Traditionally the relationship a business owner has with their accountant has been something like this:
- Sometime after the financial year-end, the business owner takes their bank statements and financial records to their accountant’s office and hands them to the receptionist.
- After many weeks, or perhaps months, a junior trainee contacts the business owner and asks a few questions.
- Then weeks, or often months, later the business owner gets a call and is asked to come in to see the accountant.
- The accountant goes over a set of figures which are incomprehensible to the business owner because they are in accountant’s jargon, and are so old as to be irrelevant.
- The accountant tells the business owner how much tax they owe.
- A short time afterwards the business owner receives an invoice, for a large amount, from the accountant and wonders what on earth the accountant did to run up such a bill.
It is a pity that the client/accountant relationship has developed in this way because the accountant is, or should be, a financial expert and there is so much more that a financial expert can offer to a growing business than just preparing year-end accounts. But to provide a valuable service to a growing business, in a commercial environment, where change is rapid and constant, financial information must be current and accurate. Going back over traditional financial transactions, in order to develop useful and accurate financial information, has been a long and detailed task that takes care and time.
But the old system is dying and there is now a new way of preparing accounts that can give you and your accountant Real Time Financial Information and empower the accountant to become an active partner in growing your business. This way is called Cloud Accounting.
Cloud Accounting systems are not based on a localised desktop computer or server and this means that you can get access to your businesses financial information anywhere and anytime you want, using a laptop, a tablet or even a basic smart phone. It also means that your accountant can see your financial information at his office without you coming to see him. You can share the information with the accountant although you may be geographically apart, you can both see the same information at the same time. You can discuss it over the phone and know that you are both looking at the same thing. If you have a financial issue that you need advice on, your accountant can look at your information and provide a reasonable opinion very quickly.
One of the main and, in our opinion the best, Cloud Accounting systems is called Xero Cloud Accounting. At Clear Accounting NI, we have been using Xero for more than 12 months and it has transformed our relationship with many of our clients. Instead of a remote “bean counter” they now have, in effect, a financial controller, who can become involved in advising and helping them to grow the company. One client said recently “I have never had so much clear financial information about my company”.
If you are looking for more “Real Time” financial information to help you run your company, why not ask your accountant if they use Xero or a similar Cloud system? If the answer is no and you are looking for more financial control in your business, you can contact us at Clear Accounting NI for an initial free consultation to determine how we can help you to grow your business.