Shaper accountants

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Norwich Bookkeeping in the Cloud

Bookkeeping Norwich with Xero small business software

Bookkeeping is something every business owner has to do – in some form.

Whether you are self-employed or a limited company you have to keep business records. It may drive you mad, you may lose receipts, you have to raise sales invoices and pay your business bills on time.

Of course you can choose to pile up the paper in a box or file until your accountant has to complete your tax return or file your Ltd company accounts. That’s called a “Bag and Box Client”! If this is your preferred approach you probably keep some sort of paper or Excel spreadsheet as well so you really aren’t running your business blind – and you’ll rely on looking at your bank statements too.

There is another way

Cloud Bookkeeping Norwich

Running a business is easier if you can start as you mean to go on, in terms of record keeping.

You can key your purchase bills into a spreadsheet, and accept the limitations of this method – or you can buy accounting software that helps you record invoices, expenses and receipts, as well as issue sales invoices to your customers. There are many brands of accounting software on the market – most is now cloud based. That means the software is accessed via the internet so you don’t have it on your hard drive of your laptop or desktop computer.

Prices vary enormously, so does personal preference. Hopefully, you’ll agree it’s a case of horses-for-courses, meaning you should pick the software you like best – the one that meets your needs. You can get advice from Accountants and Bookkeepers for free, on this. The most popular small business accounting software in the UK is a complex picture because it’s a best fit issue for most businesses.

In Norwich QuickBooks, Kashflow and Xero feature strongly with many Bookkeepers able to discount or give subscriptions for free to new clients. Often you’ll find your Accountant or Bookkeeper, and go with their advice. If you’re switching Accountants or Bookkeepers you may stick with what you’ve got until they can show you the advantages of something else. One size doesn’t fit all so you’ll want to get the cloud accounting software that brings you the most benefits at the best price.

It’s worth pointing out that, nowadays, it is easy to switch systems. It’s rarely as bad as you might expect, with new businesses emerging onto the market now, who specialise in doing just that!

With Bookkeeping, some of the key questions, are: How efficiently can you get you business expenses and bills into your accounting system? And do you know what to pay, when? It’s the first stage of getting your books in order.

There are several app developer companies now, who make it much easier for you.

There’s Receipt Bank and Datamolino to name just two.

These smart phone apps take a photo, and then the processing begins – whilst you do something else. They convert bills, invoices & receipts into data you, that your can then use – or your cloud Bookkeeper can then use. It’s a handy way of keeping a record and having the image accessible by others that you choose to give access to your records. This modern method is acceptable by HMRC for tax records. The products are a subscription service, but often that is within the flat fee a Bookkeeper charges you. This process reduces the time it takes to undertake bookkeeping chores. It gives Bookkeepers much more time to do the accounting work, the VAT returns, reconciliations and prepare monthly accounts & analysis for you.

With all game changers there are little creases that could be ironed out over time, and how a data processing tool integrates with your accounting software is one of them. You probably expect most things done quicker, and with maximum ease, when it’s to do with technology – and as your volumes of paper/on-line invoices increase you’ll probably find yourself checking out the latest tech to help you. These Apps that go hand in hand with your accounting software are definitely here to stay, more will enter the market giving you greater choice, and Cloud Bookkeeping will give you your time back and peace of mind that efficiency is being maximised.

For advice on how to deal with your Bookkeeping and or Accounts get in touch today.

You can follow us on Twitter @ShaperAccounts

Call us on 01603 516 304

Why automating your business processes is good for you

Cloud accountants NorfolkBusiness apps and business software have become more easily accessible and affordable than ever before.Many of the barriers for you, as a small business owner, to buy tech that solves your business problems have been removed.

You can now run your business from your mobile phone, tablet or laptop – and you can do that anywhere there’s wi-fi.

So what’s automation all about and what are the benefits?

The big thing about software and add-on apps, is that it now leads to process automation and big business benefits for you.

