Keeping an eye on your business via the cloud

One of the great advantages of cloud accounting is that your professional adviser is there with you in real time, writes Emma Woods.

While it’s true that the key driver for using cloud accounting systems has been the government’s Making Tax Digital programme, we’d usually advise all our clients to work in this way, even if they’re not VAT registered.

From our point of view, there are a number of advantages, if we notice for example, that profitability is healthy, we can work proactively to manage tax liability. On the other hand, if a client’s figures are not looking so rosy, there may be another conversation we can have, which gives us the chance to offer some specific advice or recommendations.

A key advantage is the ability to spot problems before they get out of hand. Keeping accounts in the cloud means that your professional adviser is able to log on at any time and see exactly what’s going on. While some businesses joke about ‘Big Brother’, the reality is that they soon see the advantages.

As cloud accounting became more commonplace, we started checking in on client accounts on an ad hoc basis, but we are now putting systems in place to ensure regular monitoring.

In terms of practical impact it can make, think about notification of your corporation tax bill. Would you rather have an idea of the figure eight months in advance or just a week before it became due?

Most accountants will be happy to offer some training to clients, depending on their level of confidence with software such as Xero, Sage or QuickBooks. Inevitably though, queries arise from time to time and we find that this serves as a useful communication channel. When a client calls up to ask for advice on the software, there’s always an opportunity for a five-minute chat to get up to date on their business and accounting issues.

We work closely with the leading provides, Xero and QuickBooks, and are cloud certified advisers. If you haven’t yet taken advantage of the new technology, make sure to have a chat with us to see how we can help with a stress free set-up.