Your Accounting software - is it secure, reliable, easy to use, and up to date?

What’s the easiest way for clients to keep reliable and up to date accounts – with the minimum of effort? This is, as always, an elusive solution (because different clients want and need different things).

But we’ve got something very interesting here for you – good for most businesses, large or small.

Recently we’ve been looking at several ‘on-line’ accounting packages – and, surprisingly, the benefits now clearly outweigh the doubts or downside previously attributable to this technology.

I know it might seem ‘alien’ to have your accounting data ‘on-line’ but it is no different to the many email systems used daily by countless millions of individuals and businesses internationally, probably yourself included. And it’s no different to the increasingly popular ‘e-banking’ facilities made available by the banks and other financial institutions. Not only is your data secure and ‘password-protected’ but, most importantly, it is also backed up daily too – so the risk of ‘data-loss’ is virtually zero.

And the huge added advantage is that you can, like your emails, access and process your accounting data from wherever you like, and whenever you like – be it from your home, your office, or your laptop whilst travelling or elsewhere too. No longer do you need a dedicated computer, probably sitting in your office, with the operating software installed – on-line, you can now use any machine, anywhere, to access or process your data!

Another benefit, the helps us too, is that we can, with your permission of course, be granted access to your system. Joint access to your accounting system means that, whilst most of the routine processing is done by you or your staff, we can help you with the more complicated transactions, vat returns, and year end procedures and, importantly, alert you to any impending problems we identify along the way.

A good example of this, actually working really well, is an overseas client of ours with a major UK subsidiary – the overseas staff process most of the purchases and sales for the local company, the local staff process the bankings, payments and miscellaneous expenses, and we check and do the vat return for them every quarter. Previously this was a nightmare arrangement of two sets of books – one here in the UK, the other overseas, and getting these to agree was hugely difficult and time consuming. Now it is one shared system, with full stock control,working very successfully, and saving time all round.

During our research we decided most of the systems we looked at are either too elementary and limiting in what they can do – or they go to the other extreme! Our criteria is essentially that any ‘on-line’ accounting system we adopt on behalf of our clients must be

  • Comprehensive to the extent that it can be tailored to include the necessary requirements for different types of businesses 
  •  Be ‘simple’ and ‘intuitive’ for you to operate and input data.

We have, now identified one system, we believe, meets these criteria. It’s proven in that it’s been running a number of years now and has over 2000 businesses registered and using its systems.

‘On-line’ systems, accounting and others, are becoming more and more popular and practical for the busy entrepreneur - because they are accessible whenever you need them, regardless of where you are in the world.

And cost wise it makes sense too – because at a basic £30 per month, including payroll for up to 5 staff, it’s hardly expensive, especially when you consider the combined cost of

  • The basic ‘in situ’ accounting software purchase (eg Sage, Quickbooks, Mamut, etc)
  • PLUS the cost of ‘upgrades’ every year, especially payroll
  • PLUS the, often significant, cost of annual support or maintenance agreements 
  • PLUS the hardware cost of buying and maintaining a machine dedicated to the accounting processes of your business

We believe that ‘on-line accounting systems’ have now ‘come of age’ – they’ve been around and been tested over many years. They are looking to be a good way forward – a positive management solution - for many small to mid-sized businesses. Even large businesses can, and already do, use on-line accounting and other on-line system too.

For more information, please give us a call..

Well worth thinking about, even if you already have a static system in place. It could save you time, money, and provide you the peace of mind that your present system can’t.

(January 2009)

Note – there have been major advances in this field since this was written.