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Small business accounting software can be a critical tool for the success of your small business. But if you have little prior experience with small business accounting software, or bookkeeping in general, it could also be quite daunting. That’s why we put this list of questions together to help you make the right decision for your small business.


What does small business accounting software do?

When you’re in business, it is of utmost importance that every transaction you make with your customers, suppliers, bank and anyone else is recorded. Depending on what type of organisational setup your small business has it may be a legal requirement to prepare end of year accounts.

Small business accounting software enables you to prepare your accounts on a day to day basis so that you have reliable, up to date records of your business dealings. This takes care of any legal obligations but there is so much more to accounts software than that.


Is small business accounts software just for day to day bookkeeping?

The limit is what you, the entrepreneur, make it. If you just want your small business accounting software to prepare your books day to day and week to week then that is what it will do. However, your accounts are a gold mine of critical information about how your business is performing.

Think about it, every transaction that has been made in your business name has been recorded in your accounts, hopefully. Your small business accounts software can help you gain insights on how your business is performing using this information. Powerful reporting functions can show you what your sales figures are, what you owe to suppliers and how long it takes for you to pay them back and that’s just the beginning of what it can do. You can help yourself make better business decisions and set yourself up for success by using your small business accounting software’s reporting.


If I’m just a small sole trader why can’t I use spreadsheets?

It is definitely possible to run your accounts using spreadsheet software such as Microsoft Excel, however we wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you don’t have much experience running your own books. Small business accounting software is specifically set up for this purpose, unlike spreadsheets. Setting up spreadsheets to run accounts can be rigorous work and if you forget to include a corresponding double entry, your records won’t balance. Accounts software takes care of this automatically. Also, you won’t get the benefit of in depth reporting on your business performance as mentioned above unless you spend your entire working day configuring spreadsheets.

What if something goes wrong with your spreadsheets formulae or corrupt data? Your records may be lost. With small business accounting software support is included as well as automated backups so if anything does happen, you have peace of mind that your accounting records are safe.


Do I need an accountant if I have small business accounting software?

You absolutely need an accountant. An accountant’s job is to make sure that all your legal obligations regarding your financial records are fulfilled. This can mean doing your VAT returns and signing off on the final accounts of your business. They also offer consultative services, where the give business advice based on the information in your records. Small business accounting software allows them to spend more time on these vital and valuable tasks and less time on administration.


Do I need a bookkeeper?

If you don ‘t have any prior experience or you feel uncomfortable preparing your accounts, we would definitely recommend using a bookkeeper. Bookkeepers will make sure that your financial records are up to date and accurate, which is no small feat. This means that all of the reporting information on your business will be correct and you can make business decisions on good information. When it comes time for your final accounts to be prepared or any other records to be submitted, having accurate records is of utmost importance.


What does cloud accounting mean and what does it do?

Cloud accounting means that your small business accounting software is hosted on cloud technology. With cloud, rather than only having access to your accounts on one computer, they will be accessible from anywhere as long as you have internet access. Think of it like signing into your email address.

You can work for home and the office, or even access invoices while you’re out with clients. All of your data is backed up multiple times to make sure that your information is safe. What’s more, your accountant now has real time access to your small business accounting software, making it easier for him or her to provide their services.


What if something goes wrong?

Unfortunately, from time to time, things do go wrong. Don’t worry though, here at Big Red Cloud full telephone, email and live chat support is included with your small business accounting software subscription. Phone, online chat, email and remote support are all available to Big Red Cloud users. Our dedicated support team has years of experience and will help you get your small business accounting software back up and running as quickly as possible.


Will it keep track of VAT?

Small business accounting software keeps track of VAT on all of your transactions so that you can keep on top of what you owe. Flexible VAT rate setups also allows for different rates for different transactions.


What happens when my business grows?

Our small business accounting software is all about enabling businesses to grow. That’s why Big Red Cloud has no limits attached. With your subscription you have an unlimited amount of transactions, invoices and users available to your business, so scaling for growth shouldn’t be a problem. Even better, none of this affects what price you pay. You can happily add customers, as well as suppliers and bank accounts as your business relationships grow. When your business grows, we’ll be right there with you.


Interested in trying accounting software for your business? Try Big Red Cloud free for 30 days and see first hand the benefits of cloud accounting software.

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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