There are relatively few technological advancements that have dramatically changed the role of the accountant. The advent of computers was one and cloud accounting is another. If used correctly, this new system empowers the user and creates an environment that allows your accountant to provide advice as and when you require it.
BUT WHAT IS CLOUD ACCOUNTING?
The premise of cloud accounting is to move your financials from a desktop computer and into the cloud. This means that your information is available for you to access 24/7 from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. Using the same level of security measures as high street banks, your data is as secure as your online banking.
Initially this doesn’t sound like much of a change. How can moving where my data is stored have a significant impact on my business? The answer to that is “time”. Modern business is an ever-changing fluid system that requires quick decision making. Will our new venture make money? Can we afford to do it? Can we secure the financing in time to start it?
Moving your data into the cloud not only allows “you” to access it from anywhere, but also facilitates your advisors to do the same. This enables you to discuss your accounts from anywhere whilst both looking at the data simultaneously in real time. Your accountant can access your up-to-date financials, advising on whether a venture is affordable and creating a budget for its assessment. If you find you need initial financing then reports can be created for your investor and they can access those, also in real time.
AND THERE’S MORE
The advent of cloud accounting has brought with it a number of simple but powerful tools that help simplify and speed up the accounting process. Examples of these are:
– A direct bank feed that imports information from your bank
– The ability to invoice customers on the job and immediately get paid
– A feature that directly imports purchase invoices, either via photos or emails
– Automatic chasing of debt
– The means to compare your business to others in your industry or region
The user-friendly nature of these features and the ability to access information from anywhere enables you to tailor the service from your accountant, taking on or offloading specific tasks to find a fee that fits you.
SO HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
All this advancement sounds incredibly expensive, but a software subscription with the market leader can be around £20 per month. The removal of data entry by utilising the direct bank feed will easily cover this in time saved from processing.
The dynamic relationship with your accountant will also provide you with the assurance that your quarterly figures are accurate.
The crux of all this advancement is that you should be expecting a higher level of service from your accountant. Be demanding and ensure you receive a tailored package that fits your needs, and remember that this service should be flexible so that you can adopt or offload parts of the processing for a reduced or increased fee.
Most importantly, ensure that your accountant has a team in place to deal with cloud accounting and can provide the service that you require.
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