  • It saves you time – you pack more into your days
  • It results in efficiencies and that leads to more profit – that’s why you run a business
  • It reduces human error – think accounts on Excel spreadsheets or forgetting to record who you’ve chased for money.
  • It makes your business scalable – as and when you make changes, you’re ready to go.

Quick wins when thinking about business processes

Accounting Software

Every business keeps accounting records, and all the latest talk is about which software you use that’s a big talking point around Norwich and the rest of East Anglia. Xero is simple to use and helps streamline your accounting so you can get more done.

We are Xero fans and Xero experts – that’s well known.

But what makes Xero useful for business process automation?

  • As your accounting system it holds masses of business information, not just numbers, but contacts and interactions with contacts.
  • Xero has an open API (application program interface). If that means nothing to you here’s the impact for your business – it means that there are now hundreds of business apps that seamlessly add-on to Xero to give you powerful, integrated business processes – and at affordable prices, and all with free trial periods before you commit.

It’s the combo of software, good data and automated processes that is key to seeing automation work for you.

For example, Xero lets you set up on-line Quotes, so customers can accept on-line or comment and when the deals done you’re automatically ready to invoice them.

It’s the Xero Add-ons that give you extended automation and competitive advantage.

Here’s a few tried, tested and liked by us

ReceiptBank – Is data management software. You get the App on your phone and take pictures of your paper bills and expenses. The key data is extracted, plus the image and it’s all pushed through to your accounts in Xero. This saves hours of manual data entry and no more worries if you lose the paper copy. Our automated bookkeeping service uses Receipt Bank, or you can administer it yourself.

Simple reFloat and Shaper Accountantsal time cash flow management leads you to Float. An easy add-on to Xero at a low monthly cost compared to the power it gives you to forecast cash flow into the future and in various scenarios you set up – much less dependence on Excel spreadsheets – and good easy to read graphics as well.

Satago and Chaser These guys automate credit control. Satago goes deeper and credit checks all your contacts. They automate e-mail reminders to late payers and they thank your customers for paying. Masses of time saved and less stress about making contact with slow paying customers.

SalesForce  – they automate every interaction you’ve had with all your contacts, making it easy for staff to use one system and one approach – everything is recorded in one place.

E-Mail marketing Add-ons like Constant Contact help you create good looking templates that can sent to customer or prospect groups when you need them – they’ll even create a brand match e-mail template based on your web site and logo for you!

Add-On apps like Work Flow Max bring detailed project or job management even closer, link it to Xero and when it’s time to bill the project you’re ready to go. The benefits for you are, job tracking and budget management as well as keeping an eye on scope creep.

Having an automated overview of your prospects results in you making good decisions about what to send them and when.

Documents stored in one placeAutomated documents

Having all your documents in one place, available at any time means super efficiency gets even nearer. Saving you time, cutting out duplication and cloud systems are becoming the norm.

Microsoft Office 365 puts Word, Excel and PowerPoint on-line so you can access documents anywhere.

If you’re more of a Google fan, Google Docs gives a similar offering and we find this preferable to Office 365. You’ll find what suits you best.

Google, Dropbox and Microsoft all offer cloud storage. This puts all your work documents on a remote, secure server where all staff can work on them, anywhere. This means no back-ups, easy access and collaborative working, as well as flexible work base solutions.

Don’t forget all you documents relating to business can be securely stored in Files on Xero. This means everything you need, like insurance documents or contracts can be accessed 24/7.

The big deal about office automation is that things can happen on time, in the same way and with less human error. Improvement efficiencies will bring you improved profits, and improved capacity as well as clarity of processes. An automated business model is scalable, meaning it can grow as you need it to – and you can often go further for longer before you increase staffing costs.

So, the more tasks you can automate the quicker your business will be able to expand with minimum outlay, minimum fuss and faster than competitors with legacy processes and systems.

We’re ready to talk Xero, talk about how we can help make your accounting life easier and more automated. To talk to us about how cloud accounting software for small businesses can help automate and streamline your business processes, get in touch with us.

Cloud Accountants in Norwich, East Anglia and beyond.

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