Streamlining your business and doing all you can to make the running of your business as smooth as possible should be your top priority. One of the major tasks within a business is the management of your finances. If your business has now grown, you will be looking at some cloud accounting software solutions to help with this side to your business.
Make a list of your needs first
Before you decide and choose which software to use, there are a few things to think about and map out. Every business is different – however there is one main fundamental principle that is true for everyone: you need to be good at recording your finances accurately (however you do this!)
Things to weigh up for your business and work on:
- How many people need to have access to the software?
- Who will be the main person responsible for inputting the information on a day-to-day basis?
- Do you have a CRM system in place and does the accounting system need to be able to ‘work with’ this system?
- Have you tidied up your sales, cost of sales and expense categories?
- Do you want a level of automation in terms of invoice sending and payment chasing?
- Do you need to access your accounts on-the-go?
- Can your customers pay you online? (If they don’t now – but you would like them to – then this is a good aspect to note down)
- Do you want to integrate your sales pipeline / quotes into your accounting system?
Before investing in a software system – its good to have a plan to clean up the information you have at the moment (especially if you have been a bit ‘all over the place’ and working off old excel documents for years).
Remember that this is an opportune time to look at how you ‘read’ your finances, and then clean up what you want to do once you are on the software. Remember – dirty data in…dirty data out. It’s important to be committed to doing this right.
A selection of cloud accounting software options
Here are some options for you to consider if you are a small to medium sized business. Remember – no one solution is a ‘good for all’ – you need to have a look and evaluate the aspects that are closest to your list of needs.
Personally I would go for the option that is the most user-friendly and easy to set-up. If you aren’t an ‘accounting’ or ‘figures’ person – then check to see which options provide you with some tutorials or offer some hand-holding through the set-up process.
1. Sage One
You can include your quotes or estimates into your Sage account. They have a mobile app to add your information or generate an invoice on the go.
QuickBooks offer a low-end entry point for the self-employed, so if you haven’t yet grown to be a LTD as yet – this may be a good starting point. They also have a mobile app – which helps you to take pictures of your receipts and upload direct to your account.
They have a nifty Expenses Card that you can apply for, to hook up to your account. It’s a top-up card you can give to employees so that you don’t have to worry about over expenditure on expenses budgets, or having petty cash about. (Read more here: https://www.kashflow.com/expense-management/)
Apps to integrate with: https://www.xero.com/uk/marketplace/s/app-functions
This is one company that do a lot of marketing, and particularly through accountants, so you may well have heard of it.
With all of the above systems, your accountant can still have access and work with you on your year-end accounts. Its really about choosing a solution that makes life a bit easier for you – but you are the human that will have to manage the quality of information going into the system. If its not you, then someone responsible and who will be very detail orientated needs to be delegated with the task (remember you can get virtual bookkeepers too, who can help you).
How we work
In general, we work with our clients on whatever route is best for them. We do not formally recommend any particular software system. Obviously, from a time management perspective and living in a digital world – streamlining your finances and having them in a format that actually helps you make informed decisions is always good!
If you would like some help getting your accounts in order and starting on a software system, then feel free to get in contact and our bookkeeping team would be happy to help guide you.