Making Cloud Accounting Work For You
Updated: Apr 24, 2019
Back in April we blogged about becoming a paperless business and that joining the cloud for your accounting needs can be a huge step to becoming paperless.
Cloud applications make it easy to store, share, and collaborate on documents. Files are easily accessible through any internet-connected computer or mobile device, and you don’t have to worry about different versions or file formats since everything is stored in a single place.
The internet has revolutionised many business activities and that includes business accounting. Software packages now don't have to be a huge investment and can be relatively quick and easy to set up. Like any system, online accounting will only be as good as the data being put into it and the knowledge that the user has. This is where cloud accounting can sometimes cause problems, for example where dashboards show profit but actually there are a few invoices that are stuck in the system somewhere or one that hasn't been created.
So how do you avoid these problems?
With any new system, training is key. It is a good idea to involve your accountant from the start and ask them for guidance of which system is right for you any your business. You can find our recommendations below.
You can also ask your accountant to help set up the system and get it ready for the first use.
Also make sure that it is checked periodically, your accountant can also do this and pretty quickly they can see if things are looking ok or not.
Sometimes working on the bookkeeping yourself can be a nightmare, especially if it isn't your forte: you put it off and then it becomes a bigger job to tidy up. If you can, why not hire a bookkeeper to help you with those tasks and then you can concentrate on the parts of the business that use your strengths.
At Seed Accounting we use XERO - It is intuitive, was designed for business owners rather than accountants, has a large marketplace which enables businesses to integrate all their back office processes and just generally makes everyone happy. Their Support service get back to you on average within a couple of hours (at most, 10). It is a bit more expensive than the others but worth the price in my opinion. They are at the forefront of technology and focus on the customer experience more than the others.
You may also consider Quickbooks Online (QBO) is possibly the second runner in the UK and has a fairly easy interface, a lot of accountants support and use it and it is relatively cheap. I don't believe it offers as easy an interface as Xero, but isn't awful!
FreeAgent is good for straightforward service businesses and isn't expensive. It is easy to get to grips with. BUT as an accountant, extracting meaningful information out of it is akin to sticking pins in my eyes.
One to avoid - Kashflow. Just don't. It's dreadful. And currently isn't on HMRC's list of compliant software for Making Tax Digital (although I'm sure they will be by the time comes).
If you would like to discuss this more and how we can help you, or if you would like a recommendation of a bookkeeper please do not hesitate to get in touch.