Demand for cloud accountancy is ever-increasing – it remains one of the easiest ways to keep on top of a business’ finances. 2018 is expected to bring about further changes and advancements in cloud software.

Below, we detail some of the most pressing developments likely to affect your startup or SME.

GDPR

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has been in the pipeline for a long time, and now there is only just over a month until it comes into play. GDPR means those using cloud technologies will need to ensure any data held within it is compliant with these regulations.

Failure to fulfil to your new legal obligation can lead to fines of up to €20 million or 4% of your annual turnover (whichever is greater). The best way forward is to use a reputable and secure cloud platform provider, such as Xero or QuickBooks, both of which Nabarro Poole offers.

Open banking

Open banking was rolled out this year, and allows small businesses to share relevant financial data, such as account balance or payment history, with app providers like GoCardless. This will enable them to make payments which are quicker, secure and less likely to fail, as well as ‘smarter’.

The ‘smart’ functionality is particularly useful. Payments can now be triggered when money is in your customer’s account. Not only does this reduce the time spent chasing payments, it also results in better cash flow for small businesses.

Making Tax Digital

Making Tax Digital will not be in place until April 2019, but with less than a year to go, businesses that are VAT registered need to be prepared when it comes to submitting their tax returns using cloud software.

These businesses will need to ensure that they choose the appropriate software solution. They need to factor in not only the accountancy aspect of the software but also the functionality. The easier they can find their way around the range of operations and tools, the simpler it will be for them to do their accounts.

With so many options on the market, there is a risk of picking software that is not suitable for your particular needs – a qualified accountant can help you avoid this. Your accountant should not only be able to recommend the best software to use for your business, but also keep up to date with the latest advancements in the technology.

Is there still a need for accountants?

The further we enter this digital age, the more accountancy software will continue to incorporate machine learning abilities. However, this does not mean that there is no longer a need for accountants.

One key thing that this technology is not able to do yet is interpret tax laws. An accountant will always be required to give tax advice to each individual business, and ensure they remain compliant.

Cloud-based accounting software is resulting in more efficient and accurate financial reporting, which will shift us even closer to real-time financial information – and we think this could only ever be a good thing.

To find out more about the cloud technology Nabarro Poole uses and how it can benefit you, please contact us to learn more. We’d be happy to explore where your current accounting systems could do with an upgrade!