How to develop a cloud accounting system

by Rob Stokes

Published on 8th March 2020

For many business owners, bookkeeping is one of those jobs that gets put to the bottom of the pile. It’s a significant part of essential admin that they often didn’t sign up to. An engineer will have started an engineering business, for example, as that’s where their skills and enjoyment lie, not in administering a business.  The solution is to develop a cloud accounting system.

How to develop a cloud accounting system

This is partly the reason behind the surge in cloud accounting packages, before the introduction of Making Tax Digital, as a tool for business owners to use.

Choosing a cloud accounting package

Most cloud accounting packages are written to be intuitive for the user and to make accounting easier for the non-accountant. This means the software may not be recording and producing information quite as it is required to manage your business. Alternatively, your business may be more sophisticated than the often relatively basic software. The Optimum team can help you assess which is the best cloud accounting system for you.

It is important to remember that the cloud software will only be as useful to the business owner as the information being entered and automation is key to making sure this happens in an accurate and timely manner. This has the added benefit of enabling quick decisions to be made based on reliable, accurate and timely information.

Which additional apps to opt for

Accounting software on its own will not provide the forecasting and cashflow predictions business managers require for planning. So cloud software providers, such as Xero and QuickBooks, have enabled external developers to provide apps that directly link with the cloud accounting software. These cover key categories, such as:

  • Data collection
  • CRM
  • Stock control
  • Payments
  • Ecommerce
  • Payroll/HR
  • Invoicing and jobs
  • Forecasting and cashflow.

Once you have selected your base accounting system, Optimum can also work with you to establish where value can be brought to your business through additional apps. For example more of the data entry can be automated through the use of the direct bank feeds, made easier with the advent of open banking and apps like Receiptbank for purchase invoice processing; or Expensify, which allows your staff to capture their receipts on the go.

Client/customer service can be enhanced with CRM apps such as Salesforce or SugarCRM. Importantly, the ability to create projections and forecasts can be enabled through the likes of Futrli or Fluidly.

Next steps

Apps can be added as needed, so you build up a suite of software that is easily controllable via monthly subscription. Once you have installed your software package, with the appropriate addons to enable you to manage your business, the onus is on evaluating and then using this information to develop your business. This is where Optimum’s business advisory team come into their own. The opportunity of having the up to date accurate information should not be wasted by not identifying what it means for your business and acting upon it.

To talk to the Optimum team about cloud accounting and harnessing its power to develop your business, please get in touch.

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