Balancing the books and keeping accounts up to date is crucial for any business, large or small. For large businesses, this is mostly a matter of employing trained accountants from accredited accountancy firms, who will do the book keeping for them. The results are presented in laymen’s terms, so the directors can quickly analyse their finances and keep the company on track.
Accounts for small businesses aren’t quite that simple; in a company where there are between one to ten staff, outsourcing to an accountancy firm or employing one person solely to handle accounts is a huge outlay of income. However, gone are the days of keeping receipts in a shoe box; the small business needs instant access throughout the tax year to their sales, purchase, cash flow, VAT and basic stock details.
There are numerous book keeping packages that offer small businesses these things, both online and off, but off-line packages have their downsides. Buy a package now and in two years time you’re going to have to buy new software and retrain your staff; not packages are upgradeable. Off-line packages need to be compatible with the software on your computer, be it Windows or Mac, which is difficult if your staff use different software. Where do you back up an off-line system? Hard drives and USB’s are both fallible.
Online accounts for small businesses are, in contrast, going to give you the continual support and service that you need. Because these systems are based on the internet, you can access them anywhere, at anytime; so if the only time you have to do your accounts is on that train commute between home and the office, or whilst waiting for that meeting, online book keeping enables you to get it done. Data is accessed through an encrypted log-in, so even if you’re using a different computer terminal you can log on securely, record your data and log out safely; safe in the knowledge that no-one else using that computer can access your information.
Online accounting also means data is recorded and calculated in real time, so you can instantly see you profit and loss margins. Online systems will also generated reminders as to when the month is ending or the tax year is coming to an end, so small businesses can check their book keeping is up to date and view the statistics through regular reports