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Contractor accounting software – Cheap alternative or another Pandora box?

  • 30 Aug 2017

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The future is technology, and it’s something that the majority of experts are passionately proclaiming. This even goes for accounting, which could very well hold its future in The Cloud. Backing this up is the fact that the amount of contractor accounting software is increasing at a pretty rapid rate – allowing those who are self-employed to record expenses, manage their books, and keep their account in order without the need for a physical accountant. It’s quite exciting, and here we plan to give you a little more information. 

What the Software Does 

The software itself is very easy to get. There are a large number of websites that offer paid (and sometimes even free) packages for you to download and get started with. Many use a monthly subscription service, and others have one-time fees for you to pay. Of course, it’s not quite ready to fully replace an accountant, especially for small businesses with several employees, but it’s something you should definitely research. 

An undeniable fact with regards to this software is that it is incredibly cheap when compared to a physical accountant, and so it can save businesses a fair amount of cash. This technology also tends to be very easy to use, with a user-friendly interface and simple instructions that will leave you feeling like an expert in minutes.

It also leaves you in full control, so you know exactly what is happening with your books and also gives you a better idea of how things work with regards to expenses and how taxes are filed. Obviously, technology like this does come with risks, and that is something we will look at further in the next section. 

Things to Consider 

While this technology is simple to use, and has a number of benefits, there are a few things that you might want to take into consideration before you make your choice. 

When you are doing your taxes yourself, it can be hard to keep up with changes in legislation – especially when you have your own work on top of it. When you have an accountant, it is their job to know and do things correctly, helping you to avoid hefty fees and legal action that could be taken as a result of you filing your taxes incorrectly. A physical accountant can save you time spent reading through documents, as well as ensuring that you have done everything correctly. 

Having a real accountant means that you have reassurance and support from someone who is experienced in the field and knows what they are doing. They have your best interests at heart, and they want to ensure that things are done right. It means that you can have a physical conversation with someone, but also means that you can save a lot of time that should be spent working and bettering your company. Plus, if you get stuck, they are only a call or email away. 

Recently, legislation has started to change with regards to tax and expenses. It is something that a physical accountant can keep up with, but not technology. Often, this software takes time to update and implement new methods of reliable filing. With so much happening politically and, as a result, economically, transitions are being made faster, and at a pace a real accountant may be better matched to keep up with. 

To Conclude 

Using contractor accounting software definitely works for some better than it does others. Despite the fact that it has a few flaws, there are also a number of positives that come with using it. Before you decide whether to use software or a physical contractor accountant, you should take the time to assess your own situation, as well as your current skillset when it comes to organising your own accounting. Of course, calling up an accounting firm is also a great option if you want to talk through the details of both. Hopefully, you will find the perfect solution for you and your company. 

Guest blog been written by Milosz Krasinski, Digital Marketing Specialist at Churchill Knight & Associates Ltd – specialist contractor accountants

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