It is vital to make technology work for you and your business. There are many products on the market – some can be downloaded as an app on your mobile and can be used to scan receipts and upload to the cloud. The software doesn’t need to be expensive – prices start from £5 or £10 per month plus vat.
Businesses need to have access to up to date financial information, in order to know what profit is being made, what tax will be due & to plan the future of the business. This is very difficult to do if you are using spreadsheets or even just writing it up in a book. For the same amount of data entry, it can be input into a proper accounting software, which will provide you with an in-depth analysis of your business, as well as estimating your profit. If used properly, it will provide a firm basis for your accountant to be able to prepare accounts quickly and accurately.
It is very important to have the right mindset to this aspect of business. Accurate bookkeeping provides you with a firm foundation, in order to make important business decisions. In this ever-changing world of ours, we need to be able to react quickly, to ensure the continuity and future of our business. For these reasons, up to date electronic records are vital.
WHICH ONE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Which one will be right for your business? It depends what sort of analysis you want. Some of the more basic software will record your bookkeeping and provide you with financial reports. If you want more analysis (for example, drilling down using departments or cost centres), you can always ask your accountant for advice first. If you do choose a basic software and find it’s not enough, it is usually possible to upgrade to a more advanced package.
WHAT IF I NEED TRAINING?
You will likely need training on your software. It is important to ensure that the software is set up correctly before you start using it. Certain information must be entered correctly to ensure, for example, your VAT returns are prepared correctly. (If you are on the VAT cash scheme and you select the VAT standard scheme – all your information for your VAT returns will be sorted incorrectly.) So you will likely need help from your accountant to ensure the set up is correct.
Sometimes, a classroom course is a great way to get introduced to the software and see how it works. After some basic learning, you will also need some bespoke training to ensure you understand how the software will work for your business. Each business is individual, and the software can be tweaked to cover everything you will need. After a few months of practice, you should be using it well. Your accountant will likely check your work and provide you with advice until it is all running smoothly.
At JDH, we use a variety of software. We use Sage 50 and can provide fully certified training courses on both accounts and payroll through our sister training company JDH Training & Consultancy Services Ltd. We also use Sage Cloud accounting, which enables both the business owner and the accountant to access the data at the same time. We can provide bespoke training to ensure the business owner becomes competent in using the software.
As well as Sage products, we have recently become Quick Books advisers too. We believe our clients should be able to choose from a variety of software.
Whatever choice you make for your business – make it a good one. Technology is the future of your business.