Cloud Accounting Made Simple

(Software that does not need an Accounting Degree by the user)

By

Derek Williamson

FAIA, FFA, FIPA, CME

 

 

 

Contents

1)What is Cloud Accounting?

2)Why Cloud Accounting is good for business?

3)What Accountancy Software is available

4)10 Reasons why you should be using Cloud Accounting Software

5)Cloud Accounting Software Simplified

 

1)What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud Accounting, also referred to as “online accounting”, serves the same function as accounting software that you would install on your computer, except it runs on extra secure external servers and you access it using your web browser, over the Internet. Your data is securely stored and processed on secure servers- or “in the cloud”. This means you are able to access your business financials from anywhere and using any device, as long as you are connected to the internet.

There are many benefits to using Cloud Accounting. In addition to the flexibility of accessing your data from anywhere (benefits/flexibility), you never need to install software on any device and updates are automatic. Cloud servers are actively monitored and maintained, and we believe have a much higher level of security than many small business networks and staff laptops.

Cloud computing is the use of computer hardware and software applications delivered as a service over the Internet/ it allows you to store files and use applications using many different devices and from many different locations in a simple way.

There are a number of different ways that the Internet infrastructure can be used to provide services, including accessing applications using a web browser. If you’ve used internet banking before, you are probably familiar with this type of service. Applications delivered this way are sometimes referred to as “Software as a Service”, or SaaS for short. It is this type of service that Goddards provides.

2)Why Cloud Accounting is good for business?

If you want your business to work smarter and faster, Cloud Accounting software is a wise investment. Working in the cloud will give you a better overview of your finances, and improve collaboration with your team.

Accounting software shouldn’t be a chore to use

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

Problems with traditional accounting software

•The data in the system isn’t up to date and neither is the software.

•It only works on one computer and data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable.

•Only one person has user access. Key people can’t access financial and customer details.

•It’s costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).

•It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.

•Customer support is expensive and slow.

Why the cloud and accounting software are the perfect match

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.

In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription.

Cloud security is world class

As a small business owner, you might be concerned about a cloud service provider storing your data. But the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your laptop is stolen, no one can access your data unless they have a login to the online account. With cloud software, this is where the data lives- as opposed to on your hard drive.

In the event of a natural disaster or fire, being in the cloud means business productivity doesn’t need to be affected because there’s no downtime. All of your information is safely and securely stored off site. As long as you have access to any computer or mobile device connected to the internet, you’re back up and running.

In addition to this, if you invite users to view your data, you can control the level of access. This is much more secure than the old- fashioned way of emailing your files or sending out the USB stick with your data on it.

Cloud-based software companies ensure that the security and privacy of data about you and your organisation is always airtight. If you use online banking, then you’re already primed to use cloud accounting.

Six ways cloud software benefits your business

1.You have a clear overview of your current financial position, in real time.

2.Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team and advisors.

3.Worry-free maintenance means you can spend more time doing what you love.

4.Everything is run online, so there’s nothing to install and everything is backed up automatically. Updates are free and instantly available.

5.Upfront business costs are reduced-version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by the cloud service provider.

6.With your Accountant also having access to the data, time is saved on year end accounts; and your Accountants can also do tax planning with you prior to the year end.

The beauty of Cloud Accounting software is the flexibility it gives you to run your business from work, home, or on the go. You can be confident that you have an up to date picture of how your business is doing, no matter where you are.

Software updates can be developed and delivered faster and more easily in the cloud. This means you don’t need to worry about installing the latest version and you’ll get access to new features instantly. With cloud accounting software, you have the option to run your business remotely, from anywhere in the world. When data is fluid and accessible, the possibilities are endless.

3)What Accounting Software is Available

These systems cost from £10.00 per month up to £30.00 per month.

1)a)QuickBooks Online

QuickBooks is an easy online Accounting software, specifically for Small Businesses. The software that helps organise your business and makes it easier for you to meet HM Revenue & Custom's requirements.

