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Accounting and bookkeeping

Excel accounting – making the switch to cloud accounting

Excel accounting could be all you need when you’re first starting a business in South Africa and your turnover is low. 

But once you start to grow, relying on an Excel accounting spreadsheet can spell trouble. In fact, there are many tales of well-established companies making big mistakes as a result of spreadsheet errors. With this in mind, cloud accounting software is a safer and more error-proof option once your business starts to expand.

Here are five reasons to consider making the switch from Excel to online accounting.

1. Excel accounting isn’t always easy

Because Excel is so widely used in South Africa, it’s often assumed that it’s simple to master. In reality, if you don’t have specific experience then you’re facing a steep learning curve. It’s easy to introduce errors, and tricky to undo them.

And if your business is expanding, setting up an accurate spreadsheet that grows with it takes strategic thinking – adapting one that no longer does the job is difficult, not to mention time-consuming.

2. Online accounting can help you manage a growing number of employees

Excel accounting is limited when it comes to more than the bare minimum of staff. A more sophisticated accounting system will help you manage a growing number of employees, by:

  • Configuring pay schedules and employee details like pay rates and leave accrual to match your payroll
  • Automating pay slip notifications and leave calculations
  • Adding timesheets directly into your pay run
  • Handling multiple bank accounts
  • Managing tax responsibilities

3. Cloud accounting enables better customer relationships

The customer is king – and the lifeblood of any small business. Switching from a manual system on Excel to online accounting software is a highly effective way of building on good relationships with current customers as well as sourcing new ones. This way you can:

  • Track customer records so you can see what they buy, how often and when
  • Simplify payments by accepting online and mobile payments from credit and debit cards, allowing customers to pay their invoices on the spot
  • Sync to data from apps like PayPal
  • Store data on customer purchases, so you don’t need to rifle through the paper trail
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4. Online accounting software can be tailored to your needs

Do you need to think about stock control and payroll? Or do you just want to make sure you’re prepared for tax time? Look for an affordable system that suits your needs without extra features you don’t want to use.

With QuickBooks online accounting software you can choose from three plans, starting with a tax-oriented plan for sole traders, moving through to one for SMEs looking for full finance management. And it’s easy to upgrade when you need to.

5. Cloud accounting software comes with a whole host of benefits

Online accounting software in South Africa, like QuickBooks, streamlines processes and minimizes mistakes. Not only do you save time on admin, but you’ll also begin to see increased profits as a result. These are some of the key benefits:

  • It’s quick and simple to set up
  • You can access it from any device, including your smartphone
  • It’s easy to keep tabs on how your business is doing, with dashboards displaying key figures
  • It syncs with your online banking – no more data entry mistakes
  • You can use it to create custom invoices
  • It integrates with your payroll
  • You can review your business finances at the click of a button, enabling you to plan further growth more effectively

So, should you switch from Excel accounting to cloud accounting?

This will depend on your spreadsheet skills and the complexity of your business. But there are plenty of advantages to switching early on – you’ll have all your figures in one secure, accessible place from the word ‘go’. A good system will grow with your business and support your needs through every phase of expansion.

So if you find yourself struggling to streamline your invoices or you’re in need of a clearer picture of your balance sheets, consider stepping away from Excel and embracing the easy-to-use functionality of QuickBooks’ online accountancy software. Try it free for 30 days.

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