Adviser - Spring 2016

Cloudy with a chance of data download

Forecasts look set to change for the way that businesses manage their accounting, how might this impact your business?

W hen it comes to running a business, one of the greatest headaches for many directors and managers is bookkeeping and accounting. Traditionally a paper-based process, accountants and professional advisers are now increasingly turning to online, cloud- based solutions as an alternative. In essence ‘The Cloud’ is simply where you store data online, rather than in your files or on your desktop. Every time you access your email account, log onto your online banking or even catch up on your favourite drama via your satellite tv you are using the cloud. So, it makes sense that the way businesses operate should follow suit. Cloud-based accounting has many similarities to online banking. By using bespoke software systems, businesses can access their accounts and get a snapshot of balances and impending payments live, in real time, from wherever they are, simply by logging into their account from a PC or mobile device. Scrutton Bland has recently launched a cloud offering called SBLive. We spoke to Simon Pinion, Partner and key developer at Scrutton Bland about why they decided to go digital and what it means for the future of accounting. Accounting isn’t always associated with leading edge technology, why did you decide to launch an accountancy cloud solution? “There is a core theme that runs through almost every conversation I have with our clients and that is that there are never enough hours in the day. Often business

owners, particularly those in the early stages of building their businesses, have to act as the sales, marketing and finance teams, and that’s even before they get to their day job! Many existing business owners are seeing their clients demanding faster service and expecting to pay by card or online, yet those businesses themselves are still operating using hard copy accounts ledgers and filing cabinets overflowing with paperwork. That’s why we decided to launch an online solution which would help businesses to automate their processes and most importantly keep their operations profitable!” Ok, so how can managing accounts via the cloud help businesses stay profitable? “Quite simply it’s all about speed. With traditional accounting methods, figures are presented in a historical and reactive way. However, with a cloud solution, live balances can be accessed at the touch of a button providing a true picture of exactly how well, or badly, a business is performing. So, no more waiting until the end of the week to catch up on your paperwork or typing up invoices, with a cloud solution you can login, create and send an invoice the minute the job is completed or an order is despatched. The cloud software also allows you to receive a notification when your customer opens your invoice and even send automatic reminders if they haven’t paid on time – meaning you could get paid faster! In addition, simply by creating a dedicated email address in to which your own suppliers can email their invoices, the cloud system can recognise

“ . . . with a cloud solution, live balances can be

accessed at the touch of a button providing a true picture of exactly how well, or badly, a business is performing.”


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