Many aspects of small business management are already covered by the cloud. Whether it’s using Google Drive or Dropbox to create advertisements or an online social media management tool to keep active online, there’s little that can’t be taken care of through the cloud.
All too soon, this will be true for small business’ accounts too. When Making Tax Digital is enforced, their records will be stored and maintained online so that business directors can submit the quarterly information that HMRC will require.
A survey by OnePoll commissioned by Xero in 2014 showed that 65% of 250 UK accounting firms were already using or planning to use cloud accounting.
If you’re not one of these, it’s time to start making a change. There are plenty of reasons why cloud accounting is an attractive option for small businesses, which is why accountants should get used to it now.
Making Tax Digital
It will soon be mandatory for businesses to submit accounts through HMRC’s Making Tax Digital scheme, so if you want to be able to advise your clients you’ll need to understand cloud accounting yourself.
The sooner you become acquainted with one of the cloud accounting systems HMRC recommend, the easier it will be for you to aid clients in the switchover.
If you’re more competent with the Making Tax Digital switchover than other accountants, you’ll be in a stronger position for attracting new clients.
Security is one of the major reasons why small businesses (and accountants) are reluctant to put their accounts in the cloud. In a 2015 survey by Cloud Security Allegiance, 73% of people surveyed said their main concern with using cloud software was the security of data.
However, another survey showed 64.9% of IT leaders think the cloud is as secure as or more secure than on-premises software.
As Making Tax Digital is brought to business’ attention over the coming years, it’s more likely clients will ask about security. By adopting cloud technology early on you can prove evidence, backed up by your experience of having already used the cloud.
Communication with clients
When the move to Making Tax Digital becomes mandatory, communication between accountant and client will be key. Easy methods of communication will become a vital part of teaching business owners how to use the system, which is where cloud accounting comes in.
In OnePoll’s report, 26% of accounting firms said they moved to the cloud because they wanted to become more collaborative with clients.
Switching to cloud accounting will improve communication between accountant and client and real time edits can speed up a clients’ understanding of processes.
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