Tony Reissner

More than just making the books balance

Does your accounting software help your business grow?

No? Well it should. If you are a financial director, company director, manager, accountant or bookkeeper, you will know that having the right accounting software is about so much more than just making the books balance.

The right business accounting software puts you in control. It gives you the information and data that you need to help manage the business, to plan for growth, to identify potential areas of profit and loss – and ultimately to drive the organisation forward.

So, whether you are based in central or greater London, Hertfordshire or Bedfordshire, Hemel Hempstead or Harpenden; whether you are a small business with one office, an SME with several branches across the UK, or a multinational with global reach, having the right cloud accounting package is critical to your commercial success.

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What should you look for in cloud accounting software?

There are so many financial software solutions on the market; it’s hard to know which one is right for your organisation. At Whitegate we have done the hard work for you, using our knowledge, experience and expertise to select what we consider to be the very best cloud accounting software on the market – Exact Online. What’s more, Exact Online offers a proactive accounting solution for a range of organisations; from SMEs to large companies with operations across multiple sites.

It’s also important to be aware that not all services sold as being cloud-based are true browser based software-as-a-service applications. So, what are the five key features that you should look for when choosing your cloud accounting software?

1. Flexibility
A good cloud accounting system gives you the information that you need in the format that you need it. This may be in a variety of different layouts for a range of different purposes. So any software needs to be flexible, offering more than one way of organising and presenting information.

2. Access
One of the greatest advantages of using cloud accounting is the fact that it enables secure access to designated stakeholders from anywhere. This also enables easier outsourcing to trusted users. Software services with user-friendly mobile applications are also a sign of a well thought-out, future-proofed data solution.

3. Ease of use
The best cloud accounting software is relatively intuitive. You shouldn’t need a degree in finance and accounting to carry out day to day tasks, although interpreting how the resultant data can help you optimise processes may require a little more skill.

4. Time saving
Automation is one of the most significant time saving strategies there is. The right software automates key processes simply, reducing duplication and the need to re-enter information at the same time as generating informative reports at the click of a mouse.

5. Secure
Data security is a key issue for every organisation. Any software that you choose must be designed with security in mind to ensure that your valuable data is as safe as it is possible to be.

Oh and of course, any financial accounting now needs to be MTD (Making tax Digital) compliant. Many software companies are adding this functionality as an add-on facility (with an added corresponding cost). However, the best accounting software is designed with this already an essential component of the system to ensure seamless integration – and no hidden costs.

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Why Cloud Accounting?

Implementing the right cloud accounting software can enable your organisation to work smarter and more efficiently. Fundamentally, it’s all about having the key information in the right format.

Cloud accounting offers a greater degree of flexibility and a solution that grows with your needs; delivering results in an intuitive way that helps you make the right strategic decisions for your organisation.

Cloud accounting offers a secure platform that makes data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device enabling key staff from different departments, offices and geographical locations to access the information they need and to connect. It’s also simple to upgrade and easily scalable.

Key Features of Cloud Accounting software

for established small and medium sized businesses

Period Based
Period based cloud accounting software allows you to close off each ledger for a specific accounting period.
Cost Centres & Cost Units
Built-in cost centres and cost units allowing you to filter your P & L by a specific branch, region, sector or department.
Budgeting
Multiple budget scenarios down to cost centre & cost unit level allowing you to compare budgets & revised budgets.
Custom Forms
Design your own customised forms such as multiple invoices layouts, statements, reminders and remittances.

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