How do you deal with your accounting? Are you all paper and folders, a spreadsheet fan or do you prefer to keep it all computerised and backed up? You may even do a mixture (it’s tricky to go completely paper-free, especially if you deal with receipts).
The trouble with being completely paper-based or even using spreadsheets is that you are taking risks which could cause problems for your business.
1. Time and hassle
Manual accounting means regular tasks may take longer than they need to, and you may have to duplicate your efforts later. Accounting software like QuickBooks can automate tasks, so you can set up invoices in seconds, and generate reports at the click of a mouse, instead of fiddling with spreadsheets and word processing documents.
Accounting software allows you to slot accounting into your working day, rather than letting the admin build up.
Human error is more likely than computer errors, so doing everything manually can open you up to the risk of making costly mistakes. You might slightly miscalculate an amount, or pop something in the wrong column and everything could be thrown out.
Accounting software not only makes it easier to avoid these issues, but can also alert you when something looks unusual.
One of the biggest advantages of using accounting software is that you can create reports at the click of a button – reports that would require a lot of work and fact-finding using manual systems. Reports are essential for reviewing and forecasting, and spotting anything that might cause problems if left unchecked.
As well as helping avert disasters and spot opportunities, this report function will save you a lot of time, which is time you can use more effectively elsewhere.
Paper-based accounting means you have just one copy – which leaves you in a difficult position if anything is spilt on it, or if it gets lost or stolen. Using spreadsheets could see you in trouble if your computer breaks or the file gets corrupted.
Accounting software is safer, particularly cloud-based options like QuickBooks Online. With cloud-based accounting software, all your data is automatically backed up and stored safely on servers, so you can always log in and continue working from another computer if your computer gets lost or stolen.
You can’t access paper-based accounting systems or spreadsheets remotely that easily. Cloud-based accounting software can be accessed from anywhere – check how you’re doing and even run off invoices through your mobile or tablet.