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Accounting in the Clouds

So, you’ve heard of cloud accounting, you’ve seen the Quickbooks adverts on TV, but what really are the benefits of cloud accounting for you as a small business owner?

In part of a series of articles on how Townend English can support you with your cloud accounting ambitions, here is our run down of the top benefits of cloud accounting for you.

1. The features of Quickbooks online

Firstly, Quickbooks online is modern accounting software built for the digital age. A far cry from accounting software of old, where you needed a phd in accounting to understand it, Quickbooks online is built with the non-accountant business owner in mind. The most attractive features of Quickbooks online are:

  • Smart device simplicity – with “beautiful” apps for your smart phone, tablet and desktop, you can view your financial data in an easy to view format from anywhere

  • Create customised branded invoices and quotes which look professional and can be sent instantly by email

  • Connect to your business bank account to ensure all transactions are brought into your accounting records

  • Instantly view your VAT liability and get all the information you need to complete your VAT return, every quarter.

  • Send estimates or invoices from your smart phone or tablet at anytime, directly to your customers email inbox.

  • Real time tracking of sales and expenses, who’s paid you and who still owes you money and a clear view of profit.

2. Pay as you grow

Small businesses often have growth aspirations, but want some security of not incurring significant overheads if plans don’t go as expected. Cloud accounting software allows businesses to purchase what they need and increase their spend as they grow. This includes adding more features and users. Additionally, Cloud accounting allows you to work much closer with your accountant who will be able to offer a fixed monthly fee allowing you to predict and plan and avoid surprise bills.

3. Safe storage of financial information

Cloud accounting technology can provide a more secure method of storing financial information than desktop based software. Data is routinely and automatically backed up to servers in multiple locations by the provider, and there are no physical hard drives or computers containing sensitive data that can be stolen. Since financial information isn’t kept on-premise, the risks of fires and natural disasters are also mitigated.

4. Data accuracy through automatic and seamless synchronisation of data

Cloud accounting programs rely much less on manual input of data, synchronising seamlessly with online banking and various data collection apps to eliminate data-entry mistakes or other human errors that might occur. This increases the accuracy and reduces the time taken to collate accounting records.

5. Making Tax Digital (MTD) ready

As HMRC progress plans on making tax digital, from 2019 it will become mandatory for VAT registered business to keep a record of financial transactions in a digital format, for submission to HMRC on a regular basis. Early adoption of a cloud based bookkeeping package like Quickbooks online will ensure you are compliant when MTD becomes mandatory.

6. Multi user access

The multiuser feature of cloud accounting means you can give different people access to your all, or just specific elements of your financial records and bookkeeping process. This can be accessed remotely at anytime thus streamlining workflow, and allows you to ask your accountant questions directly, all based on the most up-to-date versions of documents.For new businesses, starting fresh with Quickbooks online is easy as signing up. Established businesses however, will need to plan ahead for migration to ensure that critical data is kept intact and everything continues running smoothly. Fortunately, QuickBooks Online allow seamless transition from older, traditional desktop based solutions.

If you would like to discuss further how you can realise the benefits of cloud accounting, either as a new business or an established one, then please don’t hesitate to contact one of the team at Townend English on 01759305 989

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