Cloud Accounting Services

Take your accounting online

Whether your business is new to cloud accounting or you’re looking to upgrade your existing system, the experts at Rayner Essex can help you get the very best out of this accounting method. We can advise you on the very best software to suit the unique needs of your business.

What is cloud accounting

Cloud accounting is a flexible and agile way of accounting that’s based completely online, hosted on remote servers, meaning that you can securely access the records you need from anywhere in real time. 

Cloud computing has recently become an integral part of VAT and tax return submission. As of 1st November 2022, all VAT-registered businesses will need to submit their VAT returns using Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant software as confirmed by HMRC. With the plethora of software applications available, this can be very confusing for businesses. It is business critical to seek advice as to what processes need to be in place so as to remain fully compliant with HMRC requirements and to avoid unnecessary penalties.

This is where Rayner Essex can help. We offer cloud accounting services that will complement your business and we are certified, authorised partners with all major software providers. We tailor the cloud solution for your specific business needs, and are not limited in our choice of software  like many other providers who only provide off-the-shelf software packages. We will work with you to better understand your business and processes and advise you on the cloud accounting solution that is tailored to your specific business requirements., 

We can help you make the transition to MTD a simple and efficient one, enabling you to continue business digitally, and efficiently with no fuss or potential penalties. 

Why is cloud accounting important?

As of the 1st November, HMRC have closed the online VAT portal which means businesses will no longer be able to file returns manually through their existing VAT online account.

When accessing the government gateway, the taxpayer can see what VAT returns are due to be filed, and can change bank details, business address and other actions, but there is no longer a facility to file a VAT return. The VAT-registered business must therefore file VAT returns via Making Tax Digital, using accounting software such as QuickBooks, Xero or Sage. If your accounts are kept in a spreadsheet, then bridging software is required. At Rayner Essex, we can help businesses navigate these changes with fully compliant cloud accounting software.

What are the advantages of cloud accounting?

Cloud accounting is a flexible and secure way to access your accounts from anywhere. There are several key advantages, including:

  • Automation – cloud accounting enables you to automate many manual processes, which saves time, boosts efficiency and minimises the chance of human error.
  • Accessible – with accounting data being stored in the cloud, it can be accessed securely anywhere or anytime and in real time.
  • Scalability – if business transactions increase rapidly, cloud accounting software is scalable and can easily support this growth.
  • Paperless – storing all accounting data in the cloud not only clears space but also helps the environment.
  • Reduce costs – cloud-based software doesn’t incur additional costs and saves money from a time perspective. 
  • Integration – with cloud computing you can improve efficiency and boost the power of your cloud accounting software by integrating with other cloud-based solutions.

Which type of businesses can benefit from cloud accounting?

Start-up business

Take accounting off your plate with cloud software that automates and improves processes, providing cost savings via management accounts and KPI reporting.

Small businesses

Your cloud accounting software is scalable and will grow with you, continuing to be tailored to your specific needs and processes.

Established businesses

Accounting data can be safely stored in the cloud and is easily accessible in real time from anywhere in the world..

What do our cloud accounting services include?

Cloud accounting brings with it a wide range of solutions that can help you to run your business more smoothly. At Rayner Essex, we’ll help you to get the most out of your chosen software, including: 

  • Advising and supporting you in choosing the very best accounting software
  • Setting you up with the software and demonstrating how to use it
  • System health checks to review your existing processes and systems. These help evaluate how efficient your current setup is, the quality of your data reporting and any shortfalls in what you require of the new system
  • Migration services, allowing you to transfer data from non-cloud accounting software to the new system. This can be either a guided or fully managed service, depending on your preferences
  • Advising on any add-on software that will complement your chosen cloud accounting platform. We’ll research and make recommendations based on your specific requirements
  • Ensure seamless integration with your existing software 
  • Offer full training and support to make the transition and efficient experience. 
  • Software support at every step, which covers both initial training and ongoing support and advice on compliance and legislative changes that may affect your business (like Brexit or changes to VAT)

What are the unique benefits of cloud accounting services from Rayner Essex?

Many cloud accounting service providers will simply set you up with your chosen software, without ever really ensuring that you’re getting what you need from it. We ensure that all our clients are maximising the capabilities of the software they are using, rather than simply sticking to the basic package. We advise on how to tailor it in order to create a bespoke package that meets the exact needs of your business.

Of course, it might be that you want to keep things basic. So where some firms will only offer one, we offer a range of foundation levels as well as add-ons for some of the most highly regarded platforms, including:

  • Elite ProAdvisor status with Quickbooks – simple but smart accounting software that works for all business sizes. Invoicing, expenses, payroll, VAT and more can all be accessed from the app. An extremely comprehensive package.
  • Gold partner status with Xero – being the UK market leader, Xero is great for smaller businesses thanks to the extremely easy-to-use interface for worry-free accounting. Emphasis is on automation, which will save time and boost productivity.
  • Sage Business Cloud and Sage 50 Cloud – great for medium-to-large businesses with complex accounting needs, with advanced features such as inventory management and cash flow forecasting.
  • Dext – helps you spend less time on manual tasks and provides real time insights helping your business be more productive and profitable. 
  • FreeAgent – this powerful and easy-to-use online accounting software makes running your business easier, providing core insights and automated processes for all areas of your business.

Our team of experts stay up to date with the latest software developments, so whenever new features are released we’ll keep you updated on whether they could be useful for your business.

Other accounting firms might talk about ‘building blocks’ and ‘app stacking’ – choosing the basic software and then adding what you want in order to make it bespoke. But at Rayner Essex, we focus on making the whole system bespoke rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach to software. No matter how rapidly the technology advances, this will remain at the heart of what we do.

Cloud accounting FAQs

Our accounting software partners

Meet our cloud accounting experts

If you want to find out more or to discuss your specific business requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our Chartered accountants in London and St Albans accountants below will be happy to help.

Claire Barringer director of accounting solutions

Claire Barringer


Contact Claire Barringer
Roman Pathak director of accounting solutions

Roman Pathak


Contact Roman Pathak
Nicola Schofield cloud and digital solutions advisor

Nicky Scofield

Cloud & Digital Solutions Advisor

Contact Nicky Scofield

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