By Phil Ellerby

When you’re busy running a business, and trying to make it a success, you don’t need any extra hassle or worries.

Unfortunately, that’s just what the ever-increasing amount of legislation imposed by HMRC on the owners of SMEs seems to create.

Our team of Leeds accountants talk to hundreds of clients every week, so we know that doing your day job is hard enough as it is. Worrying about your cash flow, tax and VAT only makes matters even more difficult.

Thankfully, there is now a way to reduce your stress by working smarter and faster … Xero cloud accounting.

What is cloud accounting?

Cloud accounting software can save you time and money because it allows you and your accountant to access your accounts data online anytime, anywhere and from any device.

As a ‘Gold Champion’ of Xero, we obviously believe that this cloud accounting software is the best on the market, but there are others available and some of our clients do choose to use them. Regardless of which one you prefer; the advantages are exactly the same.

The 10 biggest cloud accounting benefits

1. No more paper files

Say goodbye to the days of having to save all your bank statements, invoices and receipts in a paper box file ready to present to your accountant. When you use Xero, it gives you the ability to upload and store all of this information quickly and simply online.

2. Working out your VAT (and getting annoyed about it!) is a thing of the past

Instead of trawling through all your invoices and trying to work out how much VAT you owe, this is done at the touch of a button. Click, confirm the amount and immediately file it online with HMRC. Set-up a direct debit and you won’t even have to process the payment!

3. Seeing who hasn’t paid is easy

When you’re busy doing different jobs, you can sometimes lose track of which customers have and haven’t paid. However, this will NEVER happen if you use cloud accounting software like Xero because it monitors every transaction and flags up any unpaid invoices.

4. Unrivalled flexibility

Xero really will give you the flexibility to run your business from work, home or anywhere in the world (as long as there is an internet connection). Available on desktop, tablet and as a smartphone app, you’ll always have the key numbers you need to hand.

5. No more wasting time on invoices

We all want to get paid quickly for the work that we do, but the timely invoicing process is often the biggest barrier to making this happen. With Xero, you can create invoices in a matter of seconds because it remembers all your previous customer details. Go one step further, set-up a repeat invoice and you’ll be taken out of the process completely.

6. Work with your accountant in real time

If you and your accountant have both got a clear and up-to-date picture of your current financial position, you can be confident of how your business is doing. This will allow you to plan ahead and work out which type of customer is your best (and most profitable) one to target.

7. It’s affordable

With prices starting from as little as ’10 a month (+ VAT), it’s easy to see why Xero is the cloud accounting software with the most active registered users. What else could you buy for that price which will save you so much time and hassle?

8. Highly secure

Make no mistake, cloud accounting is one of the most secure ways to store information. If your laptop or phone is stolen, the data cannot be accessed without the login to the online account. Should the worst happen and a natural disaster or fire strike, being in the cloud means your data won’t be affected.

9. No more stupid spreadsheets

If your business is still doing its accounts on a spreadsheet, you’re making life much harder than it needs to be. Much harder! Xero allows you and your accountant to see up-to-the-minute financial data from anywhere without the need for stupid spreadsheets.

10. Saves so much time

You send spreadsheets to your accountant, they return them to you, you send them back again and this goes on and on (and on!). Think of the time you’ll save by not doing this. Then think about the time you’ll save by no longer creating invoices, VAT projections and cash flow forecasts. Add it all up and cloud accounting will probably save you at least a day a month. That’s 12 days a year. Enough for a well-deserved holiday!

Ditch traditional accounts and switch to Xero!

Are your accounts taking up too much of your business time (and sucking the fun out of what you do)?

If you’re still using traditional accounting methods, we promise that making the switch to Xero accounting will save your company time and money – get in touch or call 0113 218 9552 to find out how!