Many new small businesses think that Excel will suffice as a good example of accounting software. It seems like the obvious choice, especially if you’re a one-man-band and you have it installed on your computer already. Excel can do a large number of things and is very widely used in the world of business. It would be silly not to acknowledge this upfront. However, while Excel is sturdy and has been helping us all crunch numbers for many years (since 1985), the spreadsheets created while using it aren’t – and this often causes longer term problems.

There are many reasons why Excel doesn’t work as an accounting system, but why should you use dedicated software, such as Xero, in the cloud?

Hit the ground running

An easy-to-use dashboard is one that you don’t have to set up yourself and will give you confidence from the get-go. When you have a clear financial view from the start, you don’t need to worry about making uninformed business decisions.

Your data is accurate

Your company’s real-time financial data is kept in one central place – online, in the cloud. Bank statement lines are fed into your software – it’s automatic, and reduces the amount of data entry and potential mistakes.

Out-of-box reports

Get most of the reports you will ever need, with a few clicks – no need to wait for month end. Real-time reports and budgets are easy to view and share. Tasks like sales tax returns can be completed in minutes instead of hours.

Up-to-date information

Create the information any of your investors might need at a moment’s notice. Your small business will be equipped to manage its finances better and more accurately. This is especially important around tax time when data will be shared with an accountant or financial advisor. Financial tax information is always up-to-date and ready to share.

You’ll have a clean audit trail

All of the historical information that your investors might need is available at their fingertips. A proper audit trail ensures your data cannot be compromised. It also records every business transaction. This includes sales contracts, payments to employees, and more. Having a complete audit trail reassures investors about the validity of the company and meets the tax department’s needs.

It syncs with other business applications

When you use cloud-based software, you’ll be able to take advantage of apps that sync with your financial data. Point of Sale, financial forecasting and a whole lot more can take the time and hassle out of small business accounting.

Access to data anywhere, anytime

Give any member of your team access your data online anytime, anywhere (as long as you grant them permission to do so.) Cloud software enables you to share your financial information with your employees, accountant, bookkeeper or financial advisor.