Why use an Online Bookkeeping tool?
Switching your bookkeeping from a spreadsheet to an online solution may sound too much like hard work, and surely it will cost more, or require more time, and therefore is just something else to go wrong?
To try and convince you, we've listed some of the benefits of using online bookkeeping. At Abacus Jack, we provide all our clients with award winning Free Agent bookkeeping software which is used and trusted by over 50,000 UK businesses.
Sole Trader bookkeeping through Abacus Jack costs just £19 a month (or £29 if you are a Limited Company).
That includes all the software, support, advice and guidance you need to ensure your business operates in a compliant manner.. As well as being at the end of the phone or email, we will make sure you always know how much tax you need to pay, to whom, and by when. We think that is a small price to pay to remove the worry and burden of business finances and tax. A spreadsheet maybe cheaper, but it doesn't answer emails, or phone calls, and it doesn't keep an eye on your entries to tell you if you've made a mistake.
Make a note of how you store your business records and think about whether or not you’re confident that they’re safe and secure. For example, if you put all your paperwork into a file which you keep in the basement, what happens if the basement floods? Are you able you recreate the records and do you have backup copies of the paperwork stored elsewhere?
If you use a spreadsheet, do you save the file on a PC hard drive or do you create back up copies on another computer in case of PC failure?
With online bookkeeping there is nothing to download, save, back up, or update. Everything is accessible from any device, 24/7. All your data is stored securely in the cloud, not on your PC. You don't need to back anything up, or download any software. The only thing you need is a device (PC, tablet or Smartphone) and an internet connection.
Consider how often you check what’s actually in your bank account against what your books say is in your bank account. You’d be surprised how often these two figures are different things! With online bookkeeping, your software connects to your bank account every day, enabling you to see a real time snapshot of your bank statement and ensure that every transaction is automatically reconciled through your accounts. Nothing can slip through the net as the system will pick it up and do something about it.
Invoicing and expenses
How often do you invoice your customers and how often do you track what you’ve spent out of your own pocket on business costs? With online bookkeeping you can create and send personalised estimates and invoices, keep track of who has paid and who hasn't, send reminders, accept online payments, and even do all of this from your phone!
When it comes to expenses just photograph your receipts, create an expense entry in your online account and that's about it. The expense can then be reimbursed whenever you decide to do that. HMRC accept scanned copies of receipts so it has never been easier to manage purchases through your business.
Your accountant is empowered
When you have good bookkeeping methods your relationship with your accountant is guaranteed to greatly improve. Instead of having to spend hours sorting out fiddly little problems, your accountant has access to all the data they need throughout the year and will be able give you helpful, proactive advice and become a really trusted adviser for you and your business.
HMRC will soon require online bookkeeping
We saved the best reason until last! From April 2018 HMRC will start to roll out their "Making Tax Digital" campaign. This will be a long roll out of changes, which will start by requiring all sole traders to start submitting business records online, in a digital format. So even the most avid spreadsheet users out there will, eventually have to switch to an online tool. More about Making tax Digital can be read here
Our advice is simple. Beat the rush, get your books in order, and sit back in the knowledge you are compliant. You can then concentrate on running your business and not worry about the burden of business finances or tax.
Find our more about our online bookkeeping
Find out about services and costs
Call or email us if you would like to find out more.