Cloud and Online Accountant Services for Small to Medium Sized Businesses
Cloud, or online accounting, utilises technology to enable your business books and related reports to be accessible on the go via the internet. Many software packages also enable other functions of business administration to be streamlined and modernised such as quoting, invoicing and making payments.
What is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud-based accounting can assist small businesses in reducing their admin time of everyday activities from bookkeeping to submitting electronic statutory accounts as well as making tax digital compliant.
Online accounting software packages can often also be linked to your accountant’s practice enabling dual working on the shared data. The software is also usually linked directly to a business bank account so that transactions can be made, recorded and reconciled in a simplified manner via the software, saving the business administration time.
Why online accounting is good for small businesses?
The introduction of Making Tax Digital has encouraged small businesses to implement an online package to ensure compliance and prompt returns, however there are more benefits than simply meeting these legislative deadlines. Other opportunities that the technology offers’ small businesses include efficiency changes from streamlined, modernised processes in an array of areas from stock management to payroll, depending on the package selected. Various providers also offer phone applications as well as web-page browsers so that accessibility to your data and the ability to update it anywhere is quick, easy and as user friendly as possible. The cloud software couple with selected addons can make your admin and finance almost 100% paperless.
The costs of implementing the software and introducing changes to your business does not have to be huge! Software providers often offer small businesses a payment package to spread the cost of using the latest technology online rather than spending lots of money upfront for a traditional accounting package that will age and eventually expire.
Best cloud accounting software
There are many cloud-based Accounting systems available on the market today. Here are a few of the most commonly used the first two are the market leaders in the UK:
Quickbooks was one of first products available and as such was an initial market-leaders in the field of cloud-based accounting. Although the software now has many competitors, it is still very well respected and frequently used within the industry. The software is reasonably priced and as such is often used by Freelancers.
Xero is also a large player in the software market, offering a wide range of accounting and business tools that also integrate with other market leading entities such as PayPal. Similarly, this package is also reasonably priced, and therefore accessible to small businesses.
Freshbooks offer a very user-friendly accounting service, targeting small businesses via its use of automation. The platform offers similar integration options with a large selection of other applications including Paypal, and is slightly cheaper than Quickbooks and Xero.
Sage is a very popular package due to the historical market lead that company has had. The user satisfaction is high due to the friendly layout and intuitiveness as well as the integration options, however this package can be a slightly pricier option.
How Cloud Accounting keeps your Business Efficient?
As well as providing easily accessible, insightful business information in real time, a cloud-based system also eliminates various manual data entry and administrative tasks saving a business both time and money. This can also lower the risk of errors that come with manual data entry. The use of automation via an intuitive system can enable a growing business to focus on its growth development whilst providing insightful trend analysis and various cashflow and debtor reports at the hit of a button. Business owners can therefore utilise reports based on reliable data, for decision making purposes and act promptly.
What are the Benefits of going Online?
There are many benefits of implementing a cloud-based accounting system. Here are a few of the main advantages of an online system versus a traditional method of recording transactions:
- Improved access to key financial information anywhere in the world on any device.
- Management reports can be created on the go providing visibility of your current financial position at any time.
- You can set up multiple users to improve collaboration with team members and advisors in real time. Very useful when you need strategic advice while working with our part time finance directors.
- Invoices can be drafted and issued to customers while on site, on the commute home or wherever is convenient for you.
- Communications can be sent from the online system, with professional templates to clients or other distribution lists.
- VAT calculations can be undertaken automatically, and the relevant returns can be made electronically to HMRC, complying with Making Tax Digital legislation.
- Backing documentation can be scanned and stored onto the system, providing an audit trail for HMRC. You won’t have to worry about losing paperwork again!
- An online service means that the software does not date or expire as it is updated regularly via the provider.
- Providing the back-up process is implemented fully, all of your data is safely stored and can be recalled at any time should you need to refer to a previous version.
- Processes can be simplified including bank reconciliations. The system matches payments to purchase invoices, and income to sales wherever possible.
- Integration between your online system and your business bank account provide both time and money efficiencies such as saving the duplication of data entry.
- There are also often an array of add-on software bolt-ons available that help improve and streamline your business processes.
Ready to Get Started?
Finance Equation Ltd is an award winning chartered certified accounting practice serving clients in London and Essex. We recognise that people work on the go, and that having access to key financial data wherever they might be can be such an asset to managing their businesses.
Online accounting enables business owners to work fast and effectively in a modern and secure way. The benefits and possibilities of utilising technology for your accounting and business admin are almost endless. Take a look at our Cloud Accountant Plans to see what option works for your business.
We can also help you implement a new system and migrate your current data to the cloud, hassle free. Feel free to contact us on 020 3086 7472 for a complimentary consultation.