Is accountancy software enough?

Here, Richard Stonier, partner at Tally Accounts, gives advice on choosing accountancy software and the need for traditional accountancy support alongside software.

Learning to drive can be a bumpy road. You need support and guidance as you learn an important life-long skill. You wouldn’t practise in a car without an instructor and the same applies when learning the skills needed for digital accountancy. You need the right advice from an expert.

Here, Richard Stonier, partner at Tally Accounts, provider of cloud-based accountancy software, explores whether accountancy software alone is sufficient.

Extensive changes to how taxpayers record and report income to HMRC are being introduced under the Making Tax Digital for Business (MTDfB) proposal which was announced in 2017. This proposal means that businesses, self-employed people and landlords that have a turnover above the VAT threshold will be required to use the new digital service from April 2018.

This reform will require businesses to keep digital records and file quarterly reports using software that is compatible with HMRC’s systems. This means that accountancy software is now required by law.

Expert advice

Businesses could choose any accountancy software option that they like the sound of, perhaps they saw an advert on the television or they know other people that used a certain package. However, the problem with this approach is that you’re simply buying accountancy software without any real accountancy support.

Related: UK small business accounting software 2019 review

In contrast, there are services like Tally Accounts that have a team of chartered accountants ready to support all its users via phone, email or Skype. The accountants can even remotely assist on your computer from their offices to demonstrate features and help with any issues.

The accountant is on the same page

By choosing accountancy software that already comes with traditional accountancy support, the beauty is you and your accountant are both on the same page. Of course if you just buy the software, you are free to seek a traditional accountant elsewhere, but they may not be familiar with your software platform which would make investigating any financial enquires much more difficult.

It’s important to look at the company behind the software. If you choose software from a larger corporation, you may suddenly find yourself a small fish in a big pond. However, if you opt to use accountancy software from a smaller organisation, then they get to know you and your business. If you have any issues, you won’t need to join a queue; instead they can help you quickly and efficiently.

Bells and whistles

Technically, you could describe Microsoft excel as accountancy software if you really wanted to. Just because something is called accountancy software doesn’t mean it will suit your business and meet your needs.

For an efficiently run business, you’ll need a highly integrated piece of software that has all the features, from ID checks and expenses scanning through to online payroll, all in one place. This seamless approach will have your business running like clockwork. Your business deserves the best.

So whether you’re learning to drive or making the move over to digital accounting, make sure you are surrounding yourself with the right support. Just like you would shop around for a reputable driving instructor, be selective when choosing your accountancy software.

Richard Stonier is partner at Tally Accounts.

Further reading on accountancy software

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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