In the days of Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, keeping track of business accounts was an arduous and time-consuming task. In our father’s day we would employ a bookkeeper and physically pass over all our invoices, receipts and relevant documents. Today’s information technology has replaced all that. Today’s business owner has all the advantages of electronic processing at his or her fingertips.
The question is: what is the most efficient way to do your accounts electronically?
There are some very good accounting packages available on the market today that are suitable for a small or medium enterprise to use. But, do you:
- Buy an off the shelf program, install it on your computer and run it yourself; or
- Sign up for an online service that we can provide?
Desktop Accounting Option – Risks and Disadvantages:
There are substantial risks in trying to do it yourself. For example, there are:
- Installation risks:
- Setting it up on your computer, reading the documentation, testing it and making sure it works properly can be very time-consuming. With the online version all this is done for you. You never have to worry about it;
- Maintenance risks:
- Keeping yourself up to date and making sure you always have the latest version is always a concern;
- If your computer crashes or is unavailable for any reason, you might not be able to submit your returns on time;
- If your computer is stolen, you have serious problems, and
- There can be costs in acquiring some updates;
- Accounting rules and tax law change all the time. This means that you have to keep up to date with it all. With online accounting, this is our bread and butter;
- If you are online we see that the system is fully maintained and up-to date.
- Output risks:
- It takes time to realise the full potential of the packages because you need to know what reports are available, which ones best meet your needs and how to get them. If you are online, all it takes is a phone call. You tell us what you want to know and we produce the most suitable report for you;
There are other disadvantages, such as:
- If you want guidance on any matter, you have to extract the right information from your system and take it to your accountant;
- You have to provide a secure environment for it;
- If you are away from your computer, someone else needs to be able to input the data.
There may be other ways to get around these problems, for example a personal network, but the cost in technology and providing security can be significant.
The online accounting option:
On the other hand, with our online accounting system, it is just as easy as online banking but more productive.
- You submit your income and expenses on line. We do all the processing;
- Input is easy and mistakes less likely. You are guided through each input data item;
- Do you want to produce sales invoices? We do that for you just as easily as if you did it yourself;
- Your secure password gives you unlimited access to your accounts;
- You are never tied to the desk. With your tablet or IPad you can access your data anywhere in the world, any time of day or night;
- We pass on to you the 50% discount that we can get to buy accounting systems licences;
- You don’t have to worry about upgrades and keeping it up to date; it’s all done for you.
- You do not have to worry about compatibility issues. Online accounting systems can accommodate Mac, Windows or Android operating systems, and cloud or hard drive storage systems;
- You don’t have to back-up data to guard against computer crashes;
- You have the benefit of our expert help in a very cost-effective manner;
- It is easier to outsource in the event that your bookkeeper is unavailable for any reason; and
- We provide all the training you need.
If you have more complex accounting requirements, for example, you use another high profile accountant to provide professional services, and we do your bookkeeping, there are very substantial advantages in maintaining your accounts online. We can set up in integrated system for you that allows you to use both services in a seamless way. The result is:
- Reduced costs overall for you because we do the processing at lower cost and pass the results to the other provider;
- You can do your tax planning in a timely fashion not at the end of the year when accountant resources are overloaded. This results in a saving for you;
- Improved advice for you because the other accountant can access your data in real time. You can provide access to the data we hold so that they can produce the relevant reports and returns from up-to-date data. The professional can make sure that you get the best advice, for example, see emerging problems (under or overpayments) with your VAT returns before they arise and not afterwards;
- You can control your planning details. You choose who sees what;
- You only have to input the data once and it processed only once;
- You don’t have to physically print out your reports and send them to your accountant;
Your only disadvantage is that you must protect your password. Your only risk is the accuracy of the data you input. We have all the rest covered.
Let us do it for you. You reap the rewards in improved efficiency and job satisfaction.
Don’t forget to let us know if you’d like more information about any of our services, including bookkeeping services, payroll services, contractor accountant services and company registration.