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Upgrading your accounts system from the shoebox to the desktop might not be a top priority for small business and sole traders, particularly at the early stages of the businesses development but having accounts digitally organised with dedicated software early on can save a lot of heartache later on and provide big benefits at a critical time in a business’s development.

A still emergent business with limited resources can be severely affected by seemingly small disruptions. Making sure filing taxes doesn’t become one of those disruptions should be a priority for any business looking to be successful in the long term.

Keeping Clear Records

Familiarity with paper ledgers is not a reason to shy away from accounting software. Big Red Cloud’s own accounting software emulates the spreadsheet style of paper ledgers. We recognise those elements of the paper ledger system that work best and apply them to our software.

The goal of effective bookkeeping software is simplicity and ease of use. With a good accounting software package you don’t have to be an accountant to understand how to use it.

And when it comes time to fill out your taxes all the information is there ready and waiting.

Saving Time, Saving Money

The old saying that time is money is never more true when you are running a small business. A larger, established business can afford to absorb lost hours spent searching for a missing invoice or tracking the source of a tax error. For your small business these kinds of time sinks can accumulate quickly.

With everything in one place any information can be found with just a few mouse clicks, saving you from losing time searching for receipts or invoices.

Because calculations are done automatically you can correct errors easily. With a paper accounting system one error can cause multiple further errors if you don’t spot it right away.

Analysing the Data

Analytics applications give small businesses useful insights into the functioning of their business. These insights can give a small business a huge advantage in the early stages of its development by helping to eliminate waste at a time when waste cannot be afforded and creating efficiencies in other areas when they can have the most impact. With a small business you have a very low tolerance for bloat. Analysing the data can give clues to the sources of bloat and where it can be cut.

Paper accounts cannot be so readily analysed. Having the information stored digitally means analysis can be done easily and the benefits they can bring means there is no reason not to. Quality small business accounting software applications should include comprehensive analytics tools. Our own Big Red cloud accounting software includes 30 different analysis categories.

Analysis can give you information not only about waste and efficiency but show whether certain times of year are slower for your business and suggest causes for such seasonal changes.

Incorporating the Cloud

One of the main factors drawing so many services to cloud software is the ability to share resources. Many people think that only large businesses have the resources to benefit from cloud based services but really, smaller businesses stand to gain the most. The clearest benefit is reduced costs. Because the operator can share resources between customers, distributing them only as needed, the cost of providing the service is reduced, a saving that can then be passed on to the customer.

Another benefit of sharing resources is the ability to provide unlimited access to a single account. This means account information can be accessed from anywhere. Users given access can input information from any computer, allowing the job to be shared within a small company. Big Red Cloud allows an unlimited number of users per account for each customer.

It also means accountants can have direct access to info rather than having to come to the business and sort through numerous ledgers or be sent large unsecured data files.

Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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