Realtime Collaboration: The sky’s the limit with Cloud Accounting

Whether we’re simply storing music and photos, checking our bank account or working on more advanced businesss applications, most of us will have some experience of using the ‘Cloud’.  Rather than storing data on PCs in our home or office, we send it to remote servers, from which we can access at any time.

Accountancy may not have been one of the first and most obvious areas to benefit from cloud computing, but firms like Pinnacle Book-keeping and their clients are increasingly adopting this new way of working – finding it to be extremely flexible and versatile.

The main advantage is that professional advisers like Pinnacle can access their clients’ accounts in real time and provide up-to-the-minute advice and guidance, rather than relying on outdated year-end data.  Bank statement information can be automatically integrated, which reduces processing time and makes accountancy more seamless and integrated.  And businesses, of course are able to free up space on their own hard drives.

While traditions die hard and many accountants have yet to move over to the Cloud, it’s worth discussing the options with Pinnacle as all in all, theres no doubt that the convenience of being able to access your accounts at any time from any location and the ability of your accountant to access the same data will increasingly mean that you get more precise and meaningful advice exactly when you need it.

It’s time to use your accountant!

It’s time to work more closely with your accountant.
Your accountant isn’t just there for accounts. They can advise on hiring staff, help raise finance and guide you as you grow your business.

You want to plan growth

A good accountant will be able to offer guidance on taking your business to the next level and the best way to do it, from structuring the business properly to making sure you avoid pitfalls like overtrading.

You suspect you’re paying too much tax

Do check with your accountant that you’re making full use of any tax allowances and reliefs you can claim.

You’re looking for management advice

When you’re expanding, you need to make sure the business is being handled in the right way. An experienced accountant can advise on issues like adequate working capital, good stock control and invoicing.

You have complicated tax affairs

Few people can say they’re genuinely on top of taxation rules and regulations, but that’s just what your accountant is there for. A good accountant will almost certainly recoup the cost of their own fees, particularly if you have complex accounts.

You’re looking to raise finance

Accountants aren’t there simply to manage your money. They can also steer you in the right direction for additional finance without putting your business at risk, looking at options such as taking out a loan, increasing an overdraft or issuing share capital.

You’re thinking about buying another business or selling up

In this scenario, it’s vital to get professional advice, whether it’s about getting an accurate business valuation, extracting your money out of the venture or assessing your best options for tax efficiency.

Your turnover is increasing

If your annual turnover is getting close to or above £81,000, you’ll need to become VAT registered. If you make all or nearly all of your sales to VAT-registered businesses, you may benefit from being VAT registered even if you are under the threshold, as you can then reclaim VAT on any business expenses you incur. An accountant can deal with VAT registration for you.

You’re starting to employ staff

Talk to your accountant about payroll regulations and your employer obligations.

Your general circumstances change

It could be that you want your spouse to join the business and you’re interested in tax planning. Or you want to become a limited company or set up a childcare voucher scheme. It’s always worth speaking to your accountant if your situation changes.

Surviving the Credit Squeeze and Recession

We have all seen the impact of the global credit squeeze and media frenzy on trading conditions with the major constriction on the equity markets and banks. We understand our clients’ needs and have a few suggestions to help you through the downturn:-

Communicate with your staff. Your staff are your most valuable asset and the more informed they are, the better the morale. Trading rumours have a devastating impact on staff and your business, so be open. Staff can be a source of new business. Institute an incentive scheme to encourage them to bring in more business but remember to make it worthwhile for your staff, 60% of something is better than 100% of nothing.

  • Watch your stock levels. Buy in raw materials or goods when funds are available to carry you through quieter periods.
  • Communicate with your suppliers. It is in the best interest of your suppliers to negotiate differing terms, as whilst you are in business, they remain in business. HAGGLE.
  • If you have existing suppliers providing you a credit line, don’t stress the relationship. A credit line is a valuable tool for cash flow. The last thing you want is to have to pay cash up front.
  • Try not to cut back too much on advertising. You need to make sure your name is known to a wider market.
  • Restrict overtime or only allow overtime as time off in lieu.
  • Watch your staffing levels. It’s best to have busy staff rather than have insufficient work to occupy their time.
  • If you do need to recruit, then think about more mature staff as you may be able to negotiate more flexible working conditions. Mature staff may prefer to work part-time to fit in with their lifestyle.

Talk to us – Pinnacle Book-Keeping professionals can advise on tax matters. Clients with exposure to UK & Isle of Man tax have a particular interest in refreshed tax advice.

The economy is a cyclical system and businesses should always have recession planning even in good years.

Pinnacle Book-Keeping professionals can help. Your business is our business and we will be more than happy to help you with advice and services throughout the year and not just at audit/accounts preparation time.

Whilst we cannot guarantee that by following some of these tips your business will survive, a proactive approach may help you.

Accountants beat banks as most trusted source of advice

Small businesses trust their accountant’s advice more than bank managers, friends and family. Companies are more honest with accountants than anyone elseSmall businesses trust their accountant’s advice more than bank managers, friends and family. Companies are more honest with accountants than anyone else

ACCOUNTANTS are the most trusted business advisor, following a breakdown in honesty between companies and their bank managers.

A fifth (21%) of businesses say they are more open and honest with their accountants than their bank managers, according to a Sage Omnibus survey of more than 1,000 of its customers.

Exactly half, 50%, of those surveyed believe their accountant provides the most valuable business advice, with 4% believing this to be the case with friends, 2% family, and bank managers sloping in at 2%, alongside solicitors 2%.

The latest statistic is indicative of the detachment of business owners with their banks.

Honesty is also the best policy, with 15% of small business owners also claiming they are more honest with their accountant than even friends, family or spouse.

About 44% turn to their accountants first for business advice, 21% to the internet and 18% to business groups or Chamber of Commerce associations.

Jim Scott, managing director of Sage Accountants Division, said: “Accountants have played a key role in the success of many businesses, but it is in challenging times that the value they bring really comes to the fore. More business owners than ever are turning to accountants for guidance as the regulatory landscape evolves, and the fact that over one in seven are more honest with their accountant than they are with their nearest and dearest underlines just how valued their counsel and advice really is.

“Businesses that view accountants more as trusted partners and less as mere service providers when accounts need to be filed are also better placed to make the most of new technologies, including cloud-based software and mobile apps that provide access to up-to-the-minute information anytime, anywhere.”