Could cloud-based accountancy be the easiest way to save your business money?

Article by Richard Hilling, CTO & Director of SKS Hilldean

“Why should we switch to the cloud? Our accountancy software works just fine.”

If this sounds like you, read on. In this article, we will explore how using cloud-based accountancy software can tangibly improve the financial health of small to medium-sized businesses.

Before we start, a quick definition of cloud-based software

Cloud-based software runs on the internet rather than your desktop or a server within your office. ‘The internet’ means a secure data centre you can access anywhere from any device.

It is the same technology that synchronises your email inbox as you switch between your smartphone and desktop computer.

Switching from reactive to proactive financial decisions

The most significant advantage of cloud-based accountancy for small businesses is that your accountant has real-time access to your books. Compare the following scenarios:

Traditional accounting:

Your accountant presents your annual accounts maybe six months after your year-end. This means you are discussing transactions that are up to 18 months old. Business has been good, but that means a shock tax bill. By now, there is nothing you can do but react.

Cloud-based accounting:

Your accountant has real-time access to your books, which they can review monthly. As early as Q1, they spot that your tax bill will likely rise this year, so can warn you in plenty of time and plan ways to help reduce it. You have proactively avoided a nasty surprise.

Other benefits of cloud-based software

Staff retention:

Amidst a nationwide skills shortage, anything that makes you a more attractive employer is a bonus. The accessibility of cloud-based software means that staff can seamlessly work from home. It also enables you to hire (for example) a bookkeeper if you don’t have office space. Cloud accountancy can also reduce your staff member’s time on admin, freeing them to focus on adding value in other areas.

Increased accuracy and a paperless office:

Older accountancy systems are limited to basic tasks like bookkeeping and bank reconciliation. Modern, cloud-based systems have more features that allow your accountant to drill down into your data. They also enable companies to attach digital invoices to entries, ending the need for a big box of books and receipts.

Increased data security:

Cloud-based accountancy software companies have the focus and budget to develop security measures that are more robust than most on-premise systems. Reputable cloud providers employ advanced encryption techniques, multi-factor authentication, and regular backups.

A holistic business view:

Popular cloud-based accountancy software, such as Xero or QuickBooks, will integrate with other cloud-based business software applications, such as customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This gives both you and your accountant a holistic view of client interactions. They will also enable your accountant to generate real-time financial reports and create customised dashboards for quick visual decision-making.

Is cloud-accountancy software easy to integrate?

An understandable worry for business managers is the disruption of changing a tried and tested system. However, in an age of user-centred intuitive software, getting users up to speed only takes half a day at most.

Which software to choose?

The big names in accountancy software – Freshbooks, Quickbooks, Xero and Sage – all offer cloud-based accountancy packages. Talk to your accountant about the subscription that best suits your needs. Our experts at SKS would also be happy to help.

Want to know more?

You can find out more about Cloud Accountancy here, or alternatively feel free to give us a call on 020 7096 0662 or complete the form below and one of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.