These days most people have their photos stored online, do their banking online and now businesses are doing their accounting online.
Accounting software makes it easier to keep accurate financial records and meet HMRC requirements. Traditional desktop accounting software has often been expensive and complicated for small businesses and so the majority have stuck to spreadsheets for record keeping. An increasing number, however, are discovering the benefits of moving to online accounting software.
The International Data Association believes that 50% of all SMEs will be using cloud accounting methods by 2016. Will you be one of them?
So what are the benefits? Online accounting gives you a clear overview of your current financial position anytime anywhere. It gives you increased efficiency in everyday tasks, insight into your business and more confidence in your HMRC submissions.
Accessed over the internet on a computer or mobile device you can raise an invoice or track expenses on the go. It is designed to be simple and intuitive for everybody and your data is kept safe and secure. It is possible to leverage even bigger benefits by linking it to other cloud applications you use such as CRM, Payments or Inventory Management. It is easy to collaborate with your accountant throughout the year to get the advice you need when you need it.
The Online Accounting software market is already quite mature and there are a number of providers offering strong products with competitive pricing. The key providers in the UK are Xero, Quickbooks, Sage, FreeAgent, Kashflow and Clearbooks. Between them they can meet the differing requirements and complexities of the majority of small businesses.
Implementing online accounting is swift and pain free even if you are moving from existing desktop software. So build online accounting into your business plan for 2015 and ensure your accounting is keeping up with your business.
Sarah Bagehot, Chartered Management Accountant
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