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And in the beginning there was SAGE …

Modern, cloud-based accounting software like XERO can transform your business and offers you a solution if you are worried about the arrival of Making Tax Digital for VAT on April 1st. But choose carefully, plan ahead and invest in your new software …

Maybe you set-up in business to follow your dreams and to do the thing you love. Or maybe it was to escape the rat-race and to be your own boss. One thing is for sure though: you didn’t set-up in business to do the mountain of paperwork that came with it!

Thankfully, the latest accounting software such as XERO can help.

Unlike older desktop based software, these cloud-based packages can be accessed anytime from anywhere with internet access. They also have improved, user friendly interfaces and a host of new features, all designed to help you reduce the time you have to spend on your finances.

Bookkeeping, in particular, is much easier as you can automatically import bank transactions and use rules and other features to quickly book amounts to the correct accounts, helping you ensure your books are fresh and always up-to-date.

What’s more, the abilities of these new packages can be even further enhanced by integrating with them one of the huge range of 3rd party apps that are springing up in their wake. Receipt Bank (expenses) and Spotlight (reporting) being just two well-known examples.

Sold:-)! However, a word of caution though before you jump on the bandwagon.

Although today’s accounting software is much better, some things haven’t changed:

1. There is no ‘one size fits all’

Some businesses carry stock, others trade in foreign currency and still others have a special tax status. In short, businesses differ, and it’s vital to take the time to research the right package (and apps) for your needs as not all software is equal.

Don’t rush in and buy simply because everyone else has it!

2. Rome wasn’t built in a day

Moving to a new accounting package still means fundamentally changing your finance processes. It also remains a great opportunity to do things such as fix issues with your chart of accounts and tidy up your balance sheet.

Therefore you don’t move overnight.

Instead, you plan your move to minimize disruption and take advantage of obvious opportunities. In particular, it is vital that you clean up and ensure the integrity of your current data before moving across.

3. Any tool is only as good as its user

The latest accounting software still can’t think for you. Yes, it can, for example, make it easier for you to book a transaction, but it is still up to you to ensure that amounts are coded correctly to the right accounts. In short is a tool and it stands and fall on how it is used.

In summary therefore, the latest accounting software is a great opportunity, but for it to save your time and money you need to research the right option(s) for you, create a roadmap for your move and invest in learning how to get the most out of your new system.

This is where we can come in!

If you would like help improving your finance processes and/or moving to a modern, cloud-based accounting package give us a call on 01225 585756 or email James at james@whittockconsulting.co.uk. We’d love to help.