Are you still using spreadsheets for your contractor accounting? It’s time to change

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.

 

Request your free portal demo now, or take a further look at our portal’s functionality and what it can offer you.It’s all part of the Intouch Promise.

 

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.

Five reasons why your accounting spreadsheet is letting you down…

Is your accounting spreadsheet up to scratch?

There’s nothing more satisfying than when your complicated spreadsheet tallies up, especially when you’re using it for your accounts. But what happens when it doesn’t, or more worryingly, if you were to make a mistake that isn’t picked up for while?

 

In this blog, Janna Beeching, Director of Accounting and Tax shares the top five reasons how your accounting spreadsheet is letting you down and why you should consider online alternatives.

 

1.Can you spot the the mistake?

It’s so easy to throw a spreadsheet off track, yet incredibly hard to know when and where it occurred. By using spreadsheet programmes such as Microsoft Excel, you are putting 100% of your trust in both yours and its accuracy; but one simple formatting flop, an extra figure, or even a dicey decimal point can push your entire spreadsheet off course.

 

2. Caveman accountancy

Using a spreadsheet is truly going back to basics, as it cannot do much more than show your account’s core foundations. Savvy contractors need to be able to calculate their VAT, credit control, dividend allocation, payroll maintenance, to name but a few functions.

 

Unless you have a sound understanding of accounting and can work all this out yourself, then you’re going to be missing out on some key areas and potential opportunities for maximising your take home pay.

 

3. Pennies in – pounds out

Following on from point two, spreadsheets also can’t display your real-time cash flow or any outstanding payments. Cloud software will show you a generated overarching view of your finances and the income you can expect.

 

4. Fragile, immobile and at risk

HMRC can demand to see your accounts for the previous six years, so what do you do if your system fails you? Servers can crash, hard drives can break and viruses can corrupt your files – so why take the chance?

 

Having your accounts accessible in the Cloud means you can access them wherever and whenever you wish, plus they’re backed up, so there’s no need to worry about losing your data.

 

5. Spread the love

Sharing spreadsheets is a pain. You’ll have to be comfortable with emailing your accountant the latest version, then wait until they are done with it before you can edit it. Plus, there’s the added danger of them finding a mistake and then charging you for their time to rectify it.

 

Cloud accounts mean your accountant can have access at any point and have a real-time snapshot of what’s going on. No sharing, no saving multiple versions and no danger of mistakes.

 

What can Intouch Accounting do?

So after reading these points, ask yourself if it’s worth your time, effort and possibly the costly repercussions from using your own spreadsheets. Why not explore what specialist, online software that’s designed for contractors can do for you?

 

With Intouch Accounting’s portal, our expert Personal Accountants are able to access your accounts whenever and provide you with specialist advice and guidance. Request your free portal demo today and see for yourself how it can work for you. Or spend 99 seconds watching our video to show how our portal will make your life easier.

 

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.