Why Cloud Accounting Is Good For Business

In today’s world it is all about ensuring your business can work smarter and faster. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.  Cloud accounting software is a wise investment. 

Watch the 2 minute overview on Xero now – you will be amazed!


The Cloud Explained

So what is this thing ‘The Cloud’?  Think about when you use internet banking. Every time you access this data, you’re using the cloud. The cloud is a platform to make data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub.

Accounting software and the Cloud make it easy for you the business owner!

Small business accounting software that’s not available via the cloud can be tedious and doesn’t add value. It can take up far too much of your business’ time and effort, taking the fun out of being in business. Cloud software can save your company time and money.

You can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection. Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.

Here are some comparisons as to why Xero is a better option!

Traditional Desktop Software

Xero Cloud Software

Backups need to be managed by you – can be very costly and are often not done

Automatically done for you at no extra cost

Restricted User access, typically to users having to be in the office on the network and have the software installed locally

User can access it anytime, anywhere and from any device as long as there is internet connection

User licences are often based on the number of computers that has the software installed and on named users, this can work out very costly especially if a sales team needs access

With Xero you can have unlimited users at no extra cost

IT support for backups and maintenance is required and can be costly

All done for you at no extra charge

Data can be damaged / corrupt or lost

Guaranteed to be backed up and safe at all times

Upgrades to keep the software current are costly and time consuming.

Xero ensure the software is updated automatically and all enhancements and improvements are part of your subscription.  No hidden fees


Why Excel Is Not a Good Idea

Small businesses often start out using Excel – but that’s should only be a short term solution. Your business needs to evolve and grow with the confidence that your systems will manage your growing needs. Find out why the smartest organisations are using online accounting software instead.

Why Excel isn’t a long term solution

It would be wrong not to not acknowledge up front that Excel can do a large number of tasks, is easily available and is very widely used in the world of business. However, while the application is sturdy, mistakes are easily made, data is easily changed or over written in error giving incorrect information causing issues with for you to understand your business’s financial position.

Spreadsheets are often riddled with mistakes

Excel the program is reasonably robust, the spreadsheets that people create with Excel are incredibly fragile. There is no audit trail or way to trace where your data came from. You can overtype numbers and not know it, and there’s no easy way to test spreadsheets, for starters. The biggest problem is that anyone can create Excel spreadsheets—badly. A spreadsheet done badly has a flow-on effect for any small business.

Unfortunately, these errors are not an exception to the rule, but a common mistake. As long as manual data entry, copy past, and formula errors are a reality, the internet is always going to have spreadsheet horror stories.

Six problems with Excel as an accounting software substitute

  1. Using Excel can be like having to know a programming language. Many small businesses forget this. Excel is so widely used, that it’s never been restricted to those with an expertise in it. In addition to this, lots of Excel users often misjudge their level of expertise.
  2. Setting up an Excel spreadsheet that meets all of your financial needs requires a lot of thought and planning. It takes time to set up things like expense reports and invoice tracking. You may find yourself in a situation where you constantly need to add or change information on your spreadsheet.
  3. In Excel, you need to know exactly how you are going to use the data before you start, as there’s no flexibility to configure it later. You need to know what you want to name the reports and the cells you want to print, and ensure each report is properly time stamped.
  4. Excel spreadsheets are susceptible to fraud because it’s easy to change information and hard to keep track of who’s making the changes. Imagine if your co-worker enters £1,000 instead of £100,000.
  5. Many users run into performance issues when they work with large amounts of data, combine lots of worksheets or include scripts. It’s system overload. It doesn’t integrate with other small business applications that can help you run your business. For example, accounting software will integrate with apps that do inventory management and time sheeting.
  6. Transactions kept in Excel are difficult to track. For instance, Excel does not automatically recognise double entries. Instead of Excel providing a better way to run your business, it often acts as a road-block to seeing the real picture.

Why Xero accounting software is better for business

Cloud-based software is designed to be scalable, cost-effective and tailored to your small business needs.

It’s not only easy to use, but it’s also accurate. All the accounting rules are taken care of for you.  You can have unlimited users, but give access to certain information only, giving you reassurance that sensitive data isn’t out in the wild. You’re guaranteed maximum uptime of the software, and backups are done nightly in highly secure, offsite servers, giving you peace of mind. It also takes the pressure off your business to provide adequate storage, which can be costly.

There’s little chance of fraud using accounting software, as there’s an audit trail in the system. It leaves no room for doubt about who has done what, and when.

Reporting becomes easy, and takes far less time. Profit and loss, balance sheets, management reports, VAT returns, depreciation schedules and foreign currency gains and losses are all prepared with a single click, to name a few of the essential tasks!

Seven reasons why accounting software is better than Excel

  1. Hit the ground running with confidence

    An easy-to-use dashboard is one that you don’t have to set up yourself and will give you confidence from the get-go. When you have a clear financial view from the start, you don’t need to worry about making uninformed business decisions.

  2. Your data is accurate

    Your company’s real-time financial data is kept in one central place – online, in the cloud. Bank statement lines are fed into your software – it’s automatic, and reduces the amount of data entry and potential mistakes.

  3. Out-of-box reports

    Get most of the reports you will ever need, with a few clicks – no need to wait for month end. Real-time reports and budgets are easy to view and share. Tasks like VAT returns can be completed in minutes instead of hours.

  4. Up-to-date information

    Create the information you might need at a moment’s notice. Your small business will be equipped to manage its finances better and more accurately. This is especially important around tax time when data will be shared with an accountant or financial advisor. Financial tax information is always up-to-date and ready to share.

  5. You’ll have a clean audit trail

    All of the historical information that you might need is available at your fingertips. A proper audit trail ensures your data cannot be compromised. It also records a document of every business transaction. This includes sales contracts, payments to employees, and more. Having a complete audit trail reassures investors about the validity of the company and meets the tax department’s needs.

  6. It syncs with other business applications

    When you use cloud-based software, you’ll be able to take advantage of apps that sync with your financial data. Inventory management, invoicing and a whole lot more can take the time and hassle out of small business accounting.

  7. Access to data anywhere, anytime

    Give any member of your team access to your data online anytime, anywhere (as long as you grant them permission to do so.) Cloud software enables you to share your financial information with your employees, accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor.

It’s about letting your business grow

While it can often be hard to alter the way you do business and embrace change, the potential rewards are huge. The truth is, the writing is on the wall if you don’t find it easy to quickly manage your day-to-day business using Excel.

Excel was simply not built to replace accounting software – so it’s time to give your business the room to grow and succeed, without restrictions.

Small Business Bookkeeping Services

We are a registered member with the Institute of Certified Book Keepers and can offer a range of book keeping services which can be tailored to suit your needs.You can rely on us to take away your bookkeeping headaches and provide a tailored solution to meet your needs.

Our services include:

  • Recording of sales and supplier invoices/receipts / payments
  • Credit control chasing outstanding debts
  • Bank and petty cash reconciliations
  • Preparation of monthly and year end reports
  • Preparation of VAT Returns
  • Preparation of CIS Returns
  • General management of paperwork
  • Communications with Accountants

If you have any other administrative need, then please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate you.

Xero Users – Add a Shortcut to your Desktop

Follow these steps to add a shortcut to your desktop for Windows 7 and Google Chrome

1. Click here and enter your email here

2. Copy the full URL

3. Go to your desktop

4. Right click and select New Shortcut

5. Paste the URL

6. You will see the lovely Xero Icon appear