PGA have looked at and tested most of the popular online accounting systems and also some of the not so popular systems. After much deliberation we have arrived at the conclusion the QuickBooks onlkine best meets the requirements of our clients and this is the system that we recommend to clients who are new to online accounting, however we do of course have experience of most systems and are always pleased to welcome new clients irrespective of which software they choose to use.
Online accounting is becoming more and more popular with business owners throughout the UK as it provides all the benefits that you would expect from the traditional High Street Accountant, together with many other advantages that make the use of online accounting such an attractive proposition. The only noticeable difference is that you do not have to disrupt your schedule to make time to meet up with your accountant face to face.
Many of the large accounting software firms have been attempting to produce online versions of their products for a good many years, however, the online accounting system can only ever be as good as the internet connection that connects the user to the software. Recent increases in speed and the almost universal availability of Broadband throughout the UK mean that for the first time accountants and business owners can use the same online system with a high degree of success.
It is not the established software players that have released the best products; a bit of blue sky thinking has enabled new entrants into the market to develop systems that meet the requirements of the small and medium sized business user before that of the accountants. This is a refreshing change, even from an accountants point of view as for too long accounting software has been over complex for the casual business user and has necessitated extensive training and after sales support which is expensive and time consuming, your time could be much better spent taking care of your business than learning how to use accounting software.
The great advantage of online accounting software is its ability to share information between the business owner and the accountant, as the software is hosted online, it can be accessed by both parties and different functions carried out by different people. It may be that the business owner inputs their sales invoices and cash receipts, so having near real time understanding of their debtor situation. The accountant can input the purchase invoices, run the payroll; and reconcile the bank ensuring that monthly management accounts are available to view online to anyone with a password and the authorisation level.
The currently available online accounting software provides adequate functionality without making the system too heavy to load in a reasonable amount of time and of course in this day and age a reasonable amount of time for the user is instantly.
A good professional accountant will offer the online accounting service alongside their more traditional services as it complements them perfectly. For local clients who still wish to have the reassurance of face to face visits the online accounting offers them the opportunity to get more involved in their accounts rather than just leaving it to the end of the year.
For business users who are content to discuss their accounting issues over the telephone and by e mail then the online alternative offers them the practical benefit of saving time as there is no need to schedule in meetings with the accountant, it also offers the very real benefit of saving money on their accounting fees. The very nature of online accounting means that the accountant is required to commit less of their time to the client as the need for travel to and from is no longer necessary, this, together with the fact that telephone meetings are well known to last less time than face to face meetings will enable the accountant to moderate their fees in line with the more efficient use of their time that the online accounting systems allow.
In addition to the quantitive benefits, the qualitative benefits to the business owner are the availability of information whenever they choose to access it and the option for the accountant to update the system on a more regular basis so providing interim management accounts.
To summarise, the time for the online accounting system has arrived, business owners should demand it from their accountants and accountants should be banging on the door to offer it to their clients, the benefits for all are there to see.