The emergence of cloud accounting over the last few years has seen it become a powerful and viable option for many businesses. With the integration of automated feeds from the majority of high street banks the time taken to complete the chore of bookkeeping can be significantly reduced. But the cloud may not be the best option for your business. In this article we look at two of the options we provide and compare the advantages and disadvantages:
Cloud Accounting – Xero
Xero is a well established cloud accounting system that is aimed at small and medium size businesses. The beauty of this system is its easy, intuitive use, ability for live review by your accountant, and the automated download of transactions from your bank.
Xero’s user interface is slick, and can be manipulated to provide the most important information to you prominently on a dashboard. Invoices and quotes can be completed both online and through the app which is free to download, which gives you the ability to prepare quotes and invoices whilst on site. This flexibility is a key component of the cloud offering.
In each case you can manipulate the documents prepared in Xero to complement your own corporate identity, maintaining a standard look across all your documents.
Documents can be uploaded and attached to expenses which saves time when it comes to year end when your accountant reviews your accounting records.
Additionally, your accountant can be given access which allows them to regularly review your records and post questions to you on specific transactions. Saving time and money in the process.
In fact, we love Xero so much we use it for our own accounts.
Desktop Based Accounting – VT Cashbook
Although cloud accounting is very powerful, for some businesses either the quantity of transactions or the nature of business may mean the cloud is not an appealing option when it comes to recording financial transactions. If this is the case, we promote VT Transaction+, which offers a free piece of software called VT Cash Book. This comes with all the basic functionality you would require to maintain basic financial records to successfully run your business.
The main downfalls of desktop based accounting against cloud accounting is the lack of integrated transaction download from banks, the lack of portability of your data, and the lack of live accounting information for your accountant.
Additionally, desktop based accounting often will not offer the breadth of reports to keep on top of your business performance, though for many business there is sufficient information to continue to make informed decisions.
However, the fact that this software is free is a great positive. Although cloud based accounting isn’t expensive, for some the additional cost may be unnecessary. For a small annual fee VT Transaction+ gives you the full accounting software, including invoicing functionality and more detailed reporting.
What we offer
Whether you want a simple desktop based solution, a move to cloud accounting, or continued use of your own systems we can support you in making sense of your financial records and improving the processes and systems you have in place.
We are experts in both Xero and VT Transaction+ and can set you up with all your templates and documents ready to go. We can transfer take on balances from your existing systems if you choose to move systems and provide training and ongoing support.
If you want more information or would like a free consultation to see how we could support your business please contact us.