We have to collect some data when you use this website so it works and is secure. We'd also like your consent to collect data to study how people use our site. Doing so helps us improve our services and allows us to tailor the marketing you see on our site. Select 'Accept cookies' to agree or 'Cookie settings' to choose which cookies we use. You can change your mind at any time by clicking the 'Manage Cookies' link.
Smart accounting software - no commitment, cancel anytime
The benefits of cloud accounting for you and your clients
8 min read
Cloud accounting is becoming more and more popular. As accountants, we know it’s the only way to go, especially in the light of Making Tax Digital.
We know that cloud-based accounting makes our lives easier, and savvy clients know how it relieves the enormous admin burden for them as well. But there are still a lot of small businesses that haven’t signed up yet to cloud accounting, and we should be encouraging them to get on board, now.
There are a host of benefits to cloud accounting for your practice and for your clients. As various forces are calling for businesses to move online, your bookkeeping practice can’t fall behind.
The benefits of cloud accounting for your accounting practice
According to Intuit research, 88% of small businesses in the UK expect their accountants to embrace cloud-based solutions, and 58% are willing to pay more if they do. Now here’s the strange thing - only 37% of accountants do so. This is a huge missed business opportunity.
Cloud accounting software, such as QuickBooks, has been transforming the way accountants and bookkeepers work for some time now. Let’s take a look at the advantages of cloud computing for your accounting practice, and why you should follow suit if you haven’t already.
1. Keep clients MTD-compliant
With HMRC-recognised cloud accounting software, you can rest assured that your clients are keeping digital records and submitting their VAT returns in line with Making Tax Digital, saving you time and energy sorting out compliance issues. If your clients really aren’t ready yet to move to the cloud, you can always use bridging software to keep them compliant while they’re still using spreadsheets.
2. Manage your clients, all in one place
With QuickBooks Online Accountant, you can see all your QuickBooks clients and access their real-time financial data, all in one place. The client analysis tool for accountants allows you to segment your client base and get key insights about their books in an instant. That’s how you can keep an overview of how your client base is doing.
3. Optimise workflow within your practice
When you use cloud accounting software in your accounting practice, you can assign tasks to colleagues and keep track of projects from one central place. What’s more, you can send clients information and answer their questions directly from QuickBooks without ever leaving the software. It allows you to finally reduce the number of paid tools you use, and who doesn’t love keeping fewer tabs open?
4. Save time with automation tools
One of the benefits of using cloud accounting software in your accounting practice is that you can automate a lot of basic accounting tasks and free up your time to help your clients make smarter business decisions. With QuickBooks, you can automate VAT checks, bank feeds, reconciliation, and integrate with a wealth of third-party apps to save manual data entry and checks. Creating cash flow forecasts, profit and loss statements or tax calculations for HMRC becomes easy with all the data already in QuickBooks.
5. Get help growing your accounting practice
With all that time saved thanks to your cloud accounting software, you can really focus your time and energy on growing your client base and becoming a valued business adviser. What’s more, when you use QuickBooks in practice, you automatically join our valuable ProAdvisor Reward Programme which gives you access to valuable tools and resources to help your practice thrive. That includes marketing materials, a free listing on our directory of accountants and advice for pricing strategies to future proof your profits.
6. Offer more benefits to your clients
QuickBooks is free to use for accountants and bookkeepers working in practice - you only pay when you add a client. On top of that, you can offer your clients up to a 60% discount when you manage their subscription billing for them. This makes it even more attractive for them to make the switch, while you strengthen your client relationships. A better service means more loyal clients, resulting in long-term benefits for your practice.
Help your clients spend less time on business admin and more on development thanks to QuickBooks cloud accounting.
But you won’t be the only one who’ll benefit from using cloud accounting software. If your clients need a little bit of convincing when it comes to making the switch, here’s how you can explain the benefits of cloud accounting to them.
