Spreadsheets vs. Bookkeeping Software

Lets face it, the good old excel spreadsheet is a tried and tested tool for nearly every business - used from managing client contact lists to recording expenses and payments. It does the job and in most cases it does it well enough.

The purpose of this article is not to oust the spreadsheet, but to inform and educate on whether it still has a place in managing the day to day finances of a small business.  We also want to introduce the governments "Making Tax Digital" initiative which will require all businesses to submit their accounting records electronically and at regular intervals - essentially doing away with the annual tax return.  This new Government regulation will start to come into effect from 2017 - read more about it here.

Making Tax Digital

Difference between Spreadsheets and Online Bookkeeping

Depending on your appetite for technology, or the size of your business, you can either keep your business records on our Business Bookkeeping Spreadsheet and send it to us every month, or you can use your own online bookkeeping account (powered by award winning FreeAgent software). The cost is the same regardless of which option you prefer. 

Bookkeeping Spreadsheets

Spreadsheets tend to be ideal if you are a brand new business or if you have a very simple business.  All you need to do is record how much the business spends (expenses) and how much the business makes (sales).  We can do the rest for you and ensure you pay the right amount of tax at the right time.

Bookkeeping Software

Bookkeeping Software offers a lot more in terms of tools, controls and features for running a business.  Some of the features of our online bookkeeping software are as follows:

  • Your data is available 24/7 on any device. No need to install anything, the software is fully cloud based meaning your data is accessible, secure, and always backed up.
  • Manage your clients, contacts and projects.
  • Produce and send estimates and invoices, including an online payment facility to get paid faster or by direct debit.
  • Manage expenses and receipts - digitally.
  • Connect directly to your bank accounts to see a real time view of transactions and automatically reconcile transactions on a daily basis.
  • View real time Profit and Loss, and tax forecasts
  • Manage Pay and Dividends across your business

Should you switch to Bookkeeping Software?

The simple answer is yes, but you have plenty of time before you have to do it - probably about 2 years for most businesses.

Eventually all businesses will need to manage their finances through a tool capable of submitting financial records electronically.  Abacus Jack uses Free Agent software which is already fully compliant with HMRC regulations, and trusted by over 50,000 businesses.

Further Reading

You can download our Bookkeeping Spreadsheet for free 

You can watch an overview of online bookkeeping in this one minute video

Further details on our bookkeeping services can be found here: