Small business owners have been used in books, diaries and excel spreadsheet to do their accounting for so many years.
As the saying goes ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’
Spreadsheets are a convenient and cheap way of managing your finances but there are brilliant accounting software out there now which mean your business will benefit massively from the upgrade.
Here are six benefits you will stay in your small business if you transition from spreadsheets to cloud accounting software.
1. Data entry
Not only is manual data entry time consuming and dull it is so easy to make human errors. One small typo could lead to a major error and mistakes with your accounts and tax.
Start accounting software allows you to link to your bank account, upload expense receipts and invoice directly saving you time and reducing the likelihood of mistakes.
2. Lost Data
We’ve all been there your spreadsheet you have worked on all day hasn’t saved or a coffee has spilled all over your notepad. The computer has crashed or a file has suddenly become corrupt. Resulting in lost data and major headaches.
Not forgetting HMRC require you to keep your data for six years after the filing deadline.
Accounting software provides ways to keep your information safe saving many years’ worth of data for you to look back on if required. Not only is this useful for HMRC but also great for you to keep track of the businesses progress over the years.
Spreadsheets or paperwork aren’t easy to integrate with each other or link together which can lead to a lot of stress and wasted time when links break or a complicated spreadsheet you have created becomes corrupt.
Accounting software automatically links to your bank account providing a live bank feed so you can see on a real time basis your information. There are hundreds of different apps and softwares that you can link to accounting software to make your life so much easier permitting seamless sharing of data.
4. Trail and Tracking
Using spreadsheets you may find something has changed in the data whether this is accidentally or someone else has gone into it and you can’t see what and who has changed it meaning you have to spend hours looking through the data and checking it to see what has happened.
Accounting software allows you to track the history of what, when and who has made changes to you can see what has happened. This is important for many ways, keeping accurate data and protecting your business against internal fraud.
Spreadsheets are usually more time-consuming than accounting software, especially if you are working with a high volume of data.
There is a lot of hours of data entry and checking required whereas with apps and streamlined processes these can be done in minutes or automatically completed.
If you have a team or a finance department who works simultaneously on spreadsheets then this can be slow, confusing and lead to errors or mis-saved documents.
Cloud accounting software can allow different users, device types and restrictions to enable a seamless function.
So we’ve sold you on cloud accounting software?
But which one should you choose?
The right cloud accounting software for your small business will depend on your requirements, and it’s worth asking your accountant for recommendations. We recommend considering the following:
- Which systems do you want to integrate the software with?
- How many people will use the software?
- Which functions are most important to your business?
- What is the upfront cost or subscription fee?
- How much training is required?
- What support is provided?
- Is the software scalable as your business evolves?
If you have followed me for a while, you may realise that I love Xero I fully recommend this for it’s cost, functionality and ease.
Freeagent may be a great option if you bank with Natwest (as you get it for free) it is great for small businesses looking for the basics but not always so useful for the addons and extras.
So if you are still using spreadsheets then I believe it is time for an upgrade!
Cloud accounting software can save you time and money in the long run and with all the benefits discussed (and more!) it is a very small investment.
Get ahead, get it done.
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Thank you for reading this weeks blog – Six Reasons To Swap Spreadsheets For Software.