We’re all familiar with the old way of splitting the bill after a meal with friends. It used to be that everyone would start bartering for change to get the balance just right. However, today you’re much more likely to see one person pay the bill while the others simply reach for their phones to transfer them their share.
The way we think about and interact with money has changed, and the world of accountancy has changed with it. Just as we’re now accustomed to mobile banking software, we are also transitioning to the accountancy equivalent. Here Richard Stonier, partner at online accountancy provider, Tally Accounts, looks at how cloud-based accountancy can support your business.
Research by Capterra found 39 per cent of businesses now used cloud-based accounting software, meaning that 61 per cent are yet to make the move.
The same research also finds that 52 per cent of businesses changed the accounting software packages they used because they needed new features, the most desired feature being a mobile app.
These findings show that there is a genuine need for software packages to meet the changing needs of businesses. The old adage that cash is king is no longer strictly true, having the right software, cloud and mobile services is crucial to keep on top of cash flow in our fast-paced world.
As Airbnb co-founder, Nathan Blecharczyk, says, ‘You’ve got to really make sure you are pacing yourself and have enough runway to persevere until you ultimately succeed.’ This ‘runway’, as Blecharczyk describes, is your cash flow.
Keep your accounts in the cloud – not your head
Cloud-based accountancy ensures small businesses have a realistic view of their cash flow in three ways. The first way is by providing quick and simple reconciliation of your bank accounts and putting this data at your fingertips, providing real time data of how much cash your business actually has to play with.
The days of time-consuming manual input are long gone. This information is available anytime and anywhere, all you need is an internet connection.
Then there is the ability to scan in expenses as you go. You and your employees can digitally maintain expense records by uploading receipts and other expenditures, negating the time consuming – and stressful – task of trying to dig out old receipts at the end of each month. You can also use GPS to track business mileage to automatically update travel expenses.
Finally, you can attach the GoCardless app seamlessly to cloud services, such as the online accountancy service from Tally Accounts. This allows small organisations to make and receive direct debit payments easily so that you receive money on time, every time. Less time is spent chasing late payments, improving cash flow. Remember when we talked about cash being king? This app keeps the old king happy.
As more and more businesses are moving away from installed accountancy software and transitioning to the cloud, it’s important that these new features are fully understood and used to their optimum capacity. Not fully submerging yourself into the possibilities of cloud-based accountancy software is the equivalent of investing in the latest iPhone and only using it for phone calls.
Small business and start-ups need to make the most of every investment they make, and an investment in cloud-based accountancy is one that offers almost limitless ways to keep your business agile and growing.
Remember, things change. It’s important to remain adaptive and respond to this change. No one wants to be that friend who can’t transfer the money because they haven’t moved over to mobile banking. Equally, you don’t want to be the business that’s left behind by being stuck with out-dated accountancy software.
Written by Richard Stonier, partner at Tally Accounts.
Further reading on accounting
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