You can:

Create and send personalised invoices - even on the go via your mobile or tablet

Track sales and expenses easily on the Home page with interactive graphs

Connect to your Bank so you receive automatic bank feeds securely

Accept payments within QuickBooks Online by connecting to Intuit Pay

Run your business anytime, anywhere, on any device via the Internet

Ensure that your data is safe, with bank-level encryption

Create reports with key information which are personal and suited to you

Create budgets and compare to actual performance

Classify transactions by location or project

Easily navigate around the screen

Save time so you can focus on your business

Why not ask for a free trial?

1)b)QuickBooks Self-Employed

QuickBooks Self-Employed is the easiest way for small businesses and independent contractors to track their income and deductible expenses, plus get quarterly taxes estimated for them.

Why not ask for a free trial?
2)Xero

Xero enables you to view your cashflow in Real Time and you can become more efficient at running your business with Xero.

Xero offers:

Professional recurring invoices and bills which you can customise

Up-to-date bank balances, invoices, bills and expense claims which you can see on the Dashboard and add new transactions with a click

Easy and automatic importation of Bank transactions which you simply click "OK" to reconcile and match payments

Payroll so you can pay your employees and make Real Time submissions to HM Revenue & Customs

A mobile app so you can manage your business on the move

Integration with hundreds of other applications to benefit your business

Why not ask for a free trial?

3)Clearbooks

Clearbooks is an award winning online accounting software for small business and accountants. A modern and convenient alternative to slow desktop applications - try the app today!

Clearbooks enables you to:

Send and create customisable, professional invoices with automatic reminders and recurring options

Enter details of money owed to suppliers so you can keep on top of money you are entitled to claim back through the company. You can input, quick pay and set up recurring bills

Turn on multi-currency which updates invoices with FairFX exchange rates

Import bank statements directly and securely

Get a clear and simple snapshot of your business' finances with a variety of handy reports

Transfer financial data from another provider, quickly and easily

Use the Payroll facility to pay your employees and customise your payslips

Why not ask for a free trial?


4)Free Agent

FreeAgent has award winning Customer support and is trusted by over 35,000 Freelancers and Small Businesses.

FreeAgent allows you to:

Bring all your data onto the one screen via your Dashboard, so you can see bills, invoices and expenses together

Easily keep on top of your cash flow with monthly data

View your Invoice Timeline so you can view who has paid you, who is due and overdue to pay you

Create a profit and loss without the hassle of a report; instead it's a simple bar with the figures!

Track important dates with the Tax Timeline so you never miss a HMRC deadline again, and even tells you how much is due.

Why not ask for a free trial?

5)Kashflow

Kashflow is an award winning accounting software with Payroll. Intuitive and easy to learn, to be used anywhere with access to all the reports, charts and graphs you could ever need. Kashflow have a 95% customer satisfaction rate. Kashflow offer 3 packages: Starter, Business and Business & Payroll so you can choose how detailed a package you need.

Customisable, editable invoices which are ready to email or print and post

Unlimited quotes and estimates which can then be customised and categorised in various currencies (the Starter package only has a single currency facility)

Automated and customised purchases which can have attachments uploaded to them

Statements for suppliers and customers which are easily manageable

Multiple Bank feeds which are automatically uploaded, with reconciliation and transfer facilities available

Dashboard notifications with automatic reminders and chasing ability so that your Credit Control can be easily monitored

API and App Integrations available with the Business Package

Iris' Payroll software is available for the Business & Payroll Package in the Cloud on computers, tablets and mobiles

Why not ask for a free trial?


6)Sage One

Sage One is the simple online accounts and payroll software for start-ups and small businesses from Sage (UK) Limited.

Easy to control your cash flow

You are able to collaborate with your Accountant on your business

Share access with your accountant so you can work together online, they can check your progress and make recommendations.

Allows you to produce and submit your VAT return in minutes

You’re always up-to-date with the latest legislation for accounts and payroll whether it’s changes to VAT, Pensions Auto-Enrolment or RTI.

