Thanks to the advent of accounting software you can ditch the time-consuming spreadsheets and you can wave goodbye to the annual tax return panic. But can you say adieu to your accountant? Some business folks swear by the software while some are holding on tight to their trusted accounting professional: which option is best?
When you’ve invested in accounting software it’s tempting to try to save money by dropping your accountant and when you’ve got a great accountant on speed dial, you wonder why on earth you would need anything else. But that’s working on the supposition that the two concepts — accounting software and the services of a financial professional — are one and the same.
They’re not. They are two very different things with different uses and different benefits. Rather than deciding between two types of cheese, you’re deciding which cracker complements your cheese of choice. Your cheese might be pretty tasty by itself but when you add it to the right cracker, everything just comes together.
Manual paperwork is tedious, time-consuming and highly vulnerable to human error. The right accounting software takes the hassle out of bookkeeping; invoices can be generated automatically, with reminders being sent to any late payers. You can easily track outgoing payments and expense management becomes a breeze.
And sure, you could just pass all of this on to your accountant but in doing so you’d be missing out on one of the biggest advantages of using this type of software: the ability to view your financial situation in real-time, the ability to know, at any point in the year, exactly what your cash flow looks like, what size of tax bill to expect and where you are in relation to your sales targets. You’ll be able to make quick, informed decisions without having to wait for the go-ahead from your accountant.
If you think that your accountant is only useful for balancing your books, you need a new accountant! The remit of a great accounting professional goes far beyond mere bookkeeping.
Accountants are duty-bound to keep abreast of any changes to the law regarding tax legislation so they can ensure their clients remain compliant. They can help you find legal solutions to reduce your tax bill and they offer sound, long-term financial strategies to help you grow your business. They’re basically an unbiased business advisor. Can your software make the same claim?
So now you’re convinced that you need both the cheese and the cracker (which is which in this analogy, we’ll leave you to decide!), the key is to find a complementary pairing.
One of the most important features to look for is compliance with Making Tax Digital (MTD); the new tax legislation comes into force next year and will place a burden on businesses (and their accountants) as they have to submit financial records four times a year. Your accountant will thank you for choosing accounting software, like Countingup, that has been designed to handle the added responsibilities that MTD will bring.
Another feature your accountant will thank you for is the automated link between your bank account and your bookkeeping software. Countingup is leading the way with this technology by offering a business current account that has fully integrated accounting software built in.
Not only will this save your accountant a whole load of stress, but it’ll free up time for them to dedicate to devising the strategies that will help you take your business to the next level.
Collaboration with a great accountant can be one of the most effective tools for business growth so it’s worth keeping them happy! Talk to your accountant today about what they’re looking for from accounting software and decide together whether Countingup could be the right package for you both!