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
Cloud accounting is now the method of choice for many modern businesses wishing to save time and money when managing their finances. As its popularity grows, there is an increasing number of cloud-based accounting systems on offer in the UK. At Finance Equation Ltd, we support the very best software, so you can be sure your accounts are being managed securely and efficiently.
Leading cloud software choices among British businesses include:
Quickbooks was one of the first cloud accounting tools to enter the market, and it still leads the industry today. Catering for the self-employed, small businesses and accountants alike, Quickbooks is an advanced tool that offers a solution to all aspects of business finance. You can even select the plan that’s right for you; you won’t pay for any features that you don’t need. That said, even the most basic Quickbook plans provide a wide range of functions to help small businesses handle everyday financial tasks with ease.
The Quickbooks system has been designed to manage as many or as few tasks as required by the user, and all from one integrated solution. From day-to-day tasks to important annual reports, everything can be accessed from one account and additional functions can be added as and when they become useful. Some of the most popular features offered include the management of self-assessment tax and business tax using tools compliant with Making Tax Digital, as well as the ability to run payroll and send invoices. Users can also take advantage of the system’s advanced tracking facilities, which monitor work time and mileage for employees. The system also includes processes for the Construction Industry Scheme, CIS, which will link directly with HMRC.
Find out more about Quickbooks here.
Xero is a popular accounting software provider that specialises in delivering user-friendly solutions for small businesses. With this market in mind, the company focuses on delivering smart and efficient accounting tools that offer secure data protection and reliability. Xero is also designed to simplify digital returns to support tax, VAT and other financial calculations. Meet compliance standards for Making Tax Digital, create all necessary versions of tax reports and submit your calculations to HMRC, all with just a few clicks.
Xero aims to help small businesses use their time more efficiently. On top of providing business owners with a streamlined tax system, Xero also assists users with everyday business tasks no matter which plan is selected. Making payments, sending invoices, importing bank data and setting reminders – all of these functions can be completed with the basic subscription. In addition, Xero makes it easy to import banking data from your main bank account, credit cards and even PayPal.
Find out more about Xero here.
Sage Cloud Accounting is an advanced cloud-based system designed for small and medium-sized businesses. There are two plans on offer, including an entry-level plan for small companies and a standard plan for larger firms. The latter is aimed at more established companies, and so puts a greater emphasis on the importance of cash flow management and invoicing.
Both plans offer a variety of useful, efficient tools such as invoice creation, payment tracking, real-time report creation and the ability to submit VAT returns. As with its rivals, Sage can also be accessed remotely and linked with bank accounts for easy processing of financial data. The cloud functions are also compliant with Making Tax Digital and other government tax legislation. Some of the software’s more specialist features include the management of quotes and estimates, as well as the option to monitor cash flow via statements.
Find out more about Sage here.
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.