The world is changing fast
Technology is moving at an incredible rate and this is certainly the case with accounting systems. All the major software companies are committed to cloud accounting systems and very soon support will cease for desktop systems.
This means – unless you want to struggle with a manual or spreadsheet-based accounting system – you will have to move to the cloud sometime soon. And that’s not such a bad thing…
A cloud accounting system will make your life so much easier. Let’s look at the 4 common types of accounting system:
A manual system is cheap; you only have to buy a book. But that’s a false economy. Manual systems simply take too long. And your time is too valuable.
It also takes the accountant more time to produce accounts, so you end up with bigger accountancy fees. Manual systems also do not provide that all-important management information for making great business decisions.
Excel and other spreadsheet-based systems are also cheap. And whilst you can automate some processes (e.g. adding up columns), they take time to set up, you need advanced Excel skills to produce management reports and you can waste hours changing the spreadsheet as your business grows and evolves.
Then there is the old-fashioned desktop system. Whilst these are far better than manual and spreadsheet-based accounting systems they come with ahost of hidden costs. Yes, the software can be relatively cheap. But that’s a false economy because of these hidden costs:
• Customisation – setting up the software and any reports to work for your business,
• Implementation – many desktop systems have been around for years and are cumbersome. You can waste hours carrying out data entry in old- fashioned ways,
• Hardware – because a desktop system is hosted internally you must maintain your hardware to meet the demands of changing software,
• Software upgrades – you must deal with (often costly and compulsory) software upgrades. This can cost you in terms of paying for the upgrade, spending time carrying out the installation, and sorting out the mess if the installation doesn’t work,
• Security – this is a big one. Your sensitive financial data is only as secure as your internal system. What if your premises burn down and the hard drives are destroyed? What if your hard drives fail (which is not uncommon)? What if your computer systems are subject to theft? How safe are your systems from hackers?
• Back up routines – Because the security of your financial data is so critical you must schedule regular back up routines. And that means every single day at least (because systems can fail at any time), and
• Restoring data – when things go wrong you will then need to restore your data from a back up. That takes time. It’s stressful. What if back up is corrupted and doesn’t restore? Have you ever tested your system to ensure you can successfully restore in the event of disaster?
The modern business needs a state-of-the-art accounting system
In contrast a modern cloud accounting system gives you the following benefits:
• It saves you a very significant amount of time,
• Gives you 24/7 access to up-to-date financial information and reports (you can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection),
• You can sleep at night knowing your sensitive financial data is always secure and backed-up automatically,
• No system downtime because all software upgrades are automatically installed. This worry-free maintenance saves you time and hassle,
• It could possibly reduce your accountancy fees because it makes it easier for your accountant to produce end of year accounts, and
• Since your accountant can access your data 24/7 you get more value from an accountant – they will help you run and grow your business rather than just adding up the numbers.