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The cloud accounting imperative for small businesses


With 2.3m Quickbooks users in the US and more than 1m Xero subscribers in the UK, cloud accounting is now firmly in the mainstream. Gone are the days of having a dedicated computer in the corner of the accounts office so that businesses could manage their books. Or of completing a spreadsheet and spending a whole day putting your receipts in date order before you delivered them to your accountant. Now, even small businesses can access the kind of accounting intelligence which used to need a whole department to create it.

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Not all cloud accountancy packages were created equal


The internet has enabled the creation of a different world of IT systems. Outside the US, Xero is the market-leading online accounting package. In the US it’s Intuit’s Quickbooks, and there are many others, such as FreeAgent, Kashflow and Zoho, with Sage finally getting its act together and releasing Sage One. Each of the platforms is different, although all offer the same core services. The golden rule is that using any cloud-based accounting package will be better than sticking with paper and a spreadsheet.

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The value of knowing the financial inputs and outputs of your business


When small business owners think about accounts, many are thinking about an end result, a product of all their efforts over a year. But accounting is so much more than the output. Done right, and with the support of some of the brilliant software available, it can turn real-time information into intelligence on which to base business decisions.

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What you need to know about cloud accounting for small businesses


With 2.3m Quickbooks users in the US and more than 1m Xero subscribers in the UK, cloud accounting is now firmly in the mainstream. Gone are the days of having a dedicated computer in the corner of the accounts office so that businesses could manage their books. Or of completing a spreadsheet and spending a whole day putting your receipts in date order before you delivered them to your accountant. Now, even small businesses can access the kind of accounting intelligence which used to need a whole department to create it.

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How to measure business goals


Setting business goals is a great way to accelerate and achieve success but you need to bear two important things in mind when you’re deciding what your goals are: Measurability Quantity

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What should you measure to help meet business goals


Most businesses use Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as a measure for gauging business success and meeting their objectives – but while they certainly have their value, to truly measure your goals you need to look forwards, not just backwards.

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Setting measurable business goals


Defining business goals is a great way to keep you focused and on track to achieve greater success, so I wanted to share a case study to help you understand how the process can work, why Critical Success Factors are essential, and how to measure results.

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The A-Z of goal setting


Setting a goal gives us a target to aim for; it gives us something to focus on and helps to keep us motivated; a natural by-product is enhanced performance. And the benefits don’t just appear when you meet the goal. There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that just by setting one in the first place you have a higher chance of being successful, whether you meet the challenge you set yourself or not – and in my view, that’s because in thinking about what’s required for a target, you’re already putting yourself ahead of people who don’t.

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What can I claim as a legitimate business expense?


Doing your accounts might not be the most exciting part of your business, but it can really pay to keep an eye on what you claim in tax deductible expenses, to make sure you only pay as much tax as you should and don’t miss out on any legitimate savings. While you may have an internal accounts department or outsourced financial manager helping you to keep on top of your taxes, knowing what you can claim for is pretty essential for any business owner. This awareness will help to ensure that you keep hold of any relevant receipts or invoices –but remember that any expenses claimed must be “wholly and exclusively” for business purposes.

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Financial advice for SMEs – 2017 round-up


Financial advice for SMEs – 2017 round-up In this last post before Christmas, I thought it might be helpful to take a look back over the posts I’ve published during the course of 2017. I really enjoy my work as a Portfolio Finance Director and sharing my knowledge in order to help businesses improve their money matters is all part of the service – so here are some top picks from this year’s articles. I’ve selected those that have good generic information that most SMEs would find helpful. A little light reading for over the Christmas break to help you prepare for an even more successful New Year!

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