said to me….It Is Doable!
Would you like to share your story? Share your story here.

How Much Should a Bookkeeper Earn?

Article source: Payscale

Do you want to know what the average salary is for a Bookkeeper in South Africa?

A Bookkeeper in South Africa should earn an average of R154,490 per year in 2017.

To be successful as a bookkeeper, it’s necessary to have skills in Financial Reporting, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable and Payroll Administration. Experience in Financial Reporting, especially, is associated with a high salary for a bookkeeping position.

Experience has a moderate effect on income for this job. For the first five to ten years as a bookkeeper, salary increases steeply, but any additional experience after 10 years, does not have a big effect on pay. Most people move on to other jobs if they have more than 20 years’ experience as a bookkeeper.

Pros: Working with people. Processing accounts. Processing payments. Reconciling remittances. Processing the cash book.
Cons: Requesting documents or information from clients or suppliers and not receiving feedback.


Broken down into cities in South Africa, the annual salary averages are:

A Bookkeeper in Centurion earns an average salary of R162,359 per year.

A Bookkeeper in Johannesburg earns an average salary of R177,111 per year.

The average salary for a Bookkeeper in Pretoria is R162,882 per year.

The average salary for a Bookkeeper in Sandton is R165,000 per year.

A Bookkeeper in Cape Town earns an average salary of R159,020 per year.

A Bookkeeper in Pietermaritzburg earns an average salary of R147,796 per year.

A Bookkeeper in Durban earns an average salary of R146,652 per year.

The average pay for a Bookkeeper in Port Elizabeth is R122,927 per year.

A Bookkeeper in Vereeniging earns an average salary of R126,418 per year.

Work your way up as a bookkeeper with the following Bookkeeper career paths:


A Case Study on Online Accounting Software

Article source: Accounting Weekly


A decade ago, firms had very few options in cloud-based accounting software, and solutions that addressed the specific needs of their smaller, niche clients were more or less non-existent. Today, there are a range of software options for firms that serve individuals, large corporations, nonprofits and everything in between.

Below, three firms — and one small business — discuss their online accounting software of choice.


Firm: Acuity
On record: Founder and CEO Kenji Kuramoto
Start date: 2015
Users: 34, 27 of whom are Xero-certified
Price: Ranges from R120 to R950 per month

Objective: Acuity was founded by Kenji Kuramoto in 2004 as a firm to provide “fractional CFO” services to small businesses. Since then, the company has added controller, accounting and bookkeeping services. Acuity added bookkeeping services to its offerings five years ago, and last year the company started using Xero to support its bookkeeping business. Acuity positions itself as offering “tech-savvy accounting experts” to small businesses, so Xero was attractive as accounting software built completely in the cloud.

“Around this time, we’d seen the advantages of cloud-based software in other industries,” Kuramoto said. “Even though the accounting professional had been slower to adopt technology, the advantages it could offer accounting were evident.”

Xero accounting software on an iPad


Implementation: At the time of implementation, Kuramoto had already been through “other more rigorous and serious integrations and implementations” at Acuity. In comparison, the implementation of Xero was “really easy, thankfully.” Xero offered set-up walkthroughs, which Kuramoto found very helpful, and the software company’s support team was responsive. “We found migrating from other software that may not have been the right fit worked pretty well. Some clients were using a bank account or spreadsheets, and those integrations were easy, too.”

Advantages: “From a business owner’s perspective, I like how well Xero works on mobile devices,” Kuramoto said. “I’m always on the move, and I love that I can access Xero from an iPad, iPhone, tablet — even an Apple Watch. Usability was configured for each of those mobile settings. The company was really specific in thinking about true use cases for Xero customers and how they work each day.”

Kuramoto added that his team loves Xero’s find & recode tool, which allows accountant users to take large quantities of transactions and recode them appropriately in batches. “Let’s say you bring on a new client,” he explained. “Maybe they had a bad bookkeeper before, and a whole bunch of transactions were handled incorrectly. It’s easy to search for those and then do a massive recode of all of them. Tools like that are extremely beneficial for transactions spanning multiple years.”

Challenges: One of Xero’s key features is automatic bank reconciliations: The software automatically integrates third-party bank account transactions into Xero.

“As a U.S.-based accounting professional, I have been trained pretty specifically on how to do a bank reconciliation,” Kuramoto said. “You go and compare transactions within accounting software bank balances to third-party bank statements and compare the difference. The reason we do it that way is there are lots of transactions and it’s always possible they’ve been miskeyed with errors; and we then check them against bank statements.”

“Xero tries to take a modern approach that in theory eliminates the need for that old-school bank rec, and that can be challenging for old-school accountants who are used to seeing a very specific bank rec function within a software,” he continued. “It’s a normative change that CPAs and forward-thinking companies like Xero are trying to work through as fewer and fewer manual transactions are put into software.”

Suggestions: Kuramoto likes that Xero gives a lot of freedom for what type of credit card merchant small businesses want to use to accept customer payments, but would like to see improved ability to manage customers who are using subscription-based revenue models. He explained that Xero, like most accounting software programs, can be “hacked” to take subscriptions, but it’s “clunky.”

