Bookkeeping in the Cloud
Cloud accounting and payroll software has been available for several years now and products have improved consistently as new features are added.
Having your software stored on a desktop restricts what you can do and how you can work. The advent of Covid-19 led us to do more things online and the need to be agile with the ability to work from anywhere is now at the forefront of working practices – in GP practices and beyond.
Cloud accounting brings many benefits;
- The ability to work anywhere – you can access your software 24/7.
- Most packages are “real time” and link with your bank accounts to download transactions daily, allowing you to keep on top of your cashflow.
- Automated links from the bank reduce the need to key in transactions and therefore reduce the mistakes – saving on that time trying to make it all balance.
- It’s a fast moving world and we are already seeing document storage apps as well as specialist ones linking software to NHS payment systems so increasingly all your financial documents can be stored in one place online.
- Access can be allowed at different levels for different staff from read-only to full access rights. Your accountant can see and work on the same data as you. Your partners can also view the data but not touch it!
Working with your accountant
It’s always best to set packages up in collaboration with your accountant since they can advise you on the best option to choose. They will also be able to advise you about the correct coding structure and can even save time by importing codes to the package for you.
During the year as your accountant has access to the same data they will be able to support you if you need assistance or additional training. If issues arise around cashflow or questions on drawings come up then the accountant can see exactly where things stand.
At the year-end the transfer of documentation is much easier. No back-ups have to be taken and the days of carting boxes of hard copy files off to your accountant may be over!
Your accountant will also be able to help you with setting up management reports, such as monthly profit and loss accounts or cashflow reports, so that you can keep on top of things with fewer surprises at the year end.
There are many options available now but the common ones used in general practice are;
All have different features and all work in different ways so speak to your accountant about what’s best before you make your final choice.
We hope you have enjoyed this series and found it useful for your accounting in practice, if you have missed any of the previous parts, you can find them here.