Keeping track of business finances can be a difficult task. Figuring out your earnings against your outgoings and how much tax or VAT you owe can cause vexing headaches when trying to calculate figures throughout the year.
Staying on top of your finances is imperative, not only for the smooth and effective running of your business, but also to ensure you are carrying out trade while paying the correct amount of tax.
Traditional accountancy software for businesses has long been considered too large and bulky, requiring a great deal of space on a company’s computers and internal servers.
However, there is now an intelligent solution to top quality accountancy services without the costly software. Welcome to the cloud.
What is the cloud?
The cloud is an external storage network that can be accessed online, allowing for the safekeeping of documents, programmes and email services without clogging up a business’s internal server and other storage capabilities.
It also enables workers to access accountancy related information from wherever they are working, as long as an internet connection is available.
This means it is possible to work remotely, which can be beneficial for staff that need to work from home. In fact, remote and flexible working has lots of benefits for businesses, with Jo Swinson, Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs maintaining that it improves staff retention, productivity and morale.
Why is this useful for accounting?
You can now use online, cloud-based software to store all of your accountancy records, protected by encryption and a password.
This means that small businesses and their accountants can access important financial documents from anywhere, at any time. The benefit of this is the flexibility it offers, as it streamlines the process for external accountants and enables them to access documents without making a trip to the office.
Not only does this save time, it also benefits the working environment due to the decreased necessity for travel and eradicated need to print off hundreds of paper documents.
It also allows for information to be updated in real time, which can then be accessed by business owners and accountants alike. If you’re looking for more detailed information, small business legal advisors Lawbite have produced this useful blog post on cloud-based accountancy.
Why should businesses consider online accountancy?
Taking advantage of the cloud for accountancy has a number of benefits, such as reduced business server capacity, ease of use, ease of access and flexibility.
If you are able to keep a running check on your financial situation throughout the year, you will be able to make improved judgements about the direction in which your business needs to move in order to be successful.
Should you cut back on spending to avoid falling into a financial black hole? Or should you increase spending to maximise profits?
Having current financial information available at the click of a mouse in a simple yet sophisticated online programme can help you make informed business decisions.
Allowing your accountant to access information and extract data in real time can also be hugely beneficial, reducing the need for them to take time out of their day to make long trips or participate in conference calls.
By checking accountancy information as it gets updated, they can take the necessary figures, collate them, and deliver results in much more efficient and proactive manner.