THE END OF THE FINANCIAL YEAR IS A GOOD TIME TO MAINTAIN OR REVIEW YOUR ACCOUNTING SYSTEM.
This could include:
- Taking a backup of the last financial year
- Ensuring your software is up to date
- Familiarising yourself with new releases or features
It may even be worthwhile investigating alternative products. In recent years there have been some significant changes in accounting system technology.
The biggest change is from software based on your desktop which you purchase for an upfront cost, to an internet based (or cloud based) system for which you pay a regular monthly fee.
While you may feel there is no compelling reason to change the system you are currently using, it may be worth considering the benefits a cloud based system can offer. Some people may be uncomfortable with their financial information hosted in the cloud but you may find the reduced administration time and therefore cost involved in running your business makes a cloud based system very attractive.
Cloud based systems typically have automatic bank feeds which removes the need for manually entering your bank transactions. The software is usually intuitive enough to match up payments through the bank to invoices entered into the system. These days you can even take a copy of your invoices or receipts and store the image which can greatly reduce your need for physical storage space.
One of the great advantages of a cloud based system is having access to the system from anywhere you have access to the internet. You can also offer access to other people such as staff, bookkeepers or accountants who can then access, edit or review your information.
Increasingly cloud based software can be used or accessed by tablets or smartphones making the system able available “on the go”.
The major cloud based technology providers are continually improving the base product. As the technology becomes more widely adopted the feedback provided by users allows the software company to regularly update the product for all subscribers. These updates are performed by the software provider and are part of your monthly subscription; no action is required by the subscriber.
Software hosted in the cloud never requires a manual back up. The software provider takes responsibility for system security and reliability. Your information is not stored in your computer’s hard drive and is therefore not in jeopardy should the hardware fail. (However we would recommend regularly downloading and storing a copy of your businesses transactional information.)
Finally there are hundreds of software developers that have created additional pieces of software that can be “added on” to a cloud based system. Often these applications are industry specific such as time management systems, inventory systems or point of sale software. Customising your accounting software with appropriate add-ons helps to maximise the value of the software for your particular business, although the increase in overall monthly cost will be relatively small.
The start of a new financial year is the perfect time to trial new software. Most software providers offer a free trial and this can be run in parallel with your existing system.
The benefits listed here need to be considered against the complexity of changing systems, the change in cost structure and your personal requirements from the system.
Your team at BVO have a good knowledge of the options available and can assist you in selecting and installing a different accounting system, if this is the best way forward. Otherwise we will keep working with you and your current system. We are here to help you make the right decisions.
Please contact one of the Directors if you wish to discuss your technology requirements further.