A few years ago I had the opportunity to attend a conference in the States organised by one of the leading providers of cloud based bookkeeping software. My five star trip took me from Heathrow to San Fransico and from there to San Jose. Whilst there we visited Silicone Valley, saw the Goo Goo Dolls in a private concert and visited an American football stadium. The whole conference was incredibly stimulating and gave me the opportunity to spend time with and learn from learn like minded accounting specialists from across the globe and leading thinkers from the UK. The points coming from this are still very relevant today.
There were two sessions, of the many I attended, that really resonated with me. They were two of the most engaging speakers in Sekou Andrews and Oprah Winfrey. Sekou is a poetic speaker in the US but his message is a global one to all SME owners. The other was Oprah Winfrey who, I am sure, needs no introduction.
Sekou spoke of entrepreneurs who, when they first start out in their businesses, are stuck in the rut where they are trying to, and feel that they have to, do absolutely everything in their organisation. This covers everything from marketing, sales and stationery ordering as well as fee earning activity, making the tea and doing the cleaning.
Oprah discussed her views on “intention” and the fact that she feels everybody you come across has an agenda or an “intention”. This is regardless of whether they share it with you or not. Her point is that if you understand each others intention your engagement with them is far more relevant and mutually beneficial.
Small businesses need as much support as possible as we start to emerge from this current world crisis. My intention here is to highlight the benefits of cloud software with my purpose being to try and assist as many small business owners as possible. Consider “letting go” just a little bit to allow somebody better equipped to help you take the strain.
There is a lot to be said for letting the best person for the job fill the role. One of the statistics coming out of this seminar was that more small businesses succeed if they have an accountant on board. With the idea being that behind every good business is a supportive adviser.
I have invested the time to research and study what cloud accounting software has to offer. I have also delved into the pros and cons. One of the biggest benefits of cloud based software is the collaborative relationship it allows bookkeepers and accountants to have with clients.
Benefits to you
Bookkeepers and accountants are able to offer you support and advice based on real time information rather than the historical data many business owners are accustomed to receiving from their bookkeepers and accountants.
There is no great initial outlay nor the need to upgrade your hardware to cope with the additional strain because everything works through internet and cloud applications.
Using the same data as our clients without the need to exchange backups there is no issue with the software updates as this automatic. Updates are on a real-time basis for all users. Another advantage is that you can access the software from any device you choose be it your phone, tablet, laptop or conventional PC.
Most cloud based bookkeeping software has the ability to download information directly from your bank and is supported by additional software to assist with various tasks such as processing purchase invoices.
Once you have real time information we can work together to construct forecasts, budgets and cash flows. Coming from those we can create scenarios – “what if situations” going worst to best case predictions. These can be based on your historical data or worked from scratch. In the current climate this give valuable information to a business owner who can use it to make informed decisions.
To quote Mark Twain – “a great way to accelerate progress is to learn from the mistakes of others, so you can avoid those mistakes, and go make new ones!” We learned from the mistakes of using unsuitable software and look forward to discussing your individual business needs with you