You can tell the sun has been out these last few days because enquiries always go up. I’ve spoken to a lot of people who are thinking about changing their working life so they can do more of what they love. This week the favourites have been teaching the kids to surf, European festivals, charity bike challenges and car restorations.
As I’d expect, questions have covered pricing and whether 1. we really do only charge once you have your first contract, and 2. if we really do give every client the right to take a breather when they are between contracts or want to take an extended break? The answer is an emphatic yes to both. There are no catches.
The next questions are why use a ‘cloud accounting’ service and where do I start? Great questions, but not as quick to answer. So for anyone thinking of becoming a contractor, or for anyone thinking of moving their accounts online here’s a summary of the answers I give.
Top five reasons to go with cloud accounting:
Time: Around 100 hours a year are spent doing accounts. That’s a lot of billable time, or time that could be spent on a surf board. The cloud cuts this down dramatically.
That’s because you can store information in the cloud and can access it any time from anywhere. That means you don’t have to be at your desk to do your expenses or payroll. It’s also real-time so if you make a change it’s immediate. In fact we are unique, as we have real-time tax accounting, which means there are no surprise bills from HMRC.
Accuracy: The most important reason is accuracy. We’ve migrated thousands of companies from various states of accounting platforms, including paper, and 99% of the time we find errors. It can be the first time a business owner has visibility of the true state of affairs and it can explain why there are sometimes nasty tax surprises.
Affordable: Cloud accounting is also more affordable. You don’t pay upfront fees, or extra fees down the line as you grow. You can select a subscription model that suits you month to month, which eases cashflow.
Security: Though you need to be vigilant with anything connected to the internet, cloud accounting can be more secure. Plus if you lose your laptop nothing is stored on the hard drive.
Innovation: Probably the most exciting reason is more innovation. We are using machine learning to automate the boring jobs like categorising expense receipts, and to provide the aforementioned real-time tax calculations. These can make a huge benefit to your time and the view you have of your company’s health.
Getting ready to move:
It’s important to do some analysis before you begin and make a shortlist of your needs and find the best match.
inniAccounts is quite different to other cloud providers – we’re not a software provider and we’re not accountants selling a third party cloud-based app. We offer cloud accounting with qualified accountants in support. This means you can do the day-to-day stuff and then speak to our accounting team for support on the more strategic things that will help you grow your business.
How to move:
If your business is small and your existing accounts are not as perfect as they should be then moving to cloud is the perfect opportunity to clean things up.
I say that because in our experience of moving accounts from complex spreadsheets and using exports from accounts packages we’ve encountered quality issues. Our advice therefore tends to be not to bring too much history. It’s often wrong.
Instead, we create a line in time and copy across a trial balance and make adjustments. We’ve designed it to be as simple as possible from the client’s perspective and in general the only obstacle is getting a clean consistent view of the company position.
That sounds a bit scary but our team of senior accountants know exactly what they are doing and can have things set up in no time, and leaving you with more time for surfing.
If you have any more questions then feel free to get in touch with me directly, or go on to our website where you’ll find lots more information. Plus you’ll be able to use our online chat service to talk to our team about any other questions that crop up.