As a leading accountancy firm serving businesses across the UK, and as a small business ourselves, we understand the unique challenges that small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) face in managing their finances efficiently.
In today’s constantly evolving digital landscape, Cloud Accounting has definitely emerged as a game-changer for SMEs, revolutionising the way businesses handle their financial data, and quite rightly!
In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of Cloud Accounting and how it can benefit your business.
What is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud accounting is a modern approach to managing your financial data and processes using an internet-based software and remote services, instead of traditional desktop-based accounting software, or dare I say it, paper!
Cloud accounting allows users to access their financial information and perform accounting tasks through a web browser or mobile application.
What are the benefits of Cloud Accounting?
There’s quite a few, but to name the key ones:
- Accessibility – Business owners, and their accountants, can access financial information from anywhere, at any time. This provides great flexibility and convenience.
- Cost-effectiveness – Those desktop versions use to need on-premises servers and IT maintenance, also cloud accounting have some incredible apps which save time too (which saves the pennies as well!)
- Real-time insights – With up to date data available instantly, as business owners we are able to make informed decisions quickly, which moving quickly is key!
- Scalability – Cloud accounting solutions can easily scale as your business grows or you have a change in accounting needs
- Collaboration – a key one for us, having multi-user access and accessibility as noted before, collaboration between accountants and business owners can be even better!
- Security and Data Protection – reputable cloud accounting providers prioritise data security, employing advanced encryption and authentication measures. Just keep your side of the bargain by ensuring you do 2FA, and follow normal security measures!
- Automatic Updates – regularly updated with new features and improves, and some have access to a huge eco-system of applications which can be linked directly in, which makes functionalities even better!
Real-life success stories
Case Study: Bookkeeper admitted to hospital
We recently helped one of new clients make the transition from a Desktop accounting package to Xero. This came in the knick-of-time. Previously only their bookkeeper had access to the financial data with the desktop accounting system being operated remotely at her home, and unfortunately she was unexpectedly admitted to hospital, and on the intensive care unit for some time.
We had made the transition and ran a 3 month parallel system to ensure the bookkeeper was happy, and it meant that we could step in the bookkeepers shoes remotely and continue business as normal for them until their bookkeeper was back up to full health and ready to take the role back on. Had this still been on her desktop, the client would have taken their finger of the finance pulse for some time, and been unable to operate business on a day to day basis.
Case Study: Expanding business looking to scale and sell
One of our clients is looking to scale and sell, and being able to remove herself from the day to day operations of the finance function, relying on us to do the daily bookkeeping, payment runs, and then digesting the information for her on a monthly basis enable her to focus on what she needs to do to drive forwards. It also means her finance function is slick, and easy for any one looking to acquire the business to continue the process or continue to outsource it!
Whilst they used cloud accounting before, it was only updated for quarterly VAT returns, whereas now we have our fingers on the pulse on the numbers, able to generate management reports and sit and project forwards creating scenarios and helping her business grow and evolve forwards. See our article here on management reporting.
Transitioning to Cloud Accounting:
Like everything transitioning to the cloud needs some careful planning to ensure a smooth and successful migration. Here’s a step by step guide on how to navigate the process:
- Create a plan! When do you want to be fully transitioned? Will you run a parallel system? Who will help you with the transition? What is the best time to do the transition?
- Choose the Right Cloud Software for you! Consider factors such as scalability, integrations, security and customer support. Want to know why we’ve partnered with Xero, see our article here.
- Get the data ready! Make sure your data is complete before migrating and make sure you have a backup of the data to prevent any loss.
- Import the data – follow the guidelines for importing financial data across, and make sure the data you’re transferring is correct!
- Get things set up! Then its time to get your chart of accounts, tax settings, invoice options all set up in the new system. You can get this set up ahead of too.
- Training phase – ensure that all those who will be using it have been trained and feel comfortable with the new software, you want to start running
- Transition slowly if needed… Consider if running the systems in parallel (running both systems at the same time) is needed for you
- Get things slick and continue to improve! Regularly review, speak to experts to understand if you are using the system to its full capacity, consider ways to improve financial management and streamline processes!
Any questions, we’re a dab hand at this, so do let us know!
Frequently asked questions
- Is my financial data safe in the cloud? We understand that data security is a top concern. Rest assured, we partner with reputable cloud accounting platforms that prioritize advanced security measures, including data encryption, regular backups, and multi-factor authentication. Your financial data’s safety is our priority.
- What if I’m not tech-savvy? Will I be able to use cloud accounting? You don’t need to be a tech expert! Cloud accounting platforms we recommend are designed with user-friendliness in mind. We provide training resources and personalized assistance to ensure a smooth transition. Our team is here to guide you through the process, making it easy to navigate.
- How can I access my financial data if there’s an internet outage? We understand connectivity concerns. Most cloud accounting platforms offer offline functionality or mobile apps that allow you to work on your financial data even without an internet connection. Plus, our support team is available to address any questions you might have during such situations.
- What happens if the cloud accounting software experiences technical issues? Technical glitches can happen with any software. In such cases, we’ve got you covered. Our experienced team has the expertise to quickly address any issues and liaise with the software provider’s support to ensure minimal disruptions to your financial processes.
- Can I migrate my existing data to cloud accounting without losing information? Absolutely. We will guide you through a seamless data migration process, ensuring that your existing financial data is accurately transferred to the cloud accounting system. Our team will oversee this process to prevent any data loss or discrepancies.
- Will my accountants still have access to my financial data for tax purposes? Yes, your accountants will have secure access to your financial data as needed. Cloud accounting enhances collaboration between business owners and accountants. We’ll ensure that the necessary permissions are set up correctly, ensuring seamless communication.
- How can cloud accounting software improve my business’s efficiency? Cloud accounting brings numerous efficiency benefits, including real-time updates, automation of repetitive tasks, and seamless collaboration. Our team will work closely with you to identify specific pain points in your financial processes and tailor the software to boost your efficiency.
- Can I integrate cloud accounting with my existing business tools? Absolutely. Many cloud accounting platforms offer integrations with various business tools you may already be using. We will assess your existing software ecosystem and help you set up integrations that streamline your workflows.
- Will I be left on my own after the transition? Never. Our commitment extends beyond the transition phase. We’re here to provide ongoing support, answer questions, and offer training whenever needed. You can count on us for continuous assistance as you use cloud accounting to manage your finances effectively.
Cloud Accounting has become an indispensable tool for business owners, empowering you to stay agile, make data-driven decisions, and focus on growth. At Vibrant Accountancy, we are committed to helping businesses harness the power of cloud accounting to achieve their financial goals. Contact us today to embark on your journey to financial success!