There are lots of software options available online, for example, Xero, QuickBooks, FreeAgent and FreshBooks to name but a few, but what advantages do they provide for your business compared to more traditional accounting packages such as desktop versions of Sage?
Here at MilBen Accounts, we've been using online software for nearly 10 years, during that time, here are some of the benefits we have come across:
Multiple Access – Shared in real time
Multiple people can access the online reports at the same time, both off and on site. This allows your accountant, bookkeeper and staff to be able to access the data 24/7 (if they really want to!). This allows for queries to be addressed faster, rather than having to wait until the year end or sending files to review and wait for a response - this can all now be done in real time. Talking someone through the use of software is much easier when you can both see the same screen!
One of the main advantages of online software is the automation it offers. This can include simple financial credit control automation, such as automatically emailing customers with an overdue invoice. Or more complex direct connections with your business bank account via the Open Banking initiative which allow transactions to be automatically imported from your bank statements direct to your software with no manual intervention required. Gone are the days of paying someone to manually type your bank statements into your accounting software!
Traditionally desktop software is stand alone, if you wanted to include data from another system, it was a case of a CSV export via excel to be converted into another format, to then be imported into a separate tool. With modern online software, direct connections can be made across a multitude of different providers. Automation tools such as Zapier or IFTT (if that then this) allow an easy solution to create actions and tasks across many cloud-based programs.
With the above advantages managing your cash, the lifeblood of any business, is transformed from a slow process to a virtually hands-free system that can be done in real time. Tracking expense payments and managing your money is not held up by slow accounting processes.
Overall software is an additional tool with many features to enable you to manage your business finances in a simple cost-effective way. If you haven't already got your business set up online, or want a review of your existing set up let us know.