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Cloud Charity Benefits

You’ve probably heard a bit about cloud accounting by now, with adverts on the TV and Making Tax Digital now in force for some VAT registered businesses, including some charities. But what are the benefits of cloud accounting and is it right for your charity?

Here are 5 reasons why your charity could benefit from a move to cloud accounting:

1. Time Saving

The main time saver with cloud accounting technology is its direct link with your bank.

This is a one-way feed which pulls your transactions into the software without the need for the manual inputting of data.

Many of the software packages also offer the ability to set-up repeat invoices, removing the need to enter the same information time and time again.

There are numerous add-on pieces of software which are designed to help you save even more time. One of our current favourites is Receipt Bank. With Receipt Bank all you need to do is scan or take photos of your invoices and Receipt Bank automatically populates all of the relevant details into the cloud software, completely removing the need to enter bills.

The above can save substantial bookkeeping time, freeing up time for more valuable work within the charity. Imagine what you could do if you saved just 2 hours a week in admin time? This brings us on to reason number 2;

2. Cost

Cost Ok, there is a cost to cloud accounting, but this cost varies depending on the package you choose. Average prices are currently around £10-£25 per month. If you can save admin time and focus your efforts on other things such as applying for grants and promoting your charity, then the time you save soon outweighs the cost of the package.

Cloud accounting subscriptions are inclusive of full support from the package supplier, which varies from telephone help to on-line chats at no extra cost. Because the systems are cloud based you are always on the latest version as updates to the software happen in real time, again, at no extra cost and there are no lengthy software updates to sit through.

Cloud accounting packages also allow you to send invoices by email directly to your customers/donors and you can track when they have received them. You can add on pay-links such as PayPal, Stripe or Go Cardless so customers/donors can pay their invoices directly. Statements can automatically be sent out with payment reminders. This assists the charity’s cashflow by allowing you to collect the money owed to the charity on a timely basis.

3. Reportability

Direct bank feeds mean real time information. This gives you the ability to continuously  keep your books up to date which in turn means much better reporting capabilities, giving you the data and information you need to produce regular management reports, thereby making decision making more effective. Gone are the days where the only financial information the Trustees see are the year end accounts.

Most cloud packages also offer tracking categories. This allows you to set up funds and/or projects to easily track your grant funds against the spending, making it much quicker to report back to your funders. This also enables your charity to report on its restricted funds at the year end.

Cloud accounting reports are customisable – i.e. if you can’t find the report you’re looking for on the system, then you can make your own or tailor a standard report to present the key information that matters to you and your charity.

4. Convenience

Because the software is cloud based you can access it on any device that has an internet Because the software is cloud based you can access it on any device that has an internet  connection, wherever you are, meaning you can keep on top of your accounting records whilst at home, whilst on the move or on any of your office computers or devices. If your laptop breaks down, you can still access all of your data on the cloud accounting software.

5.  Database

Having all of your charity’s information in one place saves continuously moving between  different pieces of software. Cloud packages can store all of your supplier and donor details securely, giving you access to contact details and notes wherever you are and these can be used to populate invoices and bills.

We have found cloud accounting is becoming increasingly popular for charities and we now have a large number of charity clients who have moved over to a cloud software package. We can help to set up the package for you and provide training on how to get the most out of the software. If you would like to learn more about cloud accounting and how it can help your charity, please contact Joanne Thomlinson or Jamie Dobson on 01228 530913.

Please click here to go back to our other charity newsletter articles.

<May 2020>
MTWTFSS
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May 31

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Dodd and Co are a professional friendly organisation who have supported me with my business start up  and still are!  A brilliant group.
-- Lyn Osbaldeston