Use cloud accounting, but remain down to earth
We are seeing more and more businesses adopt cloud-based accounting solutions aiming to take advantage of the fact that accounting work can be done anywhere and financial data can be accessed from anywhere.
But a recent situation reminded us that although cloud accounting allows great flexibility over where and when work is done, there is no substitute for face to face contact to make sure that everything is working properly.
The company switched from a desk top to a cloud accounting solution in the middle of last year and tasks were split between them and the bookkeeper so that all of the bookkeeping was done.
This carried on for a while but because both sides could work remotely they did so and what nobody realised was that they were not talking to each other.
With no feedback between the company and the bookkeeper, partly because they both assumed that everyone could see everything, problems built up that were never resolved because they were never discussed.
This came to a head with a big cashflow problem that was caused because neither the company nor the bookkeeper were paying enough attention to credit control.
Thankfully the problem was solved and no harm was done, but it was a situation that no one wanted to see repeated.
The bookkeeper now visits the company quite frequently and at least once a month they sit down and review the numbers to make sure that problems are being solved and are not building up.
So the message from this episode is that although cloud accounting systems allow work to be done anywhere at any time, it remains important to get round a table and discuss the numbers and take action promptly before problems get out of hand.