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Small business owners all over the country have suddenly found themselves with plenty of time on their hands. What better way to make good use of this time than to get your accounts up to date – and maybe help some of your key customers, suppliers or even friends at the same time.

One of the major concerns facing small and medium sized enterprises across the country is the trading environment they will return to when the current restrictions are finally lifted.

The government has announced a variety of measures designed to help businesses through this difficult period, including a working capital scheme and a credit guarantee scheme. However, these supports are loans rather than grants and will have to be paid back.

On the upside, businesses that use the downtime to get on top of their finances will be well placed when the lockdown ends. There will be considerable pent-up demand from consumers and companies alike and this release of activity will benefit enterprises with the ability to purchase stock, reopen premises and re-engage staff.

The best way to ensure your business is in the best possible shape when the country’s returns to normal is to get on top of your accounts, even if you are currently unable to trade or only managing a much lower level of activity.

One of the most useful features of Big Red Cloud is that as a cloud-based service it doesn’t matter where you (or your accountant) are working from – you can still exchange financial information and advice securely. This is important as the advice from the Revenue Commissioners is to continue to submit relevant tax returns, even if you don’t have the funds to pay liabilities in full.

Remote workers can access accounting systems and CRM in real-time with the same control over access as office based technology and with no compromise on privacy restrictions for sensitive information.

And the benefits don’t have to stop there. You can also extend your bookkeeping/accounting services using  Big Red Cloud to other small businesses with which you have a relationship to help them get through what has become an unprecedented period of economic inactivity.

Every small business depends on customers and suppliers for its financial wellbeing. Being able to offer an accounting service to those who don’t have access to an online accounting product could make the difference between survival and failure for a key supplier or a major customer.

The Central Bank has referred to the possibility of changes to consumer behaviour after the pandemic has eased. By taking a proactive approach to accounting, you can put your business in the best possible position to survive and thrive.

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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