Strongbox: The Ultimate Bridge Between the General Ledger and Excel
For decades, Microsoft Excel has been the backbone of financial data analysis. The power, flexibility, and familiarity of Excel make it an essential tool for accountants, one that is used almost universally in the profession. However, the critical challenge has always been: how do you efficiently get your client’s or target’s data, especially general ledgers into Excel? Enter Strongbox: the robust solution for seamless data transfer.
Why Work with the General Ledger in Excel?
The general ledger is a record of all transactions from a company in the accounting system. The general ledger allows you to sort, store, and summarize all sorts of valuable transaction data that are vital to a number of services that accounting firms offer.
While most businesses track their transactions using an accounting system like QuickBooks Online or an ERP like Netsuite, accountants often need access to this data outside of the system. There are typically two ways for the accountants to get this data: the client runs reports and sends them over, or the client provides the accountant access to the system to run the reports themselves. It’s not uncommon for a business to be averse to providing this access, nor for the accountants to be uneasy having it.
Further, once the accountant has the data, they’ll need to be able to perform analysis on it. The intricate entries in a standard general ledger offer a wealth of information about the company's operations. However, the conventional format of the ledger report, regardless of the accounting system it comes from, doesn't readily present these insights. Excel, with its pivot tables, filtering, and charting capabilities, gives accounting professionals the tools you need to find those insights.
Understanding the Strongbox Advantage
At its core, Strongbox serves as a conduit, designed to help accounting professionals get their client’s (or a target’s in an M&A transaction) general ledger details into Excel without the hassle and incompleteness of native reporting features in accounting systems. But why should Strongbox be your go-to choice when you need to export general ledger data into Excel?
Completeness: The Strongbox output produces an Excel workbook that includes all the underlying transaction details contained in the general ledger (with a reconciliation to the Trial Balance). This includes every line item in a debit/credit format, with corresponding attributes like customer/vendor, document number, product/service, class, etc.
Compatibility: Strongbox not only delivers the general ledger into Excel, a tool you entire team already uses, but also integrates with the most-used accounting systems and ERPs. This includes QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Desktop, Xero, Sage Intacct, and Netsuite.
Powerful Analysis: Strongbox does far more than simply extract financial data into Excel. The tool also performs a variety of analysis that’s included in the output. Since Strongbox accesses all the accounting system data, it’s able to dissect and present that data in a variety of ways – including AR / AP agings, income statements, balance sheets, variance analysis, and cash flow.
By Accountants for Accountants: The Strongbox output delivers data directly into the format that accountants actually need it. The tool was built for accounting professionals so the output is designed specifically for the way accountants work with financial data.
Tailored Outputs: That being said, not all accounting service lines have the same needs. Auditors need different financial data in different formats from an outsourced accounting team. Strongbox offers custom outputs tailored for each service line.
Easy Client Experience: The back-and-forth to get the data you need can be endlessly frustrating for you and the client. Strongbox gives you 100% of the data you need using a single, secure URL. In a few clicks, the client has done all they need to do and you have everything you require.
The Impacts and Implications
By leveraging Strongbox whenever you need data out of the accounting system, accounting professionals stand to gain:
Time Savings: Manual data entry or convoluted import/export processes can consume hours, if not days, and that’s assuming you receive access to the data you need in the first place. Otherwise, the back and forth trying to get the reports you need can take even more time.
A Predictable Workflow: One of the most difficult steps to plan for when providing services to a client is when the team will receive data and how complete that data will be. By having a complete, reconciled dataset available at the click of the button by your client – the team can be confident on when work will start and what the data looks like.
Reduced Errors: Manual data transfers are also prone to human error. Automating the transfer process with Strongbox minimizes these risks.
Enhanced Analysis: With the data effortlessly delivered in Excel, your team can then leverage the full power of Excel’s analytical tools, from pivot tables to complex financial modeling.
Deeper Insights: Faster and accurate data transfer means more time for meaningful analysis and insights. Your team will be able to focus on providing clients with actionable insights rather than pester them for additional reports.
Try Strongbox at Your Firm Today
In the digital age, the flow of data should be smooth, efficient, reliable, and specific to your needs. It should also be enabled through a smooth and easy-to-use client experience. Strongbox emerges as a beacon for those seeking to access the robustness of general ledgers in accounting systems with the analytical prowess of Excel. For those aiming to supercharge their practice, Strongbox is more than a tool – our customers call it a game changer. Contact us today to find out how it can impact your firm.