Currently one of the biggest fundamental changes within business and the accountancy profession is cloud accounting. Cloud accounting is revolutionising the way businesses can manage their finances and use financial data to make agile and informed business decisions.
All that sounds great, but many business owners, have lots of questions that need answering before they embrace this new technology.
- What is the ‘cloud’ and ‘cloud accounting’?
- Is it secure?
- Why is it necessary?
- How do I convert to cloud accounting
So in this blog I want to answer these questions, because we are passionate about cloud accounting and the possibilities and opportunities it gives small businesses.
Lots of people talk about the ‘cloud’, but what is it?
Gone are the days of the cloud just being something that floats around in the sky, it’s now taken on a whole new meaning thanks to tech wizards in Silicon Valley.
The cloud is where you put all your data, all your files and even your software so you can access it all from any computer or device, anywhere, anytime.
It’s not something to be concerned by…the chances are that you’ve accessed data in the cloud on a regular basis. Many everyday tasks and applications use the cloud and you may not even be aware of it, including internet banking, email and online shopping.
The above examples have generally become accepted as a means for banking, communicating and shopping and have often been adopted by business in preference to the traditional forms. Cloud accounting is set to similarly revolutionise accountancy and bookkeeping.
Is it secure?
A common concern for people is security, as the data isn’t being held on a PC or server on their premises. The cloud is, in fact, one of the most secure ways to store information. For example, using cloud software, if your laptop or mobile device is stolen, your data cannot be accessed unless they also have your login to your online account and access to your two-step authentication device.
If you were to suffer a flood or fire using cloud based services protects your business data as all your information is stored off site so long as you have access to a computer or mobile device that can connect to the internet you can access your information.
Cloud-based software firms invest heavily to ensure the data that they hold is secure and deploy the latest encryption techniques deploying multiple layers of security whilst replicating it in several locations online. This means that it’s safe, secure and available when you need it.
Why is it necessary?
The Government have announced an initiative called Making Tax Digital (MTD) which is set to revolutionise the tax system phased in from April 2019. HMRC aim to make tax administration more effective, efficient and easier for taxpayers by implementing a digitalised tax system.
This ‘new and improved’ tax system will require most business owners to maintain digital records using compatible software to link with HMRC on a more frequent periodic basis.
For more information about MTD see our MTD Guide
It is not just about compliance, however, the benefits of cloud accounting include more flexible access, more ‘real-time’ data and reporting and integration with useful apps, that can help streamline your business processes.
How do I convert to cloud accounting?
Regardless of your business interests, taking the next step to move your accounts to a cloud accountancy system is daunting. You may be happy with your current setup, if only HMRC were not implementing MTD things could stay as they are. Unfortunately the system is changing and it requires a leap of faith!
Don’t stress about moving from your shoebox system to the cloud, you can’t and shouldn’t do it alone. Your data needs to be systematically loaded onto your cloud accounting package, without mistakes. We are here to help setup and convert your business to the cloud, making the process simple and stress free.
Converting your business accounts involves taking your existing desktop accounting software, closing this balance and migrating ALL your trading history to a new cloud accounting software package. Often this information is back dated one financial year to afford comparisons in the accounts and includes all transactions, balance sheets, profit and loss, contacts, bank feed, bank accounts, invoices, statements, purchase orders, credit notes etc.
As a client or prospective client we will engage with you and talk through your needs and decide when the optimum time is for changing to cloud accounting. Once decided and initiated our aim is to complete the process within 3 weeks and of course we will be on standby to help you understand and benefit from your new accounting system.
If you would like to talk to us in more detail about converting to cloud accounting please contact us on 01472 694 569.
Thanks for reading…