27 Jul

Online bookkeeping software vs online accountants

Team discussing online accountantsMost business owners and sole traders don’t choose to do their accounting themselves. It takes away precious time which could be used working on the core of their business. So, instead they call on either an accountant, or accounting software, to help do it for them.

But the big question is - which is better? There are pros and cons to both, but there is a clear winner. Read on to find out more.  

Online bookkeeping software

Okay, so let’s start off by talking about online bookkeeping software.

There have been an abundance of online bookkeeping services that have come to the forefront of the industry in the last few years. They can be really useful for many reasons, but the programmes are also known to have their pitfalls.

Pros of online bookkeeping software

  • Simple data entry

The simplicity of entering data into accounting data is incredibly attractive to many busy business owner - and it’s usually really easy. No precious time is wasted.

  • Presents data visually

The nature of accounting software means you can see all your data in one place - on one screen. You can view reports and analysis on on profit and loss, debtors and creditors, customer accounts, inventory counts, sales and forecasting. Easy peasy.

  • Integration with other systems

Accounting software is also good as if you one day did decide to switch to online accountants, or need the data for any reason, all you have to do is log in and get your data directly from the software.

Cons of accounting bookkeeping software

  • Business owners need to do all the data entry themselves

You’re the one who needs to decide what is and isn't tax deductible. This means classifying your own invoices and expenses, and know a good number of the rules surrounding the tax and accounting treatment of things. While some people have a natural aptitude for this kind of thing, we'd wager that the majority of the self-employed community just want to get on with running their business and not faffing around with receipts.

  • Learning how to use the software

Teaching yourself and becoming familiar with the software can take a lot of time and effort. For people used to manual accounting, it takes time to switch over to software usage, which can delay accounts processing.

  • Doesn’t recognise specialist needs

If your business has specialist needs, you may need more refined accounting services. Software doesn’t present the opportunity for this to be an option. Every business is unique - something which accounting software doesn’t recognise.

Online accountants

Despite the rise of technology, sometimes business owners prefer that bit of realism that comes with a human dealing with their accounts. Online accountants use a combination of real people and software. There are many benefits that come along with this.

Pros of using online accountants

  • Receive monthly advice and support from real people

Nothing quite beats receiving advice from the real experts. Your accountant, who will oversee your accounts and fully understand how your business works, will be able to offer you invaluable advice. This could include reviewing your receipts and invoices, deciding on the best way to account for them, and providing advice throughout the year to keep you compliant and tax efficient

  • You don’t have to deal with HMRC

You don't have to worry that HMRC will investigate and find something amiss, because they know exactly what they’re doing. This will avoid any costly fines which you definitely don’t want to receive. 

  • Using both technology and human expertise

Business owners, contractors and sole traders can all benefit from the simple and easy-to-use nature of online software, while also having their own account manager to oversee everything. This means you can benefit from all the pros that online accounting brings, while also receiving human expertise. It’s a winning combination.

Cons of using accountants

  • You still need to gather all your documents to send to your online accountant

This is a no-brainer, and still would be a necessary step while using accounting bookkeeping software.

There really aren’t many negatives to using an online accountants. You get the best of both worlds - making your life a business owner a whole lot easier.

So, that's why we're better. We're not just giving you a bit of software and leaving you to hope for the best. We're getting down into the nitty gritty of your bookkeeping and accountants all-year round.


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