Online accounts vs. highstreet accountants

Online accountants vs. highstreet accountants: let the battle commence

If you’ve recently started up your own business or are looking to recruit some professional accounting support then you might be weighing up the pros and cons of online versus offline. Do you stick with tradition and sign up to a highstreet accountant or take the plunge and try out the many perks of an online accountant? Internet access and modern technology has opened up whole new worlds of opportunities for accountancy firms and you could be benefitting from them all. Wait a minute, did accounting just get…cool?

Team online accountants

More affordable – Because they operate from Cyberland, online accountants aren’t tied down to a bricks-and-mortar premise that lumbers them with expensive overheads. The best thing about this economic leniency is that they can translate it into financial slack for you too. The maintenance of a physical base is a huge obligation for businesses but without it, they can afford to offer much low fees for the same high quality service. Too good to be true? Absolutely not.

Increased accessibility – Again, because they aren’t committed to a static bricks-and-mortar unit, location is no longer an issue when finding the right online accountant for you. This means that even if your business is based in Liverpool and you are interested in an online accountant in Bristol, this wont effect your accessibility to your accountant. If you are attracted to the services offered by an accountancy company that is based over the other side of the country or you gel particularly well with the workforce, geography no longer stands in the way. Thanks to modern technology and the marvellous invention that is the internet, online accountants are far more accessible than your highstreet number cruncher.

Although online accountants will, of course, offer face-to-face meetings should you feel the need to have an in-person discussion, they can be contacted via a whole host of platforms that a traditional highstreet accountant probably wouldn’t offer. Whether it’s via email, telephone, video call, live chat or Skype, an online accountant is always on the other side of the screen. Doing business online also requires a strong digital presence so your accountant will be readily available via social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter too.

Speedy and efficient – This extensive range of ways to reach your online accountant makes booking appointments three weeks in advance and arduous trips to the highstreet seem even worse than they already did, right? The odd face-to-face meeting might be necessary from time to time but being able to reach your online accountant so readily via alternative routes means you’re drastically cutting down on wasted time, energy and travel costs.

Working in Cyberland means your online accountant will constantly have their finger on the pulse and will be able to keep you in the loop with the latest industry news, regulation updates and any changes to HMRC policies. Online accountants think fast and act fast, which means you can too.

Access to the cloud – Cloud software is the future and is in the process of successfully revolutionising the way you do your accounts. Cloud software allows you to store all of your records on a central server that is protected by stringent security measures and can be accessed from anywhere that provides an internet connection. There is a whole array of great cloud-based packages out there today and your online accountant might even offer their very own which they can sync to.

Filing records by hand and maintaining complex spreadsheets may seem like the safe, tried and tested methods but it’s time you joined us in the 21st Century, business owner! Going about your bookkeeping and accounting this way will only complicate and slow down the process, like trying to run a marathon through treacle but getting on board with cloud accounting will streamline and simplify everything.

Team highstreet accountants

A place to go – While online accountants can and do offer face-to-face meetings, some business owners find comfort in knowing that their accountant is only a stone’s throw away. This means that geographical location and travel do have to come into play, which could limit access to an online accountant. If you know that you are somebody that requires the safety net of regular one-to-one interaction then sticking to a highstreet accountant might be the best option for you.

Sticking it to tradition – Similarly, there are a small number of people who don’t have access to the internet or mobile devices whether this is influenced by cash flow or age group. Limited access to the internet means working with an online accountant could be challenging and the safety net allowed by the traditions of a highstreet accountant become more attractive.

Looks like we have a winner, folks!

So the votes have been counted and verified and it looks to us like we might have a resounding winner. Drum roll please… yes it is, of course, the trusty online accountant who offers the same impeccable service as a highstreet service but for lower costs and increased efficiency. It’s clear to see why so many businesses today are opting to work with an online accountant in a marketplace that requires you to be on the ball and up to speed at all times.

That isn’t to say that there isn’t a place for the traditional bricks-and-mortar accountant because at the end of the day, it’s all a matter of preference. However, if we looked into our crystal ball right now, we could almost certainly confirm that online accounting is the future. If you’re thinking of switching over to an online service then click here so we can point you in the right direction and help make the process a real breeze.

Kara Copple
An experienced business and finance writer, sometimes moonlighting as a fiction writer and blogger.