The rapid rise and acceptance of cloud bookkeeping has forced many UK accountants and bookkeepers to change their traditional working practices. Technology bridges almost all physical distances, and a combination of phone, skype and cloud bookkeeping services means that many business owners never even meet with their accountants. Clearly, many still do ‘pop in’ to visit their bookkeeper or accountant, but services such as online bookkeeping, vat return submission and year end submission mean that many business owners now have minimal face-to-face contact with their accountancy firm.

Automation has changed what it means to be a bookkeeper today: business owners need bookkeepers who can leverage technology allowing them to spend more time on their own business.

What is a Tech-Savvy Bookkeeper?

The tech-savvy bookkeeper delivers their work every month and their (often remote) client interactions continue to build trust. We are well positioned to create an excellent client experience and recommend products, services and pass on advice using technology that many traditional bookkeepers and accountants might miss. We also have a great opportunity to leverage the tech solutions available to our clients’ advantage, potentially saving them money in their annual accountancy/bookkeeping bill.

Being a tech-savvy bookkeeper also allows us to streamline our own workflow, serve more clients and open up opportunities for to provide high value advice by email, blogging or even text. Taking time to learn about and harness technical solutions is essential in 2017.

The Cloud

You’re probably already using the cloud every day, whether you realise it or not.

You could be using Dropbox, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive to share files. You may have adopted cloud specific office software, such as Office 365 or Google Docs. You’re probably the owner of a smartphone – many usefull productivity apps, such as Evernote, are cloud services.

The great thing about ‘cloud computing’ is that you can access your data from anywhere, with any computer and any operating system. If your computer fails, it’s no problem as your data is stored online. Either buy a new PC, login and you’re back online, or just access your accounts with a home or alternative office PC. You can usually use a smartphone to do this too.

Many cloud services offer a subscription model giving the user an easy way of managing a monthly budget (clearly the tech-savvy accountant shouldn’t be worried about budgeting!) but it means that you don’t need to download, install, maintain and upgrade expensive software.

Most accounting professionals do believe that the cloud is the future but they often differ on the ‘way ahead’, but accountants are often divided when it comes to the cloud and online bookkeeping in general. Accountancy firms, like The Financial Management Centre, who understand the benefits of cloud solutions, such as better mobility and easier collaboration with clients are gaining clients who themselves are tired of dealing with firms stuck in the 1990s. Adopting a cloud solution helps us to help you build a successful business that will thrive in the long term.

Making the switch to Cloud Accounting

It’s not easy to go from being a company that empoys a traditional accounting system to one that enjoys the productivity-boosting benefits of cloud accountancy. We don’t simply moving your business and software to an online solution – we/you will need to reinvent the way you work and engage with the process.

Cloud accounting software works in a similar way to online file sharing but with one important difference. Your accounts data isn’t stored on your own (or our) computer where it could be lost, stolen or accidentally deleted. Instead it’s stored remotely on secure servers. This means you can access it from anywhere at any time – from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. It means your IT costs are reduced too as cloud solutions are not ‘processor hungry’ and you’ll always have the latest, most secure version of any accounting ‘software’ you require.

Increase your revenue

Cloud accounting can make your business much more efficient. It lets you concentrate on working in your business knowing that your tech-savvy accountant or bookkeeper has ‘got your back’. It means your specialist staff can spend more of their time on lucrative work rather than day-to-day accounting admin.

YOUR ‘virtual’ Consultant

Some business owners will decide that they can do their own bookkeeping with cloud accounting software. What does the tech-savvy bookkeper do then? Firstly, we don’t instantly write off that client – we all know that bookkeepers provide value beyond simple data entry, but the client might not fully understand that.

Understanding your business and concerns will allow us to help you in other ways. Looking at your own time as an hourly rate it is probably more cost-effective for you to hire us  to do your online bookkeeping. We can then use the financial data to demonstrate where you can make savings or efficiencies.

Having us monitor your business’ performance could be a bit like a personal trainer (PT). PTs have embraced technology and don’t just monitor clients in the gym, doing circuits or weights, they encourage clients to adopt tech solutions such as wrist monitors that connect to apps. They then access the clients ‘account’ and monitor their excerise, food intake and other activities, placing them in the ideal position of being trainer, coach, advisor and friend.

Successful tech-savvy accountants and bookkeepers work in a similar way, innovating and adapting to new technologies as the arrive.

The Financial Management Centre

One of the UK’s earliest adopters of online bookkeeping and account preparation, The Financial Management Centre has offices across the UK and provides Small to Medium-sized Business owners with exceptional bookkeeping and accountancy services. We’ve partnered with a number of major online bookkeeping software solutions (so if you’re already using one, the switch is easy) and even developed our own service.  We’re at the forefront of bookkeeping and accountancy in the UK with clients across the country, you can trust us with your business!

Find your nearest office today!

John Stolliday
John Stolliday

John Stolliday runs The Financial Management Centre in Luton East. John is a qualified accountant (FCCA) and bookkeeper (MICB) with UK and Middle East experience in the construction and building services sectors, handling company turnovers up to £100m and staff of 15. John has held senior roles, up to board level, in civil engineering, industrial engineering, pipelines, general building and building maintenance companies.