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Let’s be honest – nobody starts a business for the love of managing paperwork, says business expert Carl Reader. Managing your business’s accounts is vital, but it doesn’t have to be take up too much of your business’s time and effort. There is a better way – and it’s much easier and cheaper than you might think.

Cloud accounting software can save you and your business money, time and hassle. Today, there are a wide variety of accounting software packages to choose from – a few key names being QuickBooks, Xero and FreeAgent. These all use the “cloud” – a virtual platform that means your data is stored safely online.

Here’s 5 key reasons why cloud accounting can make a difference to your business.

  • Anywhere and anytime - information in the cloud is accessible anywhere and at any time. All you need is an internet connection, and you have every single one of your company’s numbers at your fingertips, all in one place.
  • Easy to use and efficient - your data feeds directly into the software, including an automatic bank feed, meaning you’ll reduce time spent manually entering data and managing information, and your business’s overall operational efficiency will increase. Just think of the time and money you’ll save on bookkeeping - and the potential for errors that you’ll eliminate!
  • Smarter and faster - the software learns quickly from recurring transactions and helps sort things out for you, reducing the amount of time you have to spend bookkeeping manually. You can create and keep track of invoices and pay vendors directly through the software too.
  • The whole picture – you can see all of your up-to-date information in one clear dashboard overview. With all your company’s financial and performance information in front of you, cloud accounting helps you to make informed decisions for your business. You also have a multitude of different useful reporting options at your disposal, including cashflow visualisation, profit and loss, HMRC commitments and much, much more to keep you bang on top of your numbers.
  • Secure and up-to-date – cloud accounting means you don’t need to worry about chasing pieces of paperwork or making backups. Your data is stored safely and securely in the cloud, and is accessible from anywhere – no need to be stuck at a computer or in the office.

All good accountants should be able to get you set up and running on cloud accounting; at my practice we’ve been at the forefront of it for well over a decade. The software is easy to use with lots of support readily available online and costs are reasonable too. With the Government’s Making Tax Digital plans and technology always moving forward, the day is not far away where online accounting is a requirement for businesses. And that’s not a scary thought at all – it’s exciting and will make life a lot easier for many small businesses.