“You find you’re using a few other components and tools to sit on top of the Xero system to really do all the billing you need it to do if you’re a subscription-based business,” he said. “Xero plays well with other software tools and APIs, but it would be nice to have those functionalities directly in Xero — like sending the invoices right out of Xero and setting it to be a subscription every month until you alter it.”

Currently, Kuramoto uses add-ons like Stripe for payments, and Chargify, which manages more complex subscriptions. He also uses ChartMogul, which provides subscription, analytics and revenue reporting, to manage subscription-based customers, because the ability to see monthly revenue return rates isn’t built into Xero’s software.

“I also like that Xero is enabling ways for users to interact with accounting information,” Kuramoto added. “They’re rolling out the functionality of making queries using text messages. I hope they continue that trend by using voice integrations like Alexa.”

What’s next: “Today we’re using Xero as a foundational component of our bookkeeping service,” Kuramoto said. “Customers are overwhelmed with choice. We’ve found they’ve been really responsive when we’ve stepped in and recommended Xero. We’re going to continue recommending it and Xero’s going to be a natural fit for them once they continue accepting cloud technology, especially once they see Xero was purpose-built in the cloud. Xero is a pretty instrumental component of how Acuity will continue growing.”

QuickBooks Online (Intuit)

Firm: Sechler CPA PC
On record: CEO and sole shareholder
Carolyn Sechler
Start date: December 2004
Users: 28
Price: R4800 per year

Objective: Carolyn Sechler started her own firm, Sechler CPA PC, in 1985. She took the practice home a decade later so she could work remotely and spend more time with her young daughter. “Technology is critical to what I do and who I am,” she said, explaining how important it was to have tools that afforded her the kind of flexibility she needed for her family. She started using QuickBooks Online almost immediately after its release, in part because it was online, but also because she found it to be cost-efficient.

Implementation: Sechler doesn’t remember needing much support when first setting up QBO. Because she started using the software almost as soon as it was released, she remembers having questions about various functions over the years that, over time, did become available. “When we said, ‘We wish we could do this,’ QuickBooks always responded with, ‘That’s a good idea.’ Since its release, QuickBooks Online has caught up and surpassed the desktop version.”

Advantages: Sechler tested QBO for a year and a half before rolling it out to her clients, because she wanted to make sure it was the right tool for the more than 550 nonprofit organizations that make up her client base. QBO is particularly good for her nonprofit clients because, “Other accounting softwares are geared to larger nonprofit organizations,” she explained. “If I ask a client startup or an early-stage organization to use a tool that is complex and requires high-level accounting skills, I’m not going to get good data at the end of the year. They won’t comply. QBO is easy and intuitive, so I get good results. I have to have a product that is for people who are passionate about the work they are doing every day, that enables them to focus on that work.”

Other advantages Sechler mentioned were the ability to create customized reports that go out to individual clients on specific dates and the ability to support multiple currencies. She also likes QBO’s integrations with other online add-ons, such as as membership management systems for churches.

Challenges: According to Sechler, batch processing of transactions has been an issue for her firm. However, this known issue has been addressed in the QuickBooks Online Accountant version. She has also noticed that her QBO system has gone down this year multiple times, and she was told that it was because her firm has more than 350 clients in the system. However, QBO support has come up with a solution each time.

“We look every year to see if there’s anyone out there doing anything that’s more effective. We used [a different product] for a short time but we ended up moving everybody back to QBO because that worked better for us,” she explained.

Suggestions: “I would love to be able to see a survey of my clients that I have under my master admin role, as well as an overall database of all my clients,” Sechler said. “It would be nice to review and compare commonalities and trends. For example, revenues generated by clients across the board; which five are producing the most; a report on which clients weren’t active in the last three months.”

What’s next: Sechler teaches QBO classes every month to the broader community in Phoenix. “We sell out every time,” she said. “I just want to keep preaching the gospel on how to manage your organization well. I just think that in the NPO and small-business sector, organizations would be crazy not to have a good tool like QBO around to manage and sustain their operations.”


Firm: Gray, Gray & Gray LLP
On record: Partner Paul Gerry
Start date: 2013
Users: 28
Price: Between R480 and R1275 per client

Objective: Though Gray, Gray & Gray started using Intacct in 2013, Gerry had used the accounting software previously with a smaller firm circa 2000 when the technology was still “on the bleeding edge.”

Gray, Gray & Gray performs a lot of outsourced accounting, and one of its niches is restaurant franchises. Previously, the firm was using a desktop accounting system together with a host of offline Excel calculations, and that wasn’t meeting its needs. During an American Institute of CPAs meeting in which the association walked attendees through several different accounting software packages, Gerry decided Intacct looked like a good fit for the firm.

Implementation: “Before we started rolling the software out to clients, we decided to use it internally,” Gerry said. “We hoped our people would become a resource to our clients, having gone through our own implementation and learning the hard way. But overall, it wasn’t a bad process. The staff person involved in day-to-day implementation said it wasn’t that difficult, and Intacct was there to answer any questions. And now we’re there for our clients to help them through their implementation process.”

