Prosaic automatically finds tax deductions from any personal bank, card or loan account, using AI
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Share year end bank balances automatically with your accountant

Nick Houldsworth
Apr 3, 2024
5 Minutes

Its April, which in New Zealand means summer is over 😥, you’ve survived April fools 😬 and its time to do your taxes 😄. (Ok, maybe a smiling emoji doesn’t hit quite the right tone. )

If, like most Kiwi small businesses or sole traders, you use an accountant, then you’ll already benefit from software like Xero, which streamlines tax returns by providing your accountant a real time view of everything going on in your business. This allows them to start preparing your annual return right away.

But you’ll also be familiar with the dreaded year end checklist ✅ That email you receive sometime in late March or early April, from your accountant, asking for a whole range of financial information they need to get started on your annual accounts. The same information you have to manually find and share every year, that’s almost always online, but unfortunately, not already visible to your accountant when they need it - like bank balances, loan statements, home office expense deductions etc etc. 

The back and forth on this checklist is the number one reason why annual accounts get delayed, which leads to higher fees, delayed tax payments and interest penalties, and time wasted on compliance when you should be running your business.

We developed Prosaic with this very problem in mind. By enabling a secure feed from any personal bank account, and AI powered expense detection and categorisation to automatically find common deductions like home office expenses, your accountant can get started on your tax returns without waiting on you to complete long checklists.

As we’ve spoken to dozens of accountants over the last year, another common pain point in completing year end returns has come up time and time again - the requirement to share a copy of year end (march 31) bank account balances.

So we thought we could help with that too, and take one more thing off your financial year end checklist.. forever!

Read on to learn why, and how you can get started.

Why do I need to share my year end bank balances?

Clients often ask their accountant “I already have bank feeds set up with Xero, why do I need to share a screenshot from my bank account?”

The main reason is verification, a second source of truth. Bank statements can be imported into Xero manually, or edited. Which means transactions can be missing.

By sighting account balances from 31 March, and comparing this to any account balances in Xero (or other accounting systems) on the same date, accountants can quickly either

  • Verify that both match, and confirm the books are accurate, or
  • Identify a discrepancy, to help look for any missing or duplicate transactions.

How is this task done today?

Typically by the client signing into online banking and either downloading a bank statement from the March 31 period, or taking a screenshot of the account balances on that date, then sending it through to their accountant, either by email, or uploading to an online form or checklist.

It's a small task, but surprisingly annoying when you have to do it the same way, every year. And for accountants, when seeking information from sometimes hundreds of clients, all these little delays can add up to hundreds of hours and back and forth, and hold up annual accounts for many clients.

How does Prosaic automate this?

Prosaic already enables secure feeds for any personal bank, card or loan account, through our partner Akahu, and provides a portal for accountants to manage their client accounts and review business transactions and expense claims like home office.

We now support business accounts via Akahu too, which enables clients to:

  • Establish a secure bank connection to any business current or loan account
  • Automatically capture daily balances, including March 31 year end
  • Invite your accountant to review and download your account balances

You only need to set up a secure bank connection once. After that, we’ll automatically retrieve the information your accountant needs, whenever they need it. 

And because Prosaic syncs bank transactions directly from your online banking, without any ability to edit or import statements, they are immutable, ensuring that they provide an accurate snapshot of your accounts for verification.

How do I get started?

If you’re new to Prosaic

  • Sign up for an account at www.prosaic.works (or ask your accountant to send you invitation)
  • Follow the simple onboarding steps
  • When prompted to connect your bank accounts via Akahu:
    • Connect any personal bank accounts (where you want to identify tax deductions like home office)
    • Connect any business accounts (eg current or loan accounts, where you need to retrieve a year end balance)
    • Some important notes:
      • If you have business banking with ASB or BNZ, you may need to call your bank first to ask them to make your business accounts viewable through your online banking.some text
      • We won’t include these transactions in any expense reports, they should already be connected with Xero or your accounting software. We’ll only retrieve end of day balances

If you already use Prosaic

  • Sign in using your email address
  • Under your user profile photo
    • Select “Your Bank Accounts”, then
    • “Add Bank Accounts

  • This will redirect you to Akahu, where you can add any business accounts following the steps above.

That’s all you need to do. We’ll automatically connect and sync your accounts from now on. 

You can continue to use Prosaic to find tax deductions from your personal accounts, and we’ll automatically track account balances for your business accounts too.  Then simply click the ‘share with my accountant’ button to provide secure access, and check two things off your EOFY to-do list forever!

Try it for yourself by signing up for a free trial, or ask your accountant to get in touch and we can set them up for you (they might even include a subscription in their monthly fee)

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Nick Houldsworth

Co-founder
at
Prosaic