When it comes down to it, your finances lay the path ahead for your business activity and growth, which is why it’s not a bad idea to turn elsewhere for some help or advice.
As a small business, you have many options for how to manage your accounting system, and you don’t have to do it alone. A common topic of discussion is whether you should use an accountant, or accounting software. In order to help you make this decision, we are going to discuss some vital points you should first consider.
Which is the better option?
The truth is, there is no correct answer. Whether you decide to outsource your accounting to an accountant, or to utilise accounting software purely depends on you and your business. What fits and works best for you might not work for someone else, and vice versa.
In many ways, technology and its advancement has helped make our lives and communication more convenient than ever before. One of these technological advancements, is replacing manual work. For accountants, what does this mean?
Well, this means that nowadays, people are able to use accounting software to manage their business finances. Accountants and accounting software both provide unique value to your business. It is however important to mention that neither option can entirely replace the other.
Let’s talk about some of the advantages of using accounting software, and an accountant.
Advantages of using accounting software
Using accounting software means that you manage your accounts and financial business operations online. Advantages of using accounting software include the following:
- Automation - Having access to real time information becomes essential, when living in such a digitally connected world. With an automated financial system, you can easily and quickly access your financial information, which is beneficial when making informed business decisions. Another benefit of this is the fact it allows for timely reporting and analysis measures.
- Cost efficient: Depending on the level of depth you require, it is possible to find accounting services either for free, or at affordable prices. This cost is usually lower than the average cost of an accountant.
- Compatibility: You can easily share information in an efficient manner.
- Features & functions: Accounting software exploits certain features which make your accounting system easier. An example of this is the OCR function. OCR is a function that allows your computer or smartphone to “read” texts. Through this system you can digitise documents, making the recording of transactions quicker and more efficient.
- Access platforms: With an accounting software account, you are able to access your financial files via various different platforms (mobile phones, tablets, iPads,.) anytime, anywhere.
Advantages of using an accountant
Accountants are trained professionals who are responsible for preparing, checking, and analysing the financial affairs of a business. Advantages of using accounting software include the following:
- Personal touch: Accountants provide a valuable service merely by being able to give personal financial advice for business decisions. Accountants can also be considered financial advisors, as they can advise on what to do in difficult situations, and how to benefit.
- Free time: By having an accountant, you will be outsourcing much of your financial work, leaving you more free time to focus on entrepreneurial and business strengths. Having somebody do the work for you saves you the time you would normally use to check through and ensure you have done your financial reporting correctly.
- Security: One of the biggest worries for people and businesses that do their own accounting is that they might be doing something wrong without even knowing it. Business accounts can be scary, and financial issues is something everybody tries to avoid. An accountant provides a sort of “relief”, where you can trust a professional to check that your business is following all legal measures.
Which road should you walk down?
Well, when you look at the advantages of using accounting software or an accountant, there are a number of benefits to each. Depending on what you value most, one might be more favourable to you.
This is the interesting part - why not have both??
By using accounting software and an accountant, you are simply getting the best of both worlds. As earlier mentioned, it is hard for one of them to replace the other. Thankfully, it is possible for businesses to utilize both.
You can easily do so under your account settings, by selecting:
Settings - Export Data - Invite
You can also add your accountant as a contact, under:
Contacts - Accountant - Invite Accountant
Working together with your accountant enables them to easily and quickly guide you and your business as you grow. Furthermore, your accountant will have direct access to all your business information, data, and financial reports.