As you’ll no doubt have noticed, operating a business in locally means that you (and we) are often seeing trends that begin in ‘mainland UK’ and at times move into our business environment. (Other times they don’t, and we merely scoff from afar and continue doing business as we have done for many years while that particular business fad dwindles to nothing .)
One of the changes we’ve noticed as Northern Ireland based accountants has been the extremely swift rise of not only online or “cloud” computing, but also the number of local SME’s using cloud based platforms for their bookkeeping and accounting requirements.
And unlike some other trends, we believe the use of cloud based accounting platforms is one trend that is here to stay..
We see online tools everywhere: from iphones to online banking, social media for business leading to the slow death of paper, the “cloud” isn’t a ‘revolution’ or a ‘new thing’, it’s simply how we all live , work and do business in this modern digital age.
Locally we’ve noticed some of these trends take a little longer to gain traction , but as your accountants and advisors , more and more we see business being done in the cloudThe impact of the cloud is that any business owner in Northern Ireland has a unique opportunity to get ahead of the trend and to gain a competitive edge that other businesses may not yet have.
How is this possible? And what’s involved?
The key is cloud accounting software – particularly Xero.
Xero: How can accounting software be beautiful?
Xero (in case it’s new to you) has the tagline of “beautiful accounting software”. Even that word ‘beautiful’ may seem to collide with the world of accounting.
How do you make debits and credits beautiful? How do you ‘oooh’ and ‘ahhh’ over invoicing? The answer is you make it easy to use, and by integrating it with over 400 add-ons and apps so that your entire business – not just your accounting and bookkeeping – work seamlessly together in the cloud.
No more software CD’s or downloads and upgrades to install, and no more sending Excel spreadsheets to your accountant, or meticulously writing down mileage in a little black notebook kept in your company car.
Why it’s critical that you use Xero now (before everyone else does)
Here are the reasons we believe Xero is taking over when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting, and why it’s critical you start implementing it as soon as possible.
- Massive time savings: No more software to download. No more expense claims or mileage recording or creating invoices in Word. Everything happens so quickly you may even find you have enough time at the weekend to do something fun, rather than getting caught up on the business admin.
- Less email: You and your accountant have access to the same information at the same time. In our case, this means that you never have to send us any information again – we just log in and have a look and give you our advice or opinion based on real-time information.
- Access anytime, anywhere: Access Xero anywhere where in the world where this an internet connect ordownload the Xero app onto your phone and send that quote or invoice thirty seconds after you’ve met with the customer.
- Automatic integrations: Chase debts automatically and get paid faster. Link Xero with your website so that every time you add a new product, it’s instantly added to your website allowing you to manage inventory in the cloud.
- Security: Many of our clients ask, “But is it safe in the cloud?” The short answer is, “Yes, absolutely, and there are hundreds of thousands of businesses who trust Xero with their data.” (You can read Xero’s page on security here, but we’ll be the first to assure you that as your accountant, we would never recommend a system that wasn’t safe for you to use.
All of these elements have been tried and tested throughout the entire UK, and by many of our clients here in Northern Ireland.
But there are still many businesses who aren’t using it yet – which is extremely positive for you.
This means that as soon as you start using cloud accounting, and integrating with the many add-ons and apps that make your business and life better, you’ll be:
- More efficient, and able to respond more quickly to prospects and new customers
- More cash-rich, as your cash flow will be better
- More profitable, because you’ll know where your money is coming from and what products or services to promote (and how to price them)