We know that as a contractor you’re busy, and even when you’re not, the last thing you want to be doing with your time is managing your accounts, whether that’s with the help of a contractor accountant or on your own. So you want a process that’s smooth and will take up as little of your time as possible. But sadly, not all accounting systems and methods work the same.
When looking for a new contractor accountant or considering going it alone, it’s worth understanding whether you’ll be using spreadsheets, and what that will actually entail. Whilst spreadsheets can be a familiar method of keeping track for some, it can pose a number of issues, such as:
- Inaccuracy – as a spreadsheet does not automatically update or flag up incorrect figures when inputted, there’s a chance you could go months without noticing a mistake that could lead onto bigger problems.
- Limited access – if you’re commuting to a client’s office, trying to access a spreadsheet on the go is less than ideal.
- Reduced / no support – if you’re using an accountant as well as a spreadsheet, you’ll need to have 100% trust that they will be able to spot any mistakes you may have made. If you’re going it alone you’ll have no support at all.
- Zero visibility – with spreadsheets you’ll have to save the most recent version, then email it to your accountant (if you’re using one). It’s then a waiting game until they get back to you with a response before you can edit your data again.
Cloud based portals – for painfree accounting
A much more user-friendly means of managing your accounts as a contractor is to use an online portal in conjunction with an experienced contractor accountant who also has access to that portal.
You’ll be able to access your accounts online from anywhere, 24/7. Most portals allow you to do day to day accounting tasks like adding expenses or creating invoices, and your accountant can access your files to review where you’re at and process your accounts.
Interfaces are user-friendly and you’ll be able to see real-time information without clumsy spreadsheets.
With a wealth of online accounting options out there, it’s hard to understand why a serious contractor would waste time using spreadsheets. But whilst there’s plenty to choose from, it’s important to get the right fit for you. Many offer a free trial, so you can try before you buy.
The Intouch Promise: No spreadsheets – just an online portal (or FreeAgent friendly)
We’re proud to offer all clients use of our in house built cloud-based portal, as part of our monthly fee. With 24/7 access to your accounts, it only requires 15 minutes per month to update. The dashboard gives you an exact overview of where you are, what’s due and how much money you have in your business account. Plus it gives you the ability to raise invoices, claim mileage, pay dividends and upload bank transactions.
If you’re already using either FreeAgent or Xero, we’re also able to support both. Simply let us know which solution is right for you and we will be able to advise the monthly cost for using both.
Simply email / live chat our team of experts to find out more, or call us now on 01202 901 385.
This blog has been prepared by Intouch Accounting. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this blog has been obtained from reliable sources, Intouch is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. This blog should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting advisers. If you have any specific queries, please contact Intouch Accounting.