1. MTD becomes stress-free
If you’ve done your work well as their accountant, your clients should know about Making Tax Digital by now. As it stands, MTD rules already apply to VAT, but the government is planning to roll out these requirements to Income Tax Self Assessment and Corporation Tax as well. To comply with Making Tax Digital rules, businesses must keep digital records and submit their returns through digital links using HMRC-recognised accounting software such as QuickBooks. By investing in HMRC-recognised cloud accounting software now, your clients can future-proof their finances for many years to come.
2. It’s cheaper than they might think
Perhaps one of the strongest benefits of cloud accounting software for your clients is that it’s cheaper than they might think. Whereas a locally hosted software is outright more expensive and comes with a complicated set-up, cloud accounting software is available at an affordable monthly fee that pays for itself quickly in terms of time saved. Why spend more money on locally hosted software that’s harder to use? With cloud accounting software, your clients can increase their profits by cutting their accounting costs.
3. They can see how their business is doing in easy dashboards
Unlike the maze of spreadsheets that they might be navigating now, cloud accounting software gives your clients an easy overview of their finances. With easy-to-understand dashboards that visualise their financial data, business people who aren’t finance professionals can get a grasp of where their business stands and what’s ahead for them.
4. They can access their data on the go
Cloud accounting software comes with a host of benefits, including the fact that it allows both businesses and accountants to access and update their financial data on the go. By using the QuickBooks mobile app or accessing their accounting software on tablet or laptop, your clients can see how their business is doing anytime, from anywhere. This can help them monitor their cash flow and check if invoices have been paid, but also create new invoice
s and expenses as they go about their day.
5. They can start a paperless office
If there’s one thing that small business owners hate most, it’s paperwork. And there can be a lot of it. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With cloud accounting software, mileage can be tracked on the go, receipts snapped with the app and then thrown away, and invoices created and reconciled online without a single printer involved. As all your clients’ income and expenses are tracked, stored and shared with you online, there will be no more paperwork piling up on anyone’s desk - neither theirs nor yours.
6. The onboarding’s easy
Your clients might be worried about the time it might take to switch from their good old spreadsheets to cloud accounting software, but with our easy data import tools, they can switch from Excel to the cloud in one single day. After that, getting to grips with their new software is easy with step-by-step guides, in-product support and handy how-to videos that are available for free.
7. They can easily collaborate with you, their accountant
Just because your client has invested in easy-to-use accounting software doesn't mean that they now have to do their bookkeeping themselves! Once you are set up as a user, it’s easier than ever to manage your clients’ bookkeeping, perform checks and make them aware of anything that needs their attention.
Taking away your clients’ worries
Your clients might have a number of worries about making the move to the cloud. Luckily, it’s easy to take away most of these worries and convince them of the benefits of cloud-based accounting. Here’s how you can respond to some of the most common doubts.
“Is cloud accounting safe?”
Yes - storing data on secure servers is much safer than storing it on your hard drive. Sharing data in the cloud is also safer than via email, especially when you turn on two-step verification. With two-factor authentication enabled, no one can access your data unless they have the login details to your online account as well as access to your phone - a very unlikely scenario.
What’s more, it’s close to impossible to lose your data when you use cloud accounting software. While it’s easy to lose your data when your hard drive gets damaged or your laptop gets stolen, it will always be possible to access your data from any device by logging in to your cloud accounting software. Your data is backed up automatically, so it’s impossible to lose your financial data if you forgot to click ‘save’.
“Will I need to keep installing updates?”
In contrast to accounting software that’s installed locally on your desktop, cloud accounting software doesn’t come with the constant updates that eat away at your time. In the cloud, any updates and new features are added automatically. This means that your clients can get on with their jobs as soon as they’re connected to the internet.
Let’s get on with business!
We hope you feel more confident about the many benefits that cloud-based accounting brings. If you want to learn more about the opportunities that moving to the cloud can bring, visit the relevant section of QuickBooks’ blog for accountants. We’re with you every step of the way.