Cloud accounting

Using spreadsheets to do book-keeping is very good for micro businesses, but most businesses outgrow them fairly rapidly. If you need a detailed up to date record of debtors (who owes you money) or if you need to make payments to creditors (who you owe money to) on a monthly cycle then spreadsheet book-keeping does not really help you. At that stage you need to start to use proper accounting software.

The trouble with this is that it is either complicated, or expensive, or mysterious or all three.

We have, however, found that there is a group of clients who are small businesses, but who still want the facilities offered by a true accounting system. They want to be able to do a bank reconciliation every month, they want automated VAT returns, they want a list of creditors and of debtors and aged debtors and aged creditors reports, they want to see who to chase for money when people are not paying, and they might even want to know how profitable their business is on a month by month basis. They are really in control of their business and they want up to date information at their fingertips.

BUT they do not want to become accountants, they do not want to buy, install and look after accounting software because that is not their role. They want to run their business.

Our answer to this conundrum is to provide them with access into our own accounting systems via the internet. This idea of remote computing now has the trendy name of CLOUD computing, but we have been doing it for years. Our accounting software is called Quantus.

How does it work?

We create an accounting database specifically for the client on the computer servers in our office. It is separate from all other client databases and it is the property of the client. We provide software which is installed onto the clients PC at home, and this connects them via the internet to our servers. Both the client and us can login to the database simultaneously. The system is fully multi-user and secure.

We then configure the accounting system software for the client (this is the difficult bit) and make it ready to run. We create predefined templates for the clients most common types of transactions, so that they can use them without really understanding the details of the accounting process. We then train the client on how to use the system.

The client does the basic transaction recording, working at home, if they get stuck, need a new template or just want a chat then we can login to the system while we are talking to them and fix whatever problem they have, or explain to them how to find the information that they need. Quantus is a sophisticated accounting system and can produce anything that is required for small to medium sized service orientated business.

The accounting software and database can be transferred off our servers at any time and can be run on any PC based computer environment, including a stand alone PC or complicated computer network. The client is not tied into us, but if they wish to move the system and continue to use it they would of course have to purchase a Quantus license at that stage, and install the system onto their own computers.