Nobody likes the end-of-year tax filing and at the end of a grueling mathematical marathon, exasperated small business owners convince themselves ‘next year I’ll set up a system that does all this as I go along.’
The old fashioned ‘ledger’ book-keeping systems are slowly becoming a thing of the past although will always be those die-hards who swear by the traditional methods. Good old fashioned accounting will always work if you can keep on top of it week in week out, but people get lazy or are just too busy and end up staring gloomily at an old shoe box full of receipts and not knowing where to start.
So why should you make the transition?
First and foremost is cost. Accountants and bookkeepers fees bump annual expenditure and for a small annual subscription, software can do much of the work for you. Most packages include training although some charge extra for this.
Let’s you stay on top of things
Digital accounting allows you to keep up with all your invoices, VAT, cashflow, tax and most importantly, your bottom line – your business’ profit and loss. All the same tasks you would carry out manually can be done faster. Much of the system is automated, so as soon as you enter any information, the software updates all your figures in real-time. Online accounting allows you pull up reports anytime to take a look at your current profit-and-loss status, or see what you owe to whom or who owes what to you. Everything flows seamlessly, you don’t need to roll forward your spreadsheets from year to year or keep starting new pages each month. Everything is managed for you.
Online or on your system?
There are generally two options with packages. Cloud-based, or installed on your device. If you have an old dinosaur of a computer that doesn’t like newer apps then online software may be best for you.
You no longer need a degree in mathematics to do your accounts
Accounting packages are easy to learn and have been developed with the small business owner in mind. They compete with each other to make things as intuitive and user-friendly as possible. Once installed and the system has been learnt, everything falls into place. With a minimum amount of time and effort on your part, your accounts will always be up-to-date; be it a ready-mix concrete company, a robotics manufacturing company or a plant nursery. Bank statements and invoices can be automatically uploaded and processed into the correct categories you will never have that nagging feeling that you are always behind on your books.
Peace of mind from the unexpected
A traditional accounting system is never safe from human error or accidents.Unexpected events can occur which can damage a traditional accounting system. Fire or flood could destroy years of carefully kept books. One spilled cup of coffee on a page could wipe out crucial information… these things do happen! Software developers invest heavily in secure systems that will always keep your data secure and backed up. You can do all your invoicing through the system with full records of each one.
You get to have your life back
You became self-employed in the first place because you wanted to be free, but probably never banked on the sheer volume of paperwork involved. Online accounting is designed to simplify one of the most time consuming and energy draining tasks of your working life, so you can restore your work-life balance. You can do those more enjoyable things that you always put off, until after the accounts are done.