Automation in accounting: data driven decisions

To grow a business, business leaders need to understand where they are now, have the ability to review their business and use that information and reliable data to plot their plans for growth.

Growth can only be measured by having robust data to help you understand how far you have come or may still have to go to reach your goals.

SME business owners, with the latest technology, can access anywhere, anytime data about their business to give an overview and real time insight into business performance.

With real time access to data, business owners don’t need to wait weeks, months or until year end to know how their business is performing. With up to date data available, this allows business owners to be proactive and adapt any plans to the business plan or strategy.

Hayley Kingsnorth, Accounts & Business Advisory Services Partner, discusses the benefits of cloud accounting technology in viewing data as a business partner and key to driving business performance.

What is cloud accounting?
Cloud accounting, sometimes referred to as online accounting, works in a similar way to desktop accounting software that has been available for over a decade. The main difference between cloud and desktop packages is that, instead of installing the software on your computer, cloud packages run on remote, secure servers which are accessed using the internet.

Data is securely stored on the cloud, giving you instant access to real time information regarding your accounts which can be accessed and worked on from any location in the world with an internet connection, via any device.
The benefits

Time Saving
Cloud accounting brings new working practices aimed at reducing the time associated with data inputting, giving business leaders more time to focus on growing the business. Most cloud accounting solutions include features such as bank feeds that automate postings into the software from entries on your electronic bank statements and the ability to upload scanned images of receipts and supplier invoices.

There are also a number of innovative add-ons available, such as Dext, which converts key information from receipts and invoices into data that is automatically posted into your software.

Multiple users can login to cloud accounting software at the same time, from different locations, providing they have a working internet connection. The ease of access provided by cloud accounting software is an extremely valuable feature allowing both you and your advisor to see the same information at any point in time.

More informed decision-making
Cloud accounting software gives you time to focus on your business, wherever you may be. You can be confident that you have an up-to-date picture of your financial data – allowing you to make more informed decisions about your business operations.

Azets’ team of trusted business advisors can also spend time working and reviewing the data with you to help grow your business and help inform future business strategy plans.

Enhanced data security
Cloud accounting is more secure than traditional accounting methods as there is no requirement to transfer data between your business and your accountant and business advisor. Most cloud accounting providers take great measures to ensure your data is safe, including backup power supplies, firewalls, data encryption software and regular, third-party security audits. Furthermore, the online software provides an improved, more efficient service, with speedy processing of data.

Ease of use
Our teams can guide you through the process of choosing and installing the best online software for your business. We will make the data transfer as automated as possible and provide you with training on how to use your new software so you can reap the benefits from it as quickly as possible.

Requires minimal IT support
Your cloud service provider will do much of the required IT maintenance, such as the backing up of your data and installing software updates. This in turn reduces the need for on premise servers, infrastructure updates and internal IT support.

There’s often a barrage of regulation facing SMEs. Demystifying is absolutely key – meaning putting in place processes to simplify procedures and ensure easier management. Cloud accounting software can help ensure compliance with regulation such as Making Tax Digital (MTD) as we move along the timeline.

Regulation also usually involves deadlines and the repercussions for the likes of late VAT returns can lead to fines of up to 100% of the value of the VAT. Once in the penalty regime, it can take a year to get back out of it. The simplification of regulatory requirements through the use of technology can ensure deadlines are not missed and therefore no financial penalties to the business.

We can take on all your time-consuming book-keeping, accounting and payroll duties using cloud-based software specially curated for you.

As platinum partners for all leading cloud software solution providers in the UK as well as our strategic partnership with Xero, we offer multiple cloud-based solutions from our partners, as well as desktop based Making Tax Digital (MTD) compliant solutions. We can tailor a solution to fit the needs of you and your business. Our local teams of trusted business advisors are trained to find the right solution for you.

We have also designed and developed Cozone – a user-friendly, cloud-based digital accounting platform, enabling full collaboration with your accountant on tax, audit, accounting and more. Cozone gives you a bird’s eye view of your business at the touch of a button on any device, saving you time.

We are here to help
For more information on how you can use technology to power up your business, contact Nick Bryant on 01202 717 867 or speak to a member of our team today.

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