The UK’s bookkeeping landscape is evolving thanks to the adoption of new technologies.
As HMRC aim for a fully digital tax system by 2020, adoption levels are expected to increase exponentially over the next few years; despite this, a sizeable chunk of the industry remains unsure, uninformed or unconvinced by the digital revolution.
With so many bookkeepers on the fence, now’s an opportune time to explain why the digital revolution will be more like a digital revelation for your practice and how you can leverage these essential technologies to improve and expand your practice. From a usability perspective, online bookkeeping tech is designed to be as straightforward and accessible as possible. If you already use desktop software, it’ll have all the familiar features you’re used to, plus a host of unique benefits that only cloud-based platforms can provide. Just a few of these features include:
- Automatically-updating software
- Instant & remote client collaboration
- Globally accessible client portal
- Banking-grade protection
- Brandable marketing assets
- Online payment tools to improve client cashflow
It’s not difficult to see why so many bookkeepers are switching to the cloud and why so few are complaining about it once they’re there.
Now, let’s address a common question: What exactly is the cloud?
You may not be 100% sure about what adopting ‘the cloud’ – vague term that it is – actually means, or why now’s the time to do it. If that’s the case, don’t worry: you’re not alone. In the simplest terms, ‘cloud computing’ refers to the use of remote computer resources (e.g. bookkeeping software) via the internet. All you need is a web-ready device to access your account. For most of us, using the cloud in our day-to-day lives is already as regular as having a cup of tea or coffee in the morning. But what does it mean for bookkeeper who become cloud-reliant?
Cloud bookkeeping software is inherently intuitive and easy-to-use, simplifying a broad spectrum of bookkeeping tasks. By eliminating the need for double data entry and automating a range of processes that usually require manual human generation, you’ll see a real rise in productivity and efficiencies.
Real-time client collaboration
The entire process of information gathering and approval can be done within a matter of minutes using an integrated client portal, transforming your relationship with clients. Significantly shortened preparation and submission times will free up vital time and money to dedicate to boosting your added value services.
You can advise clients on how to improve their cashflow using online, built-in payment features, and publish management reports directly to your client portal on a recurring basis so that your clients can see how their business is performing.
Automatically updated & always compliant
Cloud-based software is automatically kept up-to-date with the latest software/security upgrades and legislation changes. You’ll no longer need to waste time checking that you’re using the latest version or waiting while new software installs; it’s all done for you.
Cloud software is protected by banking-grade security, hosted in the UK and uniquely encrypted, with data backed-up and safeguarded against the causes of data loss and theft that are common with office and device-based installations, such as lost or stolen IT equipment.
Accessible anywhere, any time, on any device
All you need is a web-ready device to gain access to all of your critical client data, meaning you can be fully productive even in the face of in-house IT system failure.
In the event of travel chaos, you can work from home from your laptop or tablet; alternatively, login from your client’s location when you’re paying them a visit and offer real-time planning advice.
Your name in lights
As well as making the bookkeeper’s life a whole lot easier, cloud software also comes with ready-made tools designed to increase your visibility to potential clients in the form of branded marketing assets, campaigns and your name in a Partner Directory, viewable to tens of thousands of SMEs.
The time is now
A year or two ago, a switch to the cloud might have been described as future-proofing your business.
Now? It’s a necessity, and the only way to stay relevant. What may once have seemed like a big, risky step is now a small yet crucial one.