Technology can become a burden and when applied badly can be a time-waster rather than a time-saver. But when used appropriately it can make a real difference to businesses of all sizes and shapes. One such piece of technology is cloud-accounting, and without it, Pixooma would probably be embroiled in a turmoil of printed invoices, reports, cheques and myriad other bits of paper.
Cloud accounting apps, such as Xero (which is what we use) mean that we can:
- Directly link our business bank accounts with the accounting software, so invoices and payments can be reconciled in a matter of seconds
- Issue invoices by email, with an online link and/or a PDF attachment
- Generate VAT statements and submit them with a click of a button
- Create a vast array of reports (profit and loss, month-to-month comparisons etc) giving us a complete overview of the financial state of our business
- Link the software to a huge range of other services and software, such as the Direct Debit system (GoCardless) that we use, and our CRM system (Capsule) meaning our processes are more streamlined.
- Access all of this on any device, anywhere we are
Not only this, but our accountant can directly access our accounts as well, so they don’t end up with boxes of receipts and paperwork to trawl through either.
Compare this to issuing printed invoices, getting paid by cheque (or manually reconciling BACS payments using a printed statement), handwritten bookkeeping, and analysing the state of the business on paper (or via Excel), and it is clear that the admin would be higher and the efficiency much lower.
One final point regards security, both from a data and access perspective: Xero allows you to use Two-Factor authentication which is a really simple way to reduce the likeliness of an attacker being able to log in and access your accounts, and as a global corporation Xero is well aware of the requirements of GDPR so can help you comply with the new regulations in respect of your client data as well.
Xero is obviously not the only cloud-accounting application available, but it is used by a wide range of accountants and we’ve found it to be a real boon to our business. Take a look at Xero here or ask your accountant what cloud app they recommend, it is an investment that you are unlikely to regret.
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