Advantages: As with any online accounting software, being based in the cloud is a major plus for Gray, Gray & Gray. In addition to that, Gerry said that Intacct offers a very robust general ledger package. Intacct’s software also allows the firm to create almost any type of report it needs, Gerry said.

“One of the things we love is not just how it all works but the ability to throw up dashboards of what’s important to business owners and managers. We’ve been growing our practice, focusing on niches like restaurants. When we go to meetings and we bring out the big TV screen with the big dashboard, owners are like, ‘I want that.’ It’s very attractive. It makes the sell that much easier,” he said.

Challenges: Gerry said that there are both advantages and disadvantages to the configurable nature of Intacct. Intacct offers a host of integrations, and is not a “one-stop shop.” While that can be challenging, “At the end of day it’s a good result,” Gerry said. “I believe we have a better product at the end of the day, but it requires more time and thought to make sure you have the right partners in place to serve your needs. When bringing in third-party partners, Intacct can direct you, but it’s up to you to decide who the right fit is in the right circumstance.”

Suggestions: Another one of Gray, Gray & Gray’s verticals is architects and engineers. Because of this, Gerry would like to see a better project accounting functionality from Intacct. “Architects and engineers track all their projects, and they have work in process, and it doesn’t necessarily get billed through each month,” he said. “Intacct’s not built for that. There are some separate apps that do that, that are built for that specific industry.”

The firm would also like to see more focus on user permissions.

“None of this is new,” Gerry said. “Intacct takes our feedback and they do update the system. The software continues to evolve. But right now, it’s difficult to accommodate all owners’ needs and requirements when it comes to what employees should and should not be able to see. A more extensive list of user permissions would be a huge help.”

What’s next: The attractive dashboards feature has been a major driver of customer acquisition, so Gray, Gray & Gray will continue to use that as a growth strategy. This feature has especially been useful in displaying the firm’s annual Energy Industry Survey for its oil and energy clients. The extremely customizable reporting also helps retain clients.


Company: Beyond Media
On record: Co-founder Andrew Klotz
Start date: 2013
Users: 1
Price: R3000 per year

Objective: FreshBooks is a cloud-based accounting software targeted at small-business owners and solopreneurs. When Andrew Klotz started using it, he had just moved from a Fortune 500 company to doing freelance work providing digital marketing tools to organizations. “I needed to put in place a system to minimize the time I needed to dedicate to accounting tasks, that was automated, and would help me work more efficiently and have more time to execute business and pitch myself to new customers,” he said. “Beforehand, I had been using Microsoft Excel and Word to track clients in a spreadsheet, which was also tracking projects and potential projects. There was a whole mess of information within that sheet. It was just a really bad system, and very quickly I realized it wouldn’t be something that would be scalable.”

After founding Beyond Media, which creates marketing offerings such as 360-degree virtual tours of a location, he continued to use FreshBooks after considering a few different options.

Implementation: “Implementation was very simple,” Klotz said. “It was as simple as entering in client details, and then entering in services or items that I was selling at the time. It’s very easy to keep the list updated with products, descriptions and tax fees. I was up and running in less than an hour. At the time I didn’t have a ton of clients, but as I picked up new clients I was easily able to add them in.”

Advantages: The foremost advantage of FreshBooks for Klotz is its simplicity. The software allows users to “see at a glance” what stage an invoice is at. Secondly, the reporting function allows him to view the last 12 months and compare it to the previous year, or a specific month to the corresponding month the previous year.

Built into FreshBooks is also a receipt imaging capability, which allows Klotz to take a picture of a receipt on the go and quickly categorize it. He used to use Expensify to categorize and track receipts, but FreshBooks has since improved in this area, especially for small operations, so Klotz now uses FreshBooks exclusively for this function.

“You can always get a good gauge of how you’re doing from a profit and loss standpoint at any given time,” Klotz said. “It’s nice to have that level of detail and reporting, and also displayed front-and-center on a dashboard.”

Klotz added that his tax accountant appreciates that FreshBooks effectively deals with the harmonized sales tax payments in Canada, which makes tax preparation easy.

Challenges: “FreshBooks has my clients listed within it, but I also use a CRM sales tool, Pipedrive, to track all of my deals that I either have proposals for or am reaching out to clients for,” he said. “FreshBooks and Pipedrive don’t talk to each other, so when I move a deal into ‘won,’ and I need to estimate it, there’s no way to quickly put that into FreshBooks.”

Suggestions: Besides more integrations, Klotz would also like to see more analytics that would help him with budgeting and cash flow: “Most reports are geared towards backward-looking data, but in business you have to plan ahead. Anything to do with forecasting would be extremely helpful.”

What’s next: “When the opportunity comes up to hire someone, I think they’ll have a very easy time with accounting because of the system that FreshBooks has established with invoicing, expense reconciliation and the HST payments,” Klotz said. “It’s very straightforward and powerful.”