In the words of Baz Luhrmann, if I could offer you only one tip for the future it would be: embrace The Cloud.
Three years ago, Farnell Clarke was one of the first accountancy practices in the UK to adopt KashFlow as its preferred software provider. Will Farnell of Farnell Clarke said, “We took the decision to move away entirely from the costly Sage packages that underpin most firms.
Whilst Sage has dominated the accountancy market for more years than I’d like to think about, the emergence of new technology gives accountants the opportunity to offer clients something new, cost effective and, in my opinion, far better.”
The system the accountants in Norwich use is KashFlow, a Cloud-based accountancy software. This means it’s entirely online with all data hosted by remote services ‘in the Cloud’. KashFlow allows us, and our clients, to access their management information from absolutely anywhere, at any time – as long as they have internet access.
Security of data is obviously a priority when it comes to using Cloud-based systems. With KashFlow, each client has a dedicated area on the KashFlow Cloud server which is protected by a dual layer password system. Backing up data is incredibly simple with a Cloud system: there’s no need for unwieldy hard drives or discs, you have a separate area of the Cloud which is your backup. It’s as simple as pressing a button or setting up an automatic update.
Whilst Farnell Clarke is an accountancy firm based in Norwich, their clients are based throughout the East of England and further afield. KashFlow means they can access their accounts at any time, enabling them to chat through issues or ideas with all the information they need in front of them.
Another benefit of using a Cloud-based accountancy software package is that it also means that clients can hand over day to day book-keeping tasks to their accountant without ever losing control of what’s happening within their business.
Will Farnell went on to explain why he recommends the system, “One of my favourite things about KashFlow is that there is ongoing free support. The KashFlow team is constantly upgrading, adapting and developing the software so that it is always one step ahead of the competition and more than fit for purpose. The software is intuitive and therefore very easy to learn and use – whether you’re a skilled book-keeper or accountant or are starting your first business. It’s packed full of features and reporting facilities but clients can chose to utilise all of these or just a few.
I believe that many accountancy practices rely on clients being mystified by accounts; that’s how they manage to keep prices at an artificially high level. With technology such as the Cloud and software like KashFlow, there’s really no need for this. We, as accountants, need to be continually looking for ways in which we can add value to our clients to justify the investment they make in our services – embracing Cloud software is just one of the ways we are doing this.”