Dyce & Sons Ltd.

Helping IT since 1993

Peace of Mind

Friday 20th September, 2013

Recently, I moved from a traditional accountant to an online accounting system. In terms of cost, they’re actually about the same. In terms of my time, overall, they’re actually about the same. But in terms of peace of mind? So far, the online system wins hands down. Why bother telling you?

The reason it’s interesting to me is that I suspect that this is how getting the right system in place feels for database users. Using someone else’s online system means I’m forced to do stuff their way, as I go along, during the year. This constraint is oddly freeing.

Prior to going to an online system, I used a FileMaker home-rolled system which took csv imports of bank and credit card statements, and let me group them under headings, and at the end of the year print it all out and hand it to the accountant to deal with. (To be fair, it was good enough that some clients are still using it!)

In other words, I’d built a fancy digital shoebox to put stuff in. And I could just about get away with doing it in the three days before accounts were due to the accountant. Remember though, especially in this business it often comes down to “cobbler’s children go unshod”.

Doing it online however, gives me a dashboard, which lets me know exactly where I stand right now in terms of corporation tax liability, VAT liability, funds available for dividends etc. Yes, providing this business info is possible to sort out in the FileMaker solution, but… err “cobbler’s”… and I’d still end up paying for the accountant to authorise my calculations.

Having this information to hand plus knowing that I don’t have to spend those three days at the end of the year is worth a tidy premium, which in terms of price is about, err, £zero. Or possibly less, as I haven’t had the bill for last year’s accounts which are being done traditionally.

It’s nice to be on the receiving end of some tech kindness for a change…

I’ve been asked which one… I could have gone with Kashflow (it’s a good system, and the CEO is an old acquaintance), but I went with Crunch (Disclosure: affiliate link), because as a small company, I don’t have in-house accountants, and the on-tap accountants really appealed. There are others out there)