Some things just naturally seem to go together: peanut butter and jelly, night and day, and of course, accountants and spreadsheets. The second you picture an accountant, chances are you think of them crunching numbers in a complicated Excel document.
And you might be absolutely right. Accountants do tend to use spreadsheets a lot, and for good reason. They’ve got a lot of functionality, and depending on when a person learned accounting, they might have learned to do much of their work on spreadsheets.
But did you know that HMRC’s Making Tax Digital requires VAT registered businesses to keep digital records and submit returns online? This means spreadsheets alone are no longer compliant for business bookkeeping.
In addition to spreadsheets, accountants can use online accounting software or online spreadsheets that are HMRC recognised as Making Tax Digital ready. The benefits go beyond compliance because…
Clients may struggle to use spreadsheets
Clients entering data incorrectly or changing formulas can cause road bumps when they need to work together with the accountant.
Spreadsheets can corrupt
Liike any type of offline technology, there’s always the risk that your spreadsheet will crash or the file will get corrupted.
But with a cloud-based accounting software, you don’t have to worry about data getting lost or not having the latest version of the spreadsheet that you’re working with, and you’re able to control who has access to what data much more easily with an online system than with a offline document, or even a shared Google sheet.
They’re not as user-friendly
Besides security and control of the data, cloud accounting is also much better for the administrative stuff. Unlike spreadsheets, cloud accounting software is typically designed to hold things like client contact details, and it’s much easier to find information about your most recent payments or services rendered when you can just type in phrases in a search bar, rather than having to scroll or Ctrl-F your way through a spreadsheet. And of course, finding invoices is much easier when you use a program that’s specifically designed to create, track, and organise them.
… and they lack some advanced functionality
While the exact things that accounting software can do vary from program to program, generally speaking, a cloud based accounting software program should be robust enough to handle things like forecasting. Most will have some type of trend or forecast function built in so you can easily look at data through a number of lenses. If you’re an accountant, this can save you lots of time and hassle. Instead of having to input the formula yourself and then translate the findings for your clients, you can often just click a button and get a graphic representation that’s easier for clients to understand.
Got you thinking about moving your accounting to the cloud? Here’s a list of the four top things to think about as you’re choosing a cloud accounting software.
And of course, we’re always happy to answer any questions you have about cloud accounting. Just comment below, or get in touch with us here!