I spoke with Kieran Phelan of Cloud 360 Accounting recently and next week I will share the full discussion. One point Kieran made really stuck with me

Stop doing bookkeeping just for the government

Better Forecasting and Informed Business Decisions

Traditional business management, bookkeeping, and accounting procedures are beginning to give way to a digital ecosystem. Once a space reserved for accountants and financial advisors, business forecasting has become more accessible for businesses. This has proved critical for those successfully navigating challenges post-pandemic. Advanced business information systems and digital accounting practices can create a competitive advantage through forecasting. Cloud accounting supports a greater understanding of business owners’ financial positions. Creating accurate real-time reports in minutes.

Get a clear picture of your business with a simple cash flow forecast template below

Many SMEs approach bookkeeping retrospectively and focus on accounting for the government. Accounting in these instances is simply a function for submitting returns. Financial reporting is too often focused on the external provision of annual accounts. Cashflow forecasts are often ignored until times of crisis and yet they hold the key to better stability and success.

Benefits of cloud accounting practices

In the case of cloud accounting, you maintain your business books online. That includes records of income and expenses, and assets and liabilities. The information is encrypted, much like a bank’s, so only people with permission can view the data. SMEs who have chosen an accountancy practice that employs cloud accounting software benefit from enhanced data and financial scrutiny. One significant benefit of cloud accounting is transparency. The software calculates a clear picture of the business position every day.

Cloud Accounting and Financial Forecasts

In a digital or cloud accounting practice the accountant enables businesses to produce, review and understand their forecasts for the overall benefit of the business. You can set up a dashboard showing important financial information like who owes you money, what bills are due, and how your cash flow is looking. Real-time reporting will create a clear picture of the business cash flow and profit and loss. At Johnston Financial Solutions, we have seen the benefits first hand and so have our clients. The switch from reactive to proactive bookkeeping using cloud software saves time and money. Businesses owners know where their business is at every day. We appreciate this clarity and can leverage this data to expedite the funding application process.

Mindset shift and Making Tax Digital

Kieran recommends cloud accounting with Xero supported by at least a quarterly review process in preparation for Making Tax Digital. Clients who manage larger organisations benefit from their monthly outsourced finance services and reviews. Kieran goes much further calling for a switch in the mindset of business owners across Northern Ireland. He calls for a move away from the external drivers of financial reporting towards internal ownership and not just for tax saving purposes. Stop doing bookkeeping just for the government. At Cloud 360 Accounting their clients achieve success through ownership of their data and accountability for their financial position.

‘We help businesses to make more money, save time, give them better systems and give them more peace of mind’. Kieran Phelan

Better Forecasting Skills are the Key to Success in 2022.

The best businesses leverage the ability to forecast across the business to optimize performance in 2022 and beyond. It’s time to think critically about the company’s intersecting functions, which may present challenges such as sales & marketing, supply chain, and human resources, to ensure stability and success.

As circumstances continue to change, we recommend you review your internal reporting and financial forecasts monthly. This is particularly important if you are considering investment and borrowing in 2022/2023. Easy access to sound data and quality advice will drastically improve your decision-making ability. “The best defence is a good offence” is an adage that has been applied to many fields. Solid monthly management accounts with an accurate Cash Flow Statement and a Statement of Assets and Liabilities provides foresight. A proactive approach to finance ensures you will be able to seize valuable opportunities. It will enable your business to develop resilience and agility. It also reduces the perceived friction between an organisation and lenders. Presenting evidence of a culture of regular forecasting to your chosen lender will help you get the best finance deal possible.

Simple financial forecast templates

To help you get a clear picture of your position before considering a finance application, access our Cash Flow Templates. To ensure that these review steps become part of our routine, we set aside a few hours every month to review any relevant updates. If you would like guidance filling these out for the first time, Book a Free consultation, we are happy to help.

Discussing the big picture for Northern Ireland SMEs in 2022

Next week we will share our conversation with Kieran Phelan of Cloud 360 Accounting in full. We discuss the big picture forecast for Northern Ireland business. Reflect on the challenges of the pandemic and share stories of resilience.