With Cloud accounting software you can access your accounting data anywhere, at any time with just a good internet connection.
There are many options available for use across all areas of your business, including add-ons to aid in the running, control, and automation of standard processes, providing you with real-time data access and collaboration across all.
Here are some points to consider to help you get started:
Selecting the right accounting Software
As there are several options now to choose from, we can help you look at those available and aid you in selecting the one that suits your business the best. Some of the most popular options available include QuickBooks Online, Xero, Sage Business Cloud and FreeAgent. As experts in cloud accounting our team can discuss the features that are in-built, the overall user-friendliness of each software, and the capability and ease of integrations, especially with other add-ons you may be looking at to utilise. Discussing your options with us could save you valuable time, money and research, leaving you free to focus on your business.
Creating your automated sales Invoices
There are standard sales templates for use in all the cloud accounting systems, however, you can customise these with your company logo, preferred colour scheme, or even create your own templates to use. The systems also have capability to schedule invoices in advance so that they are issued on specific dates, email automatically direct from the accounting system, and record electronically when invoices have been opened and read by your customers.
Sales Payment Services
To streamline invoice payments and aid with cash flow you can utilise payment services such as Stripe and GoCardless which integrate with your cloud accounting software. These services will show a link to make payment on your electronic invoice sent to customers and can then automatically match payments to invoices in your accounting software.
Direct Bank Feeds
Make use of features like direct bank feeds wherever possible to reduce both the time spent on manually posting, as well as the risk of errors. As this risk is always apparent, no matter how small, we advise that the balance in your accounting software is checked against the statement balance at month end as part of the reconciliation process to confirm the data. In conjunction with direct bank feeds, performing regular bank and credit card reconciliations will aid in identifying any discrepancies early, and ensure financial records are accurate and up to date.
Data Entry Automation
Automate data entry processing with the use of data recognition tools such as Dext and AutoEntry. As well as the time saving properties made when utilising these products because of the integration with the accounting software, and when setting up supplier and publishing rules, these add-ons also provide separate electronic copies of bills and receipts so no more piles of bills waiting to be input, while also aiding in consistent categorisation of your expenses.
Mobile Apps and easier accessibility
The cloud accounting platforms usually come with their own free mobile apps now which allow you to manage your finances on the go. You can use your smartphone’s camera to capture receipts, then process the detail to post into your accounts and track your expenses here. You will also be able to see at least some business analysis updated to your mobile – although this will not be as detailed as when you login on your computer, this will give you real time insights of your business data.
Real time financial reporting
Cloud accounting software now offers a lot more than just the standard financial reports like the profit and loss and balance sheet. With so many report types to choose from now, with different options on periods, filters, and interchangeable criteria to report on, the information you can gain from your accounting system is much more meaningful and personal giving you centralised information at your fingertips. This is ultimately more useful in gaining insights into your business’s financial health captured in real time. Regularly reviewing your reporting processes and adjusting as necessary, to ensure your reports remain effective for your business needs, will help you stay on track in achieving your business goals and growing your business.
Bear in mind that while cloud systems offer convenience and ease of use, it is essential to maintain data security. At the very least you should take a full download of transactional data on a regular basis to keep your records backed up, as well as implement two-factor authentication (2fa) wherever this is offered although a lot of systems have made this security step compulsory now.
As the Cloud systems are constantly updating it is important to stay informed about new features when they are available in the software, and what else is being developed and on the way. The best way to keep up to date is by regularly attending the software provider webinars, signing up to and participating in online forums, and reading the system user guides provided.
How can our team help you?
Choosing the right software provider
Whilst the above provides you with some useful tips that you may wish to consider for cloud accounting, we recognise that you may not have the time to get fully acquainted with the software or may not be very IT savvy and would rather do what you do best and run your business. You will however be interested in working with the best software provider that can maximise your business efficiencies and help you to improve your business processes so that you minimize the headaches relating to your accounting, sales invoices, banking, keeping financial records and tax returns, leaving you with more time to run your business.
As Rayner Essex are certified, authorised partners of most major software providers, we can work with you to help you choose the right solution for your business. Our highly knowledgeable team are unbiased in their advice, and we’re not affiliated to a specific software package, therefore helping you choose the right package specific to your company set up, customised with software add-ons that your business requires, that will work with your business in mind.
Training and support
We can also provide you with all the relevant guidance and training required so that you have a good understanding of the workings of the software and can learn how to best utilise the functionality within, assisting you in optimising your processes, and making life easier for you in running your business.
Speak to our Cloud Accounting solutions team today who will be happy to assist you further, providing you with a cloud accounting health check and helping you choose a viable cloud solution that’s right for you and your business, so that you can start planning for growth.
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