Accountants and accounting software are a powerful combination for small business.

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Accountants and software are a powerful combination.

Thanks to the advent of accounting software many small businesses are switching from time-consuming spreadsheets. Many accountants are concerned that using an accountant or accountancy software is an either/or choice.

Well, when it comes to running a business effectively, we’d advocate for a third option, both!

Please see below an extract from our recently published blog, which looks to explain our position to small businesses:

Why small businesses need an accountant as well as accounting software.

When you’ve invested in accounting software it might feel tempting to try to save money by dropping your accountant and when you’ve got a great accountant on speed dial, you wonder why on earth you would need anything else. But that’s working on the supposition that the two concepts — accounting software and the services of a financial professional — are one and the same.

They’re not. They are two very different things with different uses and different benefits. Rather than deciding between two types of cheese, you’re deciding which cracker complements your cheese of choice. Your cheese might be pretty tasty by itself but when you add it to the right cracker, everything just comes together.

Accounting software

Manual paperwork is tedious, time-consuming and highly vulnerable to human error. The right accounting software takes the hassle out of bookkeeping; invoices can be generated automatically, with reminders being sent to any late payers. Payroll becomes a breeze, you can manage different currencies and you can easily track outgoing payments.

And sure, you could just pass all of this on to your accountant but in doing so you’d be missing out on one of the biggest advantages of using this type of software: the ability to view your financial situation in real-time, the ability to know, at any point in the year, exactly what your cash flow looks like, what size of tax bill to expect and where you are in relation to your sales targets. You’ll be able to make quick, informed decisions/

Accountants

If you think that your accountant is only useful for balancing your books, you need a new accountant! The remit of a great accounting professional goes far beyond mere bookkeeping. Accountants are duty-bound to keep abreast of any changes to the law regarding tax legislation so they can ensure their clients remain compliant.

They can help you find legal solutions to reduce your tax bill and they offer sound, long-term financial strategies to help you grow your business. They’re basically an unbiased business advisor. Can your software make the same claim?

So now you’re convinced that you need both the cheese and the cracker (which is which in this analogy, we’ll leave you to decide!), the key is to find a complementary pairing.

Ideally you want to choose a software package that suits both you and your accountant

One of the most important features to look for is compliance with Making Tax Digital (MTD); the new tax legislation comes into force next year and will place a burden on businesses (and their accountants) as they have to submit financial records four times a year. Your accountant will thank you for choosing accounting software, like Countingup, that has been designed to handle the added responsibilities that MTD will bring.

It’s also worth considering accessibility when choosing your software package — with Countingup your data is available to both you and your accountant and everything is stored securely in the cloud so neither of you has to worry about data security.

Another feature your accountant will thank you for, is the automated link between your bank account and your bookkeeping software. Countingup is leading the way with this technology by offering a business current account that has fully integrated accounting software built in. Not only will this save your accountant a whole load of stress, it’ll free up time for them to dedicate to devising the strategies that will help you take your business to the next level.

Collaboration with a great accountant can be one of the most effective tools for business growth so it’s worth keeping them happy! Talk to your accountant today about what they’re looking for from accounting software and decide together whether Countingup could be the right package for you both.