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Anyone running a small business will know that doing our accounts is not something most of us look forward to. Many small business owners find they are bogged down in spreadsheets and endless tasks of inputting data and calculating VAT returns. It’s a job that many of us leave to the last minute and then take hours or even days over once we do finally get around to dealing with it.
However, it doesn’t have to be like this, not with the help of cloud computing. Cloud-based accounting software isn’t a particularly new concept, but it’s surprising how many business owners are still reticent to let go of their old systems and try a new approach.
Online-only accounting tools, where all your information is stored in the cloud, offer endless benefits to small business owners who are extremely busy and time-poor. Here, we take a look at just a few of the reasons why cloud accounting might be the right next step for you and your business:
Even with the very best intentions and skills, human error is still a problem for those who rely on traditional book-keeping when completing their accounts. It’s not difficult to input the wrong figure when you are rushed or stressed, or both!
If you swap to cloud based systems. Human error is much less likely to cause problems for you as many manual tasks are automated. Payments in and out of your bank accounts, for example, are logged automatically as the software and your bank account are all connected through the cloud. Your job may be simply to allocate categories of payments, rather than input actual numbers, for example.
With everything in one place like this, it’s easy to cross-reference and check that nothing has gone wrong. Errors are extremely unlikely and you are left to get on with the important things, like actually running your business! This takes us neatly to:
Taking manual tasks out of the equation is a game-changer for many small business owners. When your accounting software can connect with your business bank account, the hard work is done for you automatically, and there is no longer the need to input all your expenses and invoices each month while you sob into your piles of receipts.
Sure, they may be a ‘little and often’ kind of approach required from you, to check things are being recorded as they should, for example, but you will find that accounting is no longer a chore to be suffered through at the end of each month.
Even at the end of the year, when you tax is due, most simple accounting apps will help to work out your taxes owed and can even allow you to track your likely tax bills throughout the year so you know exactly what you will be expected to pay come January.
If you ever need to show your accounts to HMRC or any other auditor, for that matter, or if you want to sell our business, you will be forever grateful that you opted for cloud accounting. Using modern cloud-based systems means everything is neat and tidy and accessible whenever you need it. You can simply provide HMRC with the details they need to access your accounts online. It’s paperless and simple and error-free.
Using online cloud-based accounting tool also helps you to access your accounts anywhere. You, or an accountant, can log in from any device in any location and access the information you need to ensure your business is on track.
Many small business owners use mobile apps to keep up with their business accounts at any time, giving them a level of insight into their own business that would have been impossible using Excel spreadsheets.
In conclusion, cloud accounting gives you the tools you need to make the very most of you small business and removes ‘accounting; from your to-do list, for good.