Go Online

This may mean downloads from Internet bank accounts, or a full online bookkeeping system.

If you have a bank account which you can access over the Internet, then it may allow you to download a transaction history. The file that is downloaded may be in CSV, QIF or OFX format, all of which can be read by your accountant. Subsequent processing by an accountant such as David Porthouse & Co will then be all-electronic and fast.

You may also use a bookkeeping system over the Internet. Typical online systems are  Xero,  KashFlow,  FreeAgent,  Sage One,  QuickBooks Online  and  ClearBooks.  All these systems will take bank feeds from your Internet bank account, and they may also be used to produce invoices and statements, record cash and do VAT returns. An accountant such as David Porthouse & Co will help you with setting up an online system, and will download and process the ledger electronically at the year end.

A basic advantage of all online systems is remote access. The business owner, the bookkeeper and the accountant can all work from different offices and access the same system. If this is a consideration for you, then choose an online system.

A related advantage is that you can visit a customer’s premises with your laptop, and if you have Internet access then you may be able to issue an invoice by e-mail straight away.

Apart from this, we will offer a little test. Suppose you are using an online system which we will call BruceBooks. Do you know how to search for “brucebooks accountant carlisle” without leaving this page?  If you do, then you will be happy with online systems. If you do not, then consider an alternative such as a spreadsheet which can be e-mailed back and forth to the accountant. The answer to the test is given here.