Quick guide to Cloud Accounting

Find out more about Cloud Accounting and how it can help your business.

What is cloud accounting?

Cloud accounting systems are internet-based book-keeping packages.  They are hosted securely on remote servers known as ‘the cloud’. This basically means they are run on the Internet, instead of locally on your desktop computer.

We are proud that at Sence Accounting we were early adopters of cloud accounting. This means we have in-depth knowledge and experience in working with most of the cloud packages on the market.

We work independently and are not tied to one brand of the cloud-based solutions. This means we can advise you on what’s the best fit for your business. We work with Xero, QuickBooks, Free Agent, Kashflow and Sage as some of the more well-known products.

The finance function shouldn’t be a weight around the neck of a business owner, it should be an important cog at the front of that wheel!  Cloud accounting can take away a lot of the stress and pressure of looking after the finances day to day.

Our independent advice means you can get the online accounting software that suits you and your business. We can help you integrate the software into your financial processes smoothly and without fuss.

What’s the difference?

Accountancy was a profession that went unchanged by technology and the internet for many years. Eventually, making entries in a ledger by hand was replaced by desktop software and spreadsheets. This meant individual licences had to be purchased and there was a heavy cost for many businesses that had to keep security up-to-date on all their computers to keep hackers out.

Traditionally, many businesses saw their accounts and accountants just once a year and they were then either surprised or disappointed that they hadn’t made as much profit as they had expected. Cloud accounting has changed all that; now, business owners can see exactly what is happening in their business in real time.

Knowledge is powerful and regular snapshots of your business performance allows you to change strategic direction and identify potential problems, such as cashflow issues, before they become serious.

At Sence Accounting we want be more than your number cruncher accountant; we can be your business advisor and take a key role in reviewing, analysing and trouble-shooting on your data.  Our team are experts in their fields on these software solutions and we spend copious amounts of time staying on top of their upgrades and latest developments so we can pass these onto you.

Having your business performance presented in real time like this enables us, as your advisor, to see immediately what you are doing.  This can be vital when wanting all important tax and business planning advice.  Before such advances we were having to spend hours producing the necessary reports to do this which would often be time consuming and wouldn’t provide the same real time information to hand.

How does cloud accounting benefit my business?

There are many benefits for businesses of all sizes when they switch to cloud-based bookkeeping and accounting. These include:

  • You can see transactions in real time from any internet-enabled device – including a smartphone or tablet
  • You can effectively run your business from anywhere in the world
  • It’s one of the most secure ways to store financial information. No need to use memory sticks or email confidential files, making collaboration much easier and safer
  • Online accounting software can synchronise with your bank accounts, loan accounts and credit cards so everything is in one place and easier than ever to understand
  • You can get apps for your smartphone or tablet that integrate with online accounting software. Some apps allow you to photograph receipts and upload them instantly to your accounts. Other apps can log business mileage and take payments electronically
  • It is making the transition to the Making Tax Digital programme far easier for businesses
  • You don’t have to buy licences for individual desktop computers and keep security on them updated all the time. Back-ups happen automatically.
  • Time that is saved by online accounting software means your accountant can spend more time advising you on ways to grow your business and succeed in what you do.

Cloud security

If you do Internet banking, you are already using the cloud to access your data. It is one of the most secure ways to store data, providing you take the usual precautions such as password security.

In the event of a break-in at your office, or a fire or flood, your data stays safe in the cloud. Cloud accounting means that instead of your data being stored on one or more computers or hard-drives, it’s stored remotely on multiple physical servers, often in different geographic locations.

When you store financial data on your computer or laptop, it is vulnerable to viruses and ransomware, as well as physical theft. With cloud accounting not only is there an instant backup, but your data is backed up in multiple locations. Cloud accounting software companies, including QuickBooks and Xero, have given assurances about the tight levels of both physical and digital security that protect their servers.

Money saving

You will pay for cloud accounting platforms in the same way as other cloud-based services, such as Netflix or Dropbox, through a monthly or annual subscription fee. This makes it good value for sole traders, small businesses and larger companies.

With traditional accounting software, as your firm grows in size you cannot avoid extra costs, whether that is for desktop software licences for each computer, system management upgrades or increased maintenance costs. Sometimes you may even need to buy more hardware, like extra servers. With cloud solutions, the subscription fees increase modestly as you grow. Depending on how you organise your online accounting and bookkeeping, you and your accountant may be able to keep costs stable and largely unchanged.

Our experience of cloud accountancy over many years, means that we can support and advise you about how to integrate online bookkeeping and accounting in your business processes and deliver great value.

We support with transitions to such software, providing bespoke cloud accounting training on the packages as needed.

Visibiity & reporting

Cloud-based accountancy gives you greater visibility than ever before on the numbers that matter in your business. Whether you are a sole trader, a small or medium sized business or a partnership moving your accounting systems into ‘the cloud’ will enable you to see everything that is happening financially at any time of the day or night from anywhere in the world. All you need is a device – a laptop, mobile phone or tablet – with a secure internet connection.

An accountant with good experience of cloud accounting will be able to draw off regular management reports and help you analyse them to stay on track and achieve your targets.

At Sence Accounting, we use the extra resource that online accounting gives you to provide value added advice on business strategy and growth to our clients.   This gives you a greater quality service for the same fees.  We build long-term relationships with our clients and have the knowledge and experience to help any potential cashflow issues and stop them before they cause real difficulty.

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“Sence Accounting came highly recommended to us and have proved why they have such a good reputation. Anna and the team have always been very helpful and guided us through anything we were not sure of. Amy comes to our office to carry out bookkeeping duties and is always professional and fits in well with our team. I would recommend Sence every time.”

Mr KMCNovember 2019

“My business has changed considerably since joining Sence, during this period they have guided and supported us throughout this growth, critically advising us as our needs have changed. From tax planning, variance analysis and external payroll services there is a wealth of advice and support that we have used and will continue to draw upon.
We can't fault the professionalism and personal touch that Sence provides a business like ours and can highly recommend them to any business no matter how big or small they are.”

Mr XAugust 2019

"One of the biggest positives for me about working with Sence is that I can trust them to do what’s right for me. I’m only a small business but they have my best interests at heart, nothing is too much trouble & there are no silly questions. I know that my accounts & self-assessment tax return will be filed in plenty of time. It is very clear that Anna & her team have a passion for helping businesses all shapes & sizes."

Mrs LVMay 2020