Do you worry about losing or forgetting to backup your accounting data? Would you like to access your business information or ‘do the books’ while you are on holidays? Would you like to know your businesses financial position well before the end of the Financial Year?
If you have been asking yourself these questions then perhaps your accounting system is out of date. Here are a few signs that your accounting system or bookkeeping processes could do with a refresh.
1. You can’t get the information you need when travelling, or away from the office
Ask yourself, where do you do the majority of your work? At the office, on site, at a client’s premises or on the road?
Advances in technology have led to a mobile workforce, with business owners and management working from their laptops, tablets and smartphones. These changes allow you to be closer to your clients and employ flexible work arrangements.
But has your accounting software caught up? Most modern software packages allow you to access your information such as your business account balances, outstanding invoices and cash position from anywhere with an internet connection. Not only that but most providers also offer a range of apps for use on tablets, smartphones and other devices.
If you’re bound to your desktop PC, you may be imposing unnecessary restrictions on yourself and your business.
2. You’ve lost data in the past 6 months
Maintaining your data on hard drives or an internal computer network requires a rigorous regime of back-ups. Human error, hardware malfunctions and malicious attacks can all lead to a loss of data costing your business substantial time and money. If this has happened to your business in the last 6 months, it may be time to look at a more automated backup process.
Accounting systems in the cloud include some level of automated data backup, either withing the software itself or via a third-party providers. Knowing that your financial records and payroll data is managed and protected from security risks can provide invaluable peace of mind.
In addition, with a cloud based system, software updates occur automatically eliminating those time- consuming upgrades to your PC and issues juggling old backups captured with prior versions of software.
3. Your business is reliant on Excel
Excel is loved by many, its easy to use and cheap to run, however, if the majority of your business’s accounting processes are taking place in Excel, it may be time to upgrade.
Business today moves at a faster pace, there is more information to process and analyse, regulations are continuously changing and more than likely your business requires multiple performance reports. Manually entering information and formulas into Excel is not only time consuming, it can slow everything down while you check for typos and other user error – just ask your bookkeeper
Additionally, the ability to gather information from across your business to make timely decisions is crucial and if your business is reliant on Excel, or worse still if Excel doesn’t integrate with your current accounting software, you could be falling behind your competitors.
Take a plumber as an example. If the business employs 5 different contractors all of whom use Excel to track the costs and jobs, pulling this information together to assess current performance will be very time consuming
4. Not all users have access to the data at the same time
For any business there may be multiple users of the same information. Waiting for reports to be updated and managing version control can be time consuming, frustrating and allow a significant margin for error. Accounting systems with multi user functionality allow you and your team, and importantly your business adviser to access the same data and work on it simultaneously.
Take for instance, a business with two locations. If each location is responsible for quoting and issuing invoices? Using a traditional accounting system, the finance team is reliant on the latest invoice list, which at best has been generated that morning, at worst at the end of the week.
The latest cloud software allows staff to process an invoice on their smartphones or tablets in real time, instantly updating income for the entire business. Team members are also be able to monitor their own sales targets and management has real time access to the business’ performance.
Spending less time on data management translates to less cost to your business.
If you feel its time to move your business forward and save yourself some of the stresses mentioned, the its time to book an appointment to have a chat with our team about transitioning your business to a cloud accounting solution.