Create great looking, personalised invoices

Quickly produce the reports that you need

Free 24/7 support

Why not ask for a free trial?

7)Receipt Bank (Add Ons)

Receipt Bank won the Award for Best Xero Add-on for 2012-15. It removes the hassle of data entry by simply taking a photo of your receipt via the app on your tablet or smartphone. Receipt Bank then extracts the key information from your receipts and publishes the data to your accounting software, including:

QuickBooks Online

Xero

FreeAgent

Kashflow

Clearbooks

Our clients who currently use Receipt Bank have found it to be an invaluable add-on to their Accountancy package as it's so simple to use and all the manual data entry is done for you. If you decide to create a Cloud Accountancy package with us, we can throw in Receipt Bank at 75% of the RRP!

All of your old shoeboxes full of receipts can finally be binned with Receipt Bank as they archive all images of your receipts (without taking up space on your smartphone or tablet) and can even be held as digital records for if you were to get a VAT inspection!

Why not ask for a free trial?

More Add Ons:

Debtor Daddy

Debtor Daddy allows users to manage debtors effectively while keeping relations with clients positive. This software is easily compatible with QuickBooks and Xero, and helps save time by chasing up debtors. Debtor Daddy allows:

Unlimited Email Reminders

Unlimited Users

Unlimited Invoices & Contacts

4 Collectors

15+ Pre-written Reminder Templates

Email, Chat & In-App Support

This would be all you need for Debtor Daddy to be used in the most effective way, have a look at the reviews customers have written about it

Fathom

A framework of analysis tools which help you to understand, measure and improve business performance.

An easy way to measure and monitor the financial and non-financial KPIs which matter most to your business.

The ability to easily compare, rank and benchmark all of your company's, clients or franchisees.

Fast and accurate consolidation for multiple organisations.

Used mainly for Accountants and financial advisors who are looking for an add-on on with more detailed and reports that are specific to the client.

Useful for the client as it can help the client make smarter management decisions and as a result improve their business performance.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a global email marketing tool used by millions of people worldwide to create, send and track email newsletters.

1.Mailchimp allows you to easily communicate with your customer database by syncing your contacts and sending tailored email campaigns to your designated “lists” or people you have imported into the software.

2.You can email the right people at the right time with automated emails based on customer behaviour and/or preferences.

3.There's a wide range of advanced reporting options that you can access from anywhere in the world.

4.It is free for up to 2000 email recipients and 12,000 sends a month! So unless you are going to be sending an incredible amount of email, it is completely free to use.

Tripcatcher

Enables you to capture your business mileage easily and includes the following great features:

Accurately calculates your journey distance using Google Maps.

Calculates the VAT you can claim on fuel - which can save you £100s.

Calculates your expense claim using approved mileage rates helping you to be HMRC compliant.

Only costs £1.49 per month, which is worth the price you pay for the expenses you will be able to keep track of.

If using Tripcatcher with the software above, you get a free mobile app.

10 Reasons why you should be using Cloud Accounting Software before your competitors do

1)Easy to use

Unlike the old PC systems, which were only loaded on the bookkeeper or accountant’s computer, cloud accounting software is designed to be easy to use by non-accountants. This means features like automatic bank feed and intelligent reconciliations can be mastered in minutes. With numerous ‘how to’ videos available, online accounting software really is easy to use.

2)Economies of scale

Cloud accounting software is essentially a pooled resource, which means you can enjoy the benefits of automatic updates and storage on a large server that is maintained and backed up by a third party as part of your monthly payments.

3)Safe and secure

At last you are freed from doing backups of your cloud accounting software. Never again will you have to press ‘restore’ and hope that it restores to the right place! All the main players in the online accounting software market will give you a cast iron guarantee that your data is safe and secure.

4)Flexibility in the way you work

Imagine on a sunny day you no longer need to be stuck in the office!” You can do your accounts from any location that has an internet connection. Not only that, within your office you don’t have to decide who will have the cloud accounting software loaded on their computer. It is password protected and available on any laptop, PC, or via an app for iPad or iPhone.

