The days of using physical calculators and pens and paper are long gone. We're well into the technology era, and technology that has been used one month may be obsolete the next. Things like Making Tax Digital, or submitting your tax return in a few clicks online are becoming the standard. What does this mean for the future of invoicing software?
Invoicing software like Debitoor are built to help make your life easier. They are simple and intuitive programs that can be used by people with no previous accounting or invoicing experience. Debitoor is constantly evolving to stay on top of all the changes in the business and technology world.
In 2020, we're not quite in the stage of flying cars or hoverboards, like Back to the Future predicted, but it is very apparent that technology is taking over. Software companies are constantly adding, changing, removing, or updating features as needed. An example of this for invoicing software is tax. The tax amount can change every year which is usually a simple update to the software.
A more complex example is adding bank reconciliation to connect to new banks and match the transactions in your account. There seem to be more and more 'online banks,' like N26, Monzo, and Revolut, so invoicing software has to make agreements and policies with these banks and create a system for matching records.
Future technology for invoicing software
Think of Siri or Amazon Alexa as examples. How cool would it be to speak into your phone and say 'Hey, Debitoor, send an invoice for 3 hours of labour to Company X'. Debitoor would then reply in a cheery posh accent 'Absolutely! Sending invoice to Company X for 3 hours of labour amounting to £300.' All of that would take less than 10 seconds. Although it's fun to think about, I doubt that this will happen in the near future as invoices need to have specific requirements to make them legal, and voice recognition is still not 100% accurate.
These days, people constantly have their phones with them. Invoicing software has made it easier to access invoicing tasks on a phone through mobile apps or browsers and even texting invoices to customers. Debitoor created an Android and Apple mobile app where you can easily send invoices and quotes, and even take a picture of receipts for expenses. Mobile invoicing apps are becoming increasingly popular and more versatile.
Some other features that have been discussed are the possibility of adding Bitcoin and cryptocurrency payments, and more options to send invoices through different platforms including WhatsApp and social media platforms. The one thing we can be certain about is that the future is digital.
Will credit cards even exist in the future?
With the craze of apple watches and mobile pay, who knows?! The magnetic strip on cards has become nearly obsolete with chip and contactless payments. I don't think we're anywhere close to having a payment chip implanted into our wrist, but credit cards do seem to be time-limited.
Cash and trades were the only form of currency until 1950 when the first credit card came out in the United States. These were simple cardboard cards with an account number which were used as charge cards where you pay the amount on credit at the end of each month.
Since then, card payments have evolved. It started with the magnetic strip in 1970, then in 1985, the chip was added for extra security. In 2007 the contactless option was added, and in 2014 payment terminals started accepting contactless payments with third-party apps introducing Apple Pay and smartwatches.
Even still, card payments are not completely secure. Someone can steal your card, or hack into your bank account. In America, the magnetic strip is still commonly used which can cause issues of fraud as the strip can easily be copied.
Although the future is hard to predict, there have been some advances on biometric features on card payments. You may have come across an app where you have to confirm a payment with your fingerprint. This is becoming more popular, and there are discussions of adding a fingerprint option to physical credit cards. This will greatly reduce fraud as the card owner will physically have to verify their fingerprint on the card every time they make a purchase.
What can invoicing software do right now?
Debitoor uses OCR (optical character recognition) technology which can read text on pictures. If you take a picture of a receipt on your phone, the system will automatically fill in the details that the receipt was from 'ESSO Gas Station' for '£40.72', and classify this receipt as an expense for 'business travel', for instance.
With automatic bank reconciliation, you can connect your N26 bank account in a few easy steps. Every time you make a transaction or accept payment with that account, Debitoor will automatically match it with an existing invoice or expense. For instance, if you send an invoice to a client for £1000, and a few days later the client pays by bank transfer into your account, the Debitoor software will automatically match it with that invoice and mark it as paid.
Everything in the Debitoor software is saved. As long as it is in your account, nothing will disappear. With that, we also have automatic reports. Every time you accept a payment, add an expense, or create an invoice, your accounting reports like the balance sheet are automatically updated. When it's time to file your taxes, you won't have to stress, all you'll have to do is download your reports and send them off!
These days, no one can really predict what will happen in the next 10 years. Maybe one day invoicing software will become obsolete, but for now, the Debitoor team is happy to help you out with your accounting and invoicing needs. We're always open to feedback and adding new features, so if you have any suggestions, feel free to send them through to [email protected].