5 reasons why you should move on to computerised bookkeeping

There’s no question that Computerised Bookkeeping has become the norm among bookkeepers. With the advances in technology, using a computerised system to keep track of your business’ books has some very obvious benefits.

1. Safe & Secure Data

By moving your paper “books” to electronic databases you will be improving security and efficiency.  The chances of entering an incorrect amount, or of spilling your coffee over the books, or of them being stolen are greatly reduced if your books and ledgers are digitally stored, rather than lying around in your office or home.

In addition, you will no longer need to make any back-ups as most programs do this automatically. Think of your computerised system like a website, all records are stored online safe and secure, as secure as your online banking.  No more data corruption.

 2. Efficiency

Computerised Bookkeeping will also make you a more efficient bookkeeper. Your resources and time will be put to better use, as recording, finding and reading your records will be greatly sped up. Technology has advanced to such an extent that computerised bookkeeping isn’t just about reaching your books via a laptop or PC, but many of the programs are on the cloud and have apps that can be downloaded on your tablet and mobile! Allowing you to view your financial records from different platforms and whilst you’re on the move.

3. Accuracy

We’ve already spoken about the reduction of human errors if you digitise your books, however, computerised bookkeeping can improve your accuracy by being able to see your financial position in real-time, giving you an instant picture of the health of your business. Maybe you need to get a loan, or need to check the revenue for a certain period, or want to see how much you are due to pay or receive from HMRC (HM Revenue and Customs). This will allow you to make more accurate analyses and thus more informed decisions.

4. Speed

We’ve spoken about how computerised bookkeeping speeds up the recording, finding and reading of your books, and how it allows you to get an image of the health of your books very quickly. It can also speed up your day by allowing you to share your financial records easily. With a computerised bookkeeping program that is connected to the cloud (i.e. pretty much all of them) you wont have to backup your data and then send them via email, all you’ll have to do is create a new user for whomever necessary and invite them to login and view the data.

5. Cost Saving

True, the first thing you will have to do it purchase a computerised bookkeeping software. There are many options out there, you can invest in a SAGE system that can range from £200 to £750 depending on the product, or you can choose a cheaper alternative. There is a wide choice of free and very low costs (i.e. under £100) such as Kashflow, and even some rather smart packages that come for free e.g. TurboCash. Take your time to investigate all the options out there, thankfully there are plenty of reviews that list the top computerised systems.

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Once you’ve made the first investment, you will be able to increase your books security, efficiency, speed and accuracy, which, ultimately will reduce the overall costs associated with traditional bookkeeping. And remember, whichever package you end up using, see it as an investment and try to include the costs when you’re deciding what to charge your clients.

Next Steps? Get Qualified

All bookkeepers should start their career with some manual bookkeeping training, yet, in the end you should really make the transition from manual bookkeeping to computerised bookkeeping. To do this you will need to take a training course and get personal experience with various bookkeeping programs. There are some very useful free online resources, such as the Bean Counter, which can definitely help you with your training.

There is still value in having a traditional bookkeeping qualification, as knowledge and experience in manual bookkeeping will greatly improve your understanding of the principles. There will also still be times where a manual day book can work well for a client, for example, a small convenience store with lots of small daily cash payments, etc.

You have to think what happens when your client takes their written books to the accountant. Someone will be entering them onto a computerised accounts package to prepare the accounts and tax returns, even if it’s a the most top level (i.e. yearly ledger totals).

You need to make the investment, and continue your bookkeeping certification path.

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