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There are many benefits to small businesses in moving away from all manual accounting processes. The most obvious is that using cloud-based bookkeeping allows financial information to be accessed any time from any web-enabled device and makes it easier to manage debtors and creditors. 

For example, Big Red Cloud’s sales app allows users to create and send invoices from any Android phone or tablet or an iPhone or iPad.

The ability to track income and expenditure from any location via your mobile device means better cash flow management and a better relationship with your bank. Instant access to financial information allows you to check your balance in real time and apps that scan and upload Invoices make it easier to monitor costs.


Perfecting your payments

Using a cloud accounting systems enables sales invoices to be raised within the system and sent directly to customers. Making it easier to get paid quicker.

Savvy businesses no longer create invoices separately and input the details into their accounting system, saving time and reducing the potential for manual errors. 

Digitising the invoicing process also makes it easier to chase outstanding invoices by allowing reminders to be sent automatically. Linking the system to your bank account is as easy as downloading your transactions  directly from your bank account using the new PSD/2 rules to import directly into your accounting system, ensuring that time is not wasted chasing invoices that have already been paid or inputting payments that up to now had to be manually inputted.


Don’t leave data to chance

The cloud has proven to be a reliable and secure means of accessing data. However, businesses should take the time to understand how their financial information is stored and test back-up systems to ensure they are able to retrieve their data in the event of the service becoming unavailable.

It is good practice to check how long a service provider has been in business, the size of its customer base and whether it has had any issues with data security or availability in the past. Businesses should also find out where the data is hosted and do similar due diligence on the company hosting the data.

The best way to ensure data is stored securely and remains accessible is to work with a reputable cloud-based accounting solution provider such as Big Red Cloud to reduce your dependence on in-house systems. The majority of data breaches are caused by disgruntled employees or lax cybersecurity practices.


Human touch still needed

Small businesses in particular would be advised to explore cloud-based accounting solutions as soon as possible because eventually all businesses will be required to keep their records digitally. The technology has never been more user friendly, but that does not mean that we are moving towards a future of automated accounting.

Businesses place a lot of trust in financial technology – when a piece of software produces a number the user will almost always assume it is accurate. There will always be a role for the accountant (whose role has evolved from preparing returns to offering assurance on tax matters) to consider whether this number is actually correct.

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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