Technological developments in recent years have had a profound impact on businesses. It can be difficult to know what technology is out there to support your business. Cloud accounting has established itself as a fundamental pillar in the everyday running of a business and this article is designed to provide you with some key insights on cloud accounting to help maximise its benefit to your business.
What is cloud accounting?
Cloud accounting allows you to track the finances of your business. They are accessed through the internet and stored in a secure server which means that your data is accessible to you from any location, secured and backed up through an automatic process. Cloud accounting allows you to see your finances in real time, collaborate with colleagues and accountants within one space and stores your vital information in a central location. As cloud accounting continues to grow there are more sector specific add-ons becoming available that are tailored specifically to the needs of certain businesses.
Most cloud-based accounting software has an open API, allowing you to connect various apps to provide more specialised functions. A collection of these apps is what is referred to as an ‘app-stack’. We have listed some common examples below:
- Dext Prepare for receipt capture, reducing the time taken to manually process purchase invoices and receipts.
- Stripe and other payment service providers can be added to invoices created on the accounting system allowing customers to pay through a link on the invoice.
- Point of Sales (POS) systems such as Square can be linked to your accounting system. This enables a streamlined connection between your POS system and accounting software allowing for daily summaries to be sent across.
- E-commerce capture software such as Dext Commerce can link to your online sales platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce and Amazon. This fully MTD (Making Tax Digital) compliant software will bring in the sales to your accounting software with only a few clicks.
- Integrated payroll, taking care of your pension filings and sending the amounts automatically into your accounting software.
- Bank feeds are available from within your accounting system. The feeds will automatically bring your bank transactions into your software, allowing you to identify and categorise each transaction, without the need to log into your bank or having to have physical copies of your bank statements. This is all done with the equivalent security of the banks.
- You can integrate debt management apps which can automate your debtor tracking and chasing for any orders made on credit such as on and off trade sales. Chaser and Satago are two apps available which can integrate with many cloud accounting systems.
Above are a small selection of the many additional apps that can link to your accounting system and are solutions that we work with quite frequently. They do not have to be vineyard specific to assist with the financial processes within your company. You can start off small and grow your App-stack as both you and your business continue to develop.
Apps for vineyards
As well as the core apps available, there are also sector specific apps. These can help businesses to maximise the potential of their cloud accounting solutions. Within the Vineyard sector, there are several software apps available to link. Vinetrace and Vinsight are just two examples which allow you to manage your production, costing and inventory.
Due to the specificity of these apps, they can be more complicated to implement due to the need for specialised planning, application, and training. If you are looking for a simple platform to track inventory then cloud accounting systems do offer their own inventory tracking, such as Xero Inventory. This will be useful if you require the system to track and maintain the stock levels of your bottled inventory only. For any more complex inventory tracking you will need to bring in a more specialised software such as those listed.
We hope that this article has provided you an insight into the world of cloud accounting and how it can enhance your experience through utilising digital systems.
We would recommend speaking to your accountant if you are interested in implementing any of the additional apps mentioned. For any specific queries then please do reach out to our dedicated vineyard team at Carpenter Box.