Key benefits for your practice
- You have a clear overview of your current financial position, in real-time.
- It automates a lot of the bookkeeping work –saving time and money.
- Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your teamand advisors.
- Automatic updates mean you can spend more time doing what you love.
- Everything is run online, so there’s nothing to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available.
- Upfront business costs are reduced –version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by thecloud service provider.
- The cloud is a platform to make data accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device -In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription
Benefit 1: Why is real time important?
We have seen in many cases opportunities to save tax or improve profits missed, or at best, the benefits are achieved 6 –12 months too late due to historic accounts reporting.
Typically, and back in the day, there would be a one off meeting with your accountant after your year end to go through the historic figures and discuss ways to improve going forward –the problem with this is the word “historic”. By the time your accounts are finalised and you’re sitting down with your accountant, it’s often 6 months after the year end, meaning some of the data you’re analysing could be 18 months old.
In order to have a business that is operating to its best potential, accounting information needs to be in real time and your accountant should be able to access this at any point, not 6-18 months after the event when it is often too late.
We saw a client recently who saved a whopping £200,000 in tax through having up to date information that we had access to
Benefit 2: Automation and saving money
We had a client who was paying £450 a month for 3 days of bookkeeping (using manual keystrokes and traditional software). With the implementation of Xero, our preferred Cloud Accounting platform,this was reduced to half a day, saving £4,500 for the year.
The point here is, there is amazing technology available to automate the majority of this necessary evil work. If you are not utilising this, you are basically throwing your money away.
Benefit 3: Monitoring and improving the key performance areas of your business
This used to be an area that only large businesses with internal accounting teams could tap into, but nowadays, with the help of real time accounting, you can have access to this data and monitor and improve you practice performance.
If you want to make good decisions, you need to base those decisions on good and timely information. Without such information, changes that you make in your business will be more like wild guesses than informed decisions.
Knowing and understanding the key numbers in your business helps you to spot trends and take appropriate action to improve your business’s performance. Your accountant can then spend time really adding value to your business, providing you with better advice and alerting you when things go wrong
Benefit 4: Traditional software –problems
Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious.
Traditionally, it can suck up far too much of your business’ time and effort. This doesn’t add value, and takes the fun out of being in business. Cloud software can save your company time and money.
- The data in the system isn’t up to date and neither is the software.This means events such as changes in regulations cannot be reacted to in a timely manner and the benefits of adopting changes are 6-12 months delayed (or too late!).
- It only works on one computer and data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable.
- Only one person has user access. Key people can’t access financial and customer details.
- It’s costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).
- It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.
- Customer support is expensive and slow
Benefit 5: Why the cloud and accounting software are the perfect match
You can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection. Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.
Benefit 6: Security and Business Continuity
As a small business owner, you might be concerned about a cloud service provider storing your data. But the cloud is one of the mostsecureways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your laptop is stolen, no one can access your data unless they have a login to the online account. With cloud software, this is where the data lives –as opposed to on your hard drive.
In the event of a natural disaster or fire, being in the cloud means business productivity doesn’t need to be affected because there’s no downtime. All of your information is safely and securely stored off site. As long as you have access to any computer or mobile device connected to the internet, you’re back up and running.
In addition to this, if you invite users to view your data, you can control the level of access. This is much more secure than the old-fashioned way of emailing your files or sending out a USB stick with your data on it.
Cloud-based software companies ensure that the security and privacy of data about you and your organisation is always airtight. If you use online banking, then you’re already primed to use cloud accounting. Cloud security is world class
Benefit 7: Work smarter with accessible data in the cloud
The beauty of this software is the flexibility it gives you to run your business from work, home, or on the go. You can be confident that you have an up-to-date picture of how your business is doing, no matter where you are.
Software updates can be developed and delivered faster and more easily in the cloud. This means you don’t need to worry about installing the latest version and you’ll get access to new features instantly. With cloud accounting software, you have the option to run your business remotely, from anywhere in the world. And when data is fluid and accessible, the possibilities are endless.