5)You only pay for what you use

There is no upfront cost to install the software and you stop paying when you no longer need it. Simple! This encourages the software companies to be innovative in order to keep their customers, which means you benefit from a product which is always improving.

6)Competition lowers prices

If you type ‘online accounting software’ or ‘cloud accounting software’ into Google, you will see a whole list of names appear. As in any highly competitive market, you benefit from a keenly priced product.

7)Easy to use interface

The players in the online accounting software market have thrown away the old rule book when it comes to what you see on the screen. With a cloud accounting dashboard you can see everything you need to know about your business. How much is in your bank, and how much you owe and are owed. Not just for today, but next month too. A new revolution in Accountancy!

8)Single user interface

What does this mean? Your accountant or business advisor has the same information that you do. Not just for last year, but right now. So they can help you set up cashflow forecasts, or drill down on your sales figures or expenses and give you the information you need to make your business better. They can also help you plan so that you minimise your tax bill which will save you money!

9)Organised Knowledge is Power

Cloud based accounting means that you no longer have to type a question in ‘help’ and wait for the answer. The chances are someone else will have had exactly the same problem, and it has been solved for them on Goddards Community Forum. If not, the likelihood is that someone more knowledgeable than you is on the Goddards Community right now, and you can find the answer immediately.

10)Increase productivity

With the innovations available on cloud accounting software you can produce a quicker and more efficient result with less input. By using the accurate up to date business information that you now have at your fingertips, you can boost productivity, expand into new markets, make services more accessible, hire more sales staff or just make more profit.

1)Cloud Accounting Software Simplified

We include this cloud accounting infographic to explain how cloud accounting works, what sort of companies its good for, and the key benefits it offers.

Manual

Excel

Cloud

Manual data inputs

Manual data inputs

Automatic data inputs

Manual mailing of invoices

Manual mailing of invoices

Automated emailing of invoices

Manual filing of tax returns

Manual filing of tax returns

Automated filing of tax returns

Very time-consuming

Very time consuming

Considerably less time-consuming

Manual data calculations

Automated calculations

Automated calculations

No data backup

No data backup

Backed up data

No remote access

Manual bank reconciliation

Remote access & automatic back reconciliation

What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud accounting is the use of accounting software where the software (and the data) is stored on the cloud rather than on your computer. It can be accessed remotely from any device that lets you use the internet and allows both you and your accountant to gain full access to the software application and data.

How can cloud accounting help my business?

Create invoices & pay bills

Generate purchase orders

Track expenses

Monitor budgets

Track profits & cash flow

Automated reports

Track supplier bills & payments

Company snapshots

Manage taxes

Company dashboard

Cloud Accounting Benefits

Cost Savings

There are no up-front hardware costs and youcan pay monthly

Convenience

Manage your books anytime via remote access using multiple devices

Always Up To Date

Free automatic upgrades mean your software is always up to date

Automatic Backups

No need to worry about spilling coffee on your computer

For further information about Goddards Accountants, please call us at our offices:

Brixton Office
		

		
c/o Technoestates
		
102 Acre Lane
		
Brixton
		
London
		
SW2 5QN
		
High Wycombe Office
		
		
c/o Franklin James
		
Axis 40, Oxford Road,
		
Stokenchurch,
		
High Wycombe
		
HP14 3SX
		
Croydon Office
		
		
c/o Technoestates
		
109 Church Street
		
Croydon
		
Surrey
		
CR0 1RN
		

		

		
Head Office
		
		
Spirit House
		
8 High Street
		
West Molesey
		
Surrey
		
KT8 2NA
		

		

Tel: 020 8941 2187
  







Email: info@goddards-accountants.co.uk

Website: www.cloudaccountingsurrey.co.uk

Skype: willconsult69 (Derek Williamson)

Cloud Accounting Made Simple.pdf