The popularity of cloud accounting systems has increased dramatically in the past few years, but many small businesses are still using desktop systems or spreadsheets. Here’s a brief overview of the main benefits of using online software such as Xero, QuickBooks Online or FreeAgent.

Collaborate online

If your business has workers based out of the office, they can be given access to view data and reports online, e.g. a co-director reviewing the figures from their home office or a remote salesperson reviewing their monthly sales. Online access to the latest figures can be a great tool in business planning. It can also help your accountant keep an eye on how your business is doing and spot any potential problems as they arise, rather than realising after the end of the year when it might too late to do anything about it.

Bank feeds & automatic data entry

Bank transaction info is sent securely from your bank directly to your software package, usually daily in arrears, but some banks such as Starling stream ‘live’ transaction data. Rules can be set up to automatically allocate transactions and assign the correct category. Data entry and input errors can be reduced, saving precious time. This also helps you monitor payments & outstanding invoices so you know which clients you should be chasing for payment.

Invoice automation

If your business sends out regular monthly or weekly invoices to clients, cloud software can be used to streamline the process by either sending out invoices automatically to clients, or creating draft invoices ready to be reviewed and updated then sent. Email templates can be utilised to customise the wording to give a more personal feel.

Real time information

Business owners can run reports to review business performance or get a snapshot of the financial position at any time. This is very useful for planning for investment, staffing, tax liabilities and assessing the profitability of different departments within a business.

Automatic back-ups & software updates

As the software and data is online there is no need to run backups or updates as this is all done automatically within the software. If your laptop is stolen or your hard drive is corrupted, you can be confident that your data will still be available in the cloud to access securely from another device.

If you think your business could benefit from moving its systems to the cloud, please contact [email protected] for a free initial consultation.

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