Cloud software is having a massive impact on our industry.
For bookkeepers, cloud accounting software has changed not only how we perform our day to day tasks, but also how our clients view our role within their business.
And the fantastic news is that this is shifting us as bookkeepers from a data entry profession to one of advisory, cloud integration and data management.
For some of you, that shift could be quite scary.
For others, it could even make you a little angry.
However, for those of you who are open to the change and want to embrace it and run with the opportunities that it brings, you can join us in seeing this as fantastic news.
Here at Fresh Financials, we work 100% remotely and I calculated recently that we’ve only met about 25% of our clients face to face. This could sound a million miles away from where you are with your bookkeeping business, or what your college has taught you that bookkeeping should be.
This is business as usual for us: but we’ve gotten responses of surprise, shock, and even unbelief. This reminds me that remote working – and using cloud accounting – is still not the norm.
So why should you consider a move to the cloud?
For a start, it’s incredibly efficient.
Think of all the dead time that you spend driving to your client’s premises. If you still charge by the hour, then this could be non-chargeable time for you – it is literally a cost to your business every day. Or the hours spent going through paperwork which your clients send to you in the post or file in a shoe box. Do you still have to manually type up bank statements?
As well as enabling you to work from your office or home, Xero lets you set up bank feeds and links to expense capturing software like our favourite, Receipt Bank. Just with those tweaks, that’s probably an extra 5 or 10 hours a week saved right there. Is that a day off or an additional client for you?
Then there are the changing needs of your clients.
How many of your clients run their businesses online? How many of their suppliers email them their invoices? Do they take payments using GoCardless or PayPal? Should I also add HMRC’s Making Tax Digital that looks certain to roll out in 2018?
So many things are going online, it will soon reach the point where you will have to create your own paperwork by printing everything out, in order to do bookkeeping the traditional way.
Finally, your clients (and potential clients) want you to change.
Trust me on this one. Your clients see you as the expert and they expect you to be using the most up to date and efficient systems.
If they see the advertisements on the TV, in magazines and in tube stations for cloud software and you rock up with an Excel spreadsheet, you’ve immediately undersold yourself.
But there’s no need to feel overwhelmed.
Whether you want to run a 100% remote, cloud-based bookkeeping practice using only Xero, or you’re just beginning your journey, the first step is the same: exploring the cloud accounting software that is out there.
You may then wish to expand into other software and build from there.
It’s all about creating new systems that work for you and your clients, rather than one morning deciding to throw your copy of SAGE into the bin and shredding all your paperwork.
It’s about looking at the business you have (or want) and taking small steps towards achieving this.
Best of all, we’re here to help.
We have set up Fresh Bookkeepers to help those who want to make the switch, but have no idea where to start.
I’ve got the hat and I am currently wearing the t-shirt when it comes to building a successful cloud-based bookkeeping business. Trial and error is great if you’ve got the time and the luxury to test and continually change processes but speaking to someone who has been there and can advise on the systems that work is priceless. Think of it as a short cut.
Register your interest in Fresh Bookkeepers now.
Whether you get help from us, or start on your own, this is the way forward for bookkeepers. Your clients will thank you for it!