Cloud Accounting Software

Whilst there are still successful businesses keeping their records up to date using red cash books and manually adding up rows of figures, HMRC are slowly forcing business owners to move beyond these and spreadsheets, and embrace Cloud Accounting Software.

A significant step towards the death of the old red books and spreadsheet bookkeeping that has served many business for so long is the introduction of Making Tax Digital (MTD) that came into effect in April 2019.

The benefits of Cloud Accounting Software:

  • Time savings as bank entries can be automatically imported and entries updated.
  • Invoices can be issued electronically, directly from the system, avoiding the need for manual production and subsequent input, as well as reducing the risk of errors during the process.
  • ‘Bolt-on’ apps can enable automatic debt collection, or collection of regular payments by Direct Debit, with minimal or no administrative input.
  • Accessed from anywhere with wifi, your office walls suddenly become much less restrictive, and enable you to raise invoices before you leave a work site, or catch up on your bookkeeping between meetings, rather than in your evenings and weekends.
  • As Accountants, if we’re granted access, we can review the software from our office, making changes if necessary or just amending problem entries, or to answer any queries.
  • Automatic updating of the system in real time allows cashflows and budgets to be monitored without lengthy delays for data to be collated.
  • Cloud Accounting Software tends to be on a monthly subscription without hefty annual maintenance or upgrade costs, ensuring you’re always working on the most up to date version of the software.

This list could go on, but already there is a strong case to answer for moving over and away from the hard copy manual process or the spreadsheet options.

What about learning a new system?

The major options in the market, which we perceive to be Xero, Quickbooks, Free Agent and Kashflow all have training modules included, though with differing levels of effectiveness. We tend to prefer the first two, Xero and Quickbooks, which are user-friendly, Xero in particular.

As accredited advisors for both Xero and Quickbooks, and accredited for Xero migration, we can provide support and guidance when, or if, you get stuck or if you are trying to get set up for the first time. We’re happy to help!

What about bolt-on Apps?

There are a large range of additional Apps that ‘bolt-on’ to your main Cloud Accounting Software that can bring significant time savings to your processing, cash flow benefits or just make life generally easier. The primary ones that we’ve used are the following:

ReceiptBank (Included in our fees for no extra cost to clients)

Finally stop keying in the vast majority of your bookkeeping data! By taking a photo of an invoice, or emailing it to a defined, unique address, the details are transferred automatically into your Xero, Quickbooks or SageOne system. Reducing the opportunity for error, the time taken to key data and the need to file and keep all of the paper, this is a HUGE benefit for most businesses. If you’re considering deploying Receiptbank in your business, speak to us first! As ReceiptBank partners, we provide this at no extra cost to clients. With more functionality and less manual intervention than Xero expenses, this is out preferred option to keep things as simple as possible from a bookkeeping perspective.

Xero Expenses

When you’re out and about, small parking receipts or petrol receipts easily become buried in the glove box or a handbag. Xero expenses finally solves that AND enables you to quickly and painlessly authorise expenses for team members, who can have limited access to submit their expenses whilst on the move. They won’t need a half day a month to compile their expenses any more!

Xero Payment Reminders

Using a series of customisable templates, you can quickly set up reminders that will go automatically to customers to make sure they can’t forget to pay you! Once they’re set up, they’ll run without your input, letting you get on with the day-to-day.

Debtor Daddy

A standalone version of Xero Payment Reminders, with some additional debt-collection functionality that can be included, Debtor Daddy integrates with Xero, Quickbooks Online, MYOB AccountRight Live and MYOB Essentials. We used this for some years in our previous business and found it had a significant impact on our cash flow.

Chaser

Similar to Debtor Daddy, but with the ability to escalate chasers to or from different people within the organisation, Chaser offers an effective and good value alternative to telephone collections.

GoCardless

The Direct Debit system that we use for all of our clients. This ensures we don’t spend time chasing invoices for payment, and keeps our clients’ bank details entirely safe. Direct Debits offer a tremendous boost to any business’s cash flow!

MileIQ

A Mileage Tracker option which makes it easy to record your trips, and differentiate between Business and Personal use. You can send reports from your phone to your laptop or desktop and it also feeds directly into Xero.

Additionally, we use Spotlight Reporting with our Outsourced FD clients, as it’s a great way to  show them the numbers in their business in a graphical way. This is much more accessible to most business owners, who simply don’t ‘see’ numbers in the same way that an Accountant can!

There are lots of other Apps too, which we’re happy to talk through with you before you take the leap of implementation. They each have different strengths which may make one more suitable for you than another.

 

If you’d like to know more about any of these solutions, do get in touch. We’ll use our knowledge of your business and the software options to give you our thoughts on the best choice for you, together with our justification. Whichever Cloud Bookkeeping Software you decide on, we’d strongly advocate a move into the cloud.

Read our related Blog posts:

Changing Accounting Systems? – We’ve been speaking to several clients recently about switching from one accounting system to another. There are lots of benefits from using something like Xero or Quickbooks, but there are also important points to consider before changing accounting systems. Get the process right, and the change could feel seamless, but the alternative may not be pretty!

BaranovTV – Reducing the Bookkeeping burden – We know that bookkeeping is a burden, so in this episode we’re talking about ReceiptBank and 1Tap as suggestions to make things MUCH easier…

Making Tax Digital – The Story So Far– HMRC’s new ‘Making Tax Digital‘ regime comes into effect in April 2019. It will impact all businesses, but will hit VAT registered businesses currently using spreadsheets and manual records the hardest. Adopting Cloud Accounting Software will no longer be a choice.

Chris is awarded the Xero Migration Certification! – As long term advocates and users of Xero, we’re thrilled to announce that Chris has now been awarded the Xero Migration Certification! We’re already a Xero Partner firm, recognised and certified by them, but the addition of the new certification goes further.

We’re now Xero Bronze Partners! – As a Xero Certified Partner firm, with the Xero Migration Certification as well, we are delighted to announce that we are also now Xero Bronze Partners! This enables us to gain enhanced services and support from Xero, which we will of course pass on to our clients.

BaranovTV – Xero Expenses App solves the receipts nightmare – When you’ve been out & about the last thing you want to do is have to worry about all of the receipts that you’ve shoved into a pocket, the dashboard of the car, or your laptop case. The new Xero Expenses App is a brilliant solution, for business owners on the move as well as their team. Watch this to find out more!

Invoicing software and what to look for – The one shared feature of all businesses is the need to get money flowing inwards. The ideal goal is to make that money flow into your bank accounts as simply and quickly as possible! Invoicing software, also known as Billing Software, can make all the difference.

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