For many years businesses who wanted to use a computerised bookkeeping package had little choice but to purchase a piece of software and install it onto a PC. Whilst these packages did a pretty good job they also had their limitations. In particular there have always been issues when our clients wanted to share their information with us. Clients would attempt to email us a 10MB sage back-up which our email system would block. When the data was finally received there would be further problems because the back-up was corrupted or we were running different versions of the software. Although we have attempted to come up with solutions to get around these problems it still amounts to a lot of wasted time for both ourselves and our clients.
The advent of cloud accounting has therefore been viewed as hugely beneficial and something which we have been encouraging clients to embrace.
So what exactly is “the cloud”? Quite honestly I don’t really know so I did what I usually do in such situations and googled it. The Guardian summed it up as “an umbrella term for a number of different trends, all involving the internet and it’s potential to simplify the way we use computers and extend their capabilities.” Now that we are all fully informed on that point we can move on to the accounting part which is something I do know a little about. The main benefits as I see them are as follows:
- Spread the cost – instead of spending £250 on software which will need upgrading in a years time you pay for the cloud software by monthly subscription.
- No need to run constant upgrades, the supplier looks after all of that. You can be certain that you are always using the latest version.
- You can access your accounts anywhere – no need to install software on a particular computer.
- All the data is stored in the ‘cloud’ so you don’t need to worry about it eating up your hard-drive or taking backups.
- Best of all you can easily share your financials with your accountant! We can then advise on how to record certain transactions, post our year-end journals directly onto your software, check the figures for your VAT Return, prepare some management accounts for you – the possibilities are endless.
To find out more about the cloud accounting software we use, please do contact us.
Nicola Pearson – Partner
Westbury Accountants and Business Advisors is an accountancy practice based in London. Westbury have been providing Accounting and Tax solutions to small and medium sized businesses since 1936. Talk to the team at Westbury on 0207 253 7272 or visit http://www.westbury.co.uk.