Desktop software mayhem

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I've had two examples this week of why desktop bookkeeping software can be a Very Bad Idea.

The first was preparing a client's accounts from a set of QuickBooks records. The client sent me a backup, I asked the client not to enter any more transactions prior to the year end, prepared and finalised the accounts. When I visited the client's office in order to post the year end journals, the year end trial balance on their QuickBooks didn't match the year end trial balance from the backup they provided to me, so I had to post two sets of journals to line the year end up. Had the client used online software, I could have seen the problem occurring sooner, or locked the records myself.

And the other was opening a Sage 50 backup to discover that the client had posted all the payroll journals as purchase invoices. Again, that could have, and would have, been found much sooner if the client had been using Xero or FreeAgent.

Sometime I will talk to Henry and Jack about moving more of our clients on to online software. I'd like to move them all, but there are lots who'll never agree to change their existing processes.

If a bookkeeping system works well for that client, then fair enough. But how can they ever get an accurate picture of how their business is doing if they don't have correct books? And how can we justify charging them year after year after year to correct the same errors?

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03rd Jul 2018 12:47

Aside from our five clients, all others use cloud software. New ones do not have a choice in the matter.

Our bill for cloud software is over £800+VAT per month. This will go up due to price increases by the software provider. We were sucked in and now price increases. Not a beautiful position to be in.

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06th Jul 2018 21:40

In order to get clients on board for cloud accounting you need to point out all the benefits of doing so. There are so many benefits for both the accountant and client, but some people just need to have their eyes opened a little.

You will always get some that are reluctant to change, but with "Making Tax Digital" upon us, some businesses will end up with little choice. They need to think about changing thier ways.

I used to provide my clients with a bit of free training and this time spent paid for itself quickly. I wouldn't accept a new client unless they were prepared to use QuickBooks OnLine. I even said goodbye to a few because it was not cost effective for me to work on thier own desktop files.

I'm surprised anybody would pay £800 a month for cloud accounting software. I have wound my practice down while I concentrate on training and consultantcy. I had over 50 clients on QuickBooks OnLine and my monthly bill was not a third of that figure!

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