If you make the right business decisions then at some point you may well find yourself expanding. And as you do, you’ll likely end up with multiple system users to manage various aspects of the business, from data management through to accounting. So, it’s not surprising that many companies perform various tasks from invoicing and expense management to time tracking and handling payroll all with online accounting software. But unlike the old days when it was only select people that could the benefits of these programs, cloud technology has allowed account admins to invite co-workers, bookkeepers, and business partners to take a look at the books and, if they have the necessary permissions, make modifications to help the business keep even more accurate and up-to-date records.
Why Are Different User Accounts Beneficial?
One of the reasons why businesses new to online accounting are hesitant when it comes to adding new users to the account is because they believe that the only one way to access the data is through a single, shared login screen used by admins, employees, and the bookkeeper alike. However, it’s actually the data in the account that is either partially or fully shared with each member of the organization, since all users are provided with separate profiles.
This approach means great convenience for employees and the account’s owner alike. For employees, they can work within the same system – and see every modification that is made to the books in real-time thanks to constant data syncing – but at the same time they are given the necessary freedom to perform their tasks independently and separately, helping to further streamline the workflow. In addition to that, the fact that employees have to use their own passwords to access the company’s database means it is virtually impossible for unauthorized people to tamper with the business’s records.
And yet the benefit for the account’s owner, as the only person with access to every feature of the software, they are the system’s admin and can create user accounts, determine each user’s role, and control their permissions to allow them to either just view a record or have the ability to modify it. Simply put, as the creator of user profiles the admin is given the option to monitor each employee’s activities, ensuring that only those that can make modifications in the records are those will the sufficient roles and permissions to do so.
Managing User Roles and Permissions
This doesn’t mean that it’s only the admin who can create user accounts by inviting others into the company’s umbrella account since a user can be given the necessary permissions to then add new users into the system, too. However, there are two things to remember: firstly, not only do invitations have to be sent out one by one, but the process has to be repeated each time a new business is created – regardless of whether it’s managed within the same account or not. Secondly, it doesn’t matter what your role in the company is, only those who have access to all the features of the software can determine what the new user’s role and the level of access will be.
Thankfully, the invitation process is child’s play, whether it’s performed from the user manager of the software or, in some instances, from within a project. The reason for this simplicity is that it only requires a name, an email address, and the new user’s role. Usually the chosen role will automatically control the level of access that the user will be granted, but many accounting solutions also provide the option to pick a role and then customize the preset permissions even further. This way admins can effectively differentiate business members from one another – i.e. employees, shareholders, contractors, and owners – and they can also guarantee that nobody has more permissions than is strictly needed.
The only exception to this rule are accountants. For starters, accounting solutions only allow the invitation of one bookkeeper per account. In addition to that, accountants are always provided with a profile that is completely different from the ones that standard users have. And, most importantly, accountants always have full access to any data within the software with the additional option of being able to make modifications to the business’s books.
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