McCabe Ford Williams have been using their accountancy skills to help Kent businesses for over Eighty years. In that time they have seen a huge amount of change, most recently with the introduction of cloud-based accountancy solutions. So we thought they would be well placed to help Kent Vision LIVE visitors find out how getting your books on the cloud can help…
Technology is moving on at a pace, with the vast majority of the UK population having access to the internet, whether it be via computers, tablets or smartphones.
Most of us are already familiar with using ‘the cloud’ through online email accounts, downloading music, online banking and a host of other online activities. In fact, as acceptance of using the cloud has grown providers of more traditional software have sought to introduce a vast array of online offerings to keep up with the demand and need across the board and to compete with their competitors.
Making Tax Digital
Cloud accounting solutions have actually been available for some time, but with plans by HMRC to harness the advances in technology for their benefit and, allegedly, for the taxpayer’s benefit too, we are surely set to see a massive uptake in the number of users soon. Businesses that are already thinking digitally and that want real-time access to profit figures, tax projections and cash flow forecasts have been progressively migrating from the traditional office-based computer software to online ‘cloud accounting’.
But the move is not simply to make life easier for HMRC, there are a number of benefits to businesses utilising the cloud for their accounting facilities.
Having data stored in the cloud gives greater ease of access. With cloud accounting software financial data can be accessed from anywhere worldwide, at any time; all you need is an internet connection. The ability to take care of your bookkeeping on the go means that business owners are not stuck in one location. They can spend more time travelling, gaining new clients and taking care of other important business matters, without having to be in the office. Staff (with the necessary permissions) can also easily access data wherever they are. Smartphone and tablet apps will provide information on the move.
Cloud accounting can be much cheaper than other accounting software. Firstly, there is no need to pay upfront for a desktop accounting package as with cloud accounting you pay monthly. Secondly, unlike
buying an accounting software package, it requires absolutely no updates as these are automatically included in the price and done on a regular basis. There are no on-going costs for upgrades or
Cloud solutions can offer real-time financial information. Research carried out by one cloud accounting platform at the end of 2015 found that 65% of British small businesses blamed financial issues, such as cash flow visibility and access to capital, as a reason for failure. When it is used properly, cloud accounting will give businesses up-to-date and current financial information. This helps business owners to respond to business change in a timely manner.
Using cloud-based solutions will also help a business get itself ready for HMRC’s move to a digital tax system. Cloud-based accounting platforms have been working closely with the government and it’s “Digital Strategy” for some time. Businesses using cloud platforms will benefit from being able to link their accounting data to a digital tax account, rather than running each separately and the information required by HMRC will be readily available.
It’s clear to see there are benefits to be had, and every business will need to use digital tax systems soon. So, rather than asking ‘should you get your books on the cloud’? perhaps the question should be ‘why haven’t you got your books on the cloud’?