There’s no denying that these days, coding is a valuable skill to have. Many people who aren’t computer programmers are learning to code, and the demand is clearly increasing. There are all kinds of tools and platforms you can use to learn too.
But the truth is, if you’re a busy accountant who struggles just to close the books faster, you probably don’t have time to learn to code. Maybe it’s on your to-do list, and maybe you’ll have the time someday.
Right now, however, you just need to find smart ways to get the job done.
Fortunately, there are a variety of no-code and low-code tools for accountants that let you create custom solutions and even your own automation solutions, without having to give yourself a study headache. Here are a few that every accountant should know about:
JotForm has been around for a while, and it’s a great tool to use when you need to gather data. They’ve just released a new, no-code solution called JotForm Apps, which extends the functionality of their product.
This tool makes it easy to create custom forms to gather information and even process payments. You can make your own custom apps in seconds, with an easy to use drag and drop interface. While it doesn’t do everything and is fairly basic, it’s still a quick and easy way to make custom apps without needing to write a single line of code.
One of the key pieces of the financial automation puzzle is connecting and automating all the various tools and platforms accountants use these days. You probably use at least a few different kinds of software, some spreadsheets and at least one banking platform every day. It can be tricky to export, format, and import data from all of those resources to get a complete picture of your organization’s finances.
LiveFlow is a tool that makes it easy to connect many banks, revenue and accounting platforms. There’s even a Google Sheets Add-on that allows you to integrate it all within a Google Sheet. So instead of spending hours trying to figure out how to connect everything, you can do it with a few clicks and zero code!
If you are like most people, you have a million tools you use every day, from social media to email automation to CRMs. Getting information from one to the other used to be tedious and time consuming, but thanks to low-code tools like Zapier, you can automate all kinds of processes quickly and easily.
One example would be if you use Stripe and QuickBooks. Zapier allows you to automatically create receipts in QuickBooks when you have a new sale processed through Stripe. Or you could collect data through TypeForm, and automatically “Zap” it to Google Sheets.
Zapier has free and paid plans, and each one includes a certain number of “Zaps” which is what they call each processed automated task. There’s basically no learning curve, and if you can sign into your accounts, you can set up fairly complex workflows quickly and easily. Highly recommended.
Sometimes, the best thing you can do when you try a new technology is to go with the new kid on the block. Integromat is a process and workflow automation tool like Zapier, but not as well known. Which means they offer better deals, more flexible trials and other incentives to sign up. This process automation tool includes a variety of useful apps that you can link – like major banks and billing apps, or e-commerce and payment processing platforms. They don’t have a catchy name like “Zaps”, but the process is just as simple. Sign up, sign into accounts, select what you want to connect to what, and you’re pretty much ready to go.
5. Zoho Creator
Zoho has been a popular business tool provider for a long time. Maybe you’ve used their CRM, or maybe you’ve tried out their accounting software. They’ve got many different off the shelf applications in their stable, but one that will appeal to anyone looking for no-code or low-code solutions is Zoho Creator, which lets you build custom apps quickly.
This is not a fully no-code solution, and they do have a proprietary scripting language that you need to understand to unlock advanced features. However, you can use this platform to build tools you need relatively quickly and easily. Of course, it does also favour their own applications heavily in terms of integration, so this might have less appeal if you’re not a Zoho user.
It was only a matter of time until accounting and finance specific low-code options became popular, and NettTracker is a great one. This clever tool integrates with all major accounting software packages and works as a fixed asset register that automatically depreciates all entries and recalculates every month. So, you no longer have to crunch those numbers manually. Just set them up in NettTracker, link it to your accounting package, and add and remove assets when necessary. So simple, and such a big time saver!
Why No-Code and Low-Code Solutions Make Sense
As an accountant, you’ve probably already noticed gaps and shortfalls in the software you use. These might slow your ability to close the books faster, because you’re doing some of the work manually, and it might limit your ability to reach a higher level of automation.
Every company is different, which means processes, procedures, information gathering, and other critical tasks are all different too. Even if they’re not directly related to balancing the books, as an accountant, they’re critical to getting that done.
With modern teams scattered across a lot of geographical areas, and the trend to work from home and hybrid office situations, it’s become harder than ever to get everything you need, when you need it.
No-code and low-code tools are a great way to fill those gaps without having to hire a professional developer, or to learn complex coding yourself. With these tools, you can create forms that field staff can use to send expense reports, purchase orders or something else directly to your email inbox. You can use a tool like LiveFlow and LiveFlow Google Sheets Add-on to integrate various platforms, manipulate data and make reporting to your management team easier.
The possibilities for integration and automation in the finance field have exploded in recent years, but there’s no one size fits all universal solution yet. Until there is, being able to build exactly what you need, when you need it is one of the most important tools in any accountant’s toolbox. No-code and low-code tools like the ones mentioned here give you the means to do exactly that.