Q1. Why did you choose the accounting software package you use?
I was looking for a computerised bookkeeping package that was suitable for small businesses owners. Many clients keep very simple manual records which may include a Takings Book, Sales and Purchase Day Books and a Cheque Journal. Very few small business owners prepare Nominal Ledgers, a Trial Balance, Profit & Loss Accounts & Balance Sheets. That is what they pay their accountant to do!!!
In my experience, when a business owner decides to computerise their “bookkeeping records” they appear to have only two choices. The easy option is to use an Excel spreadsheet to record daily takings , purchases, cheques etc similar to their manual books. This option offers a limited improvement in their bookkeeping procedures. The alternative solution is to install a full accounting system. Most of the accounting systems aimed at small businesses do require a lot of accounting knowledge and are complicated to install and use. It is for this reason that I advise all of my clients to try the Big Red Cloud. Why? Because it is a Bookkeeping System and has a very similar feel to the manual books that business owners already use with none of the complications of an all singing, all dancing accounts package, while still providing a lot more useful information to assist clients to run their businesses more effectively.
Q2. What are its strong points
The biggest advantage is that it is so simple to set up. Literally you could be up and running within 5 minutes. A lot of other packages focus on getting the nominal ledger, chart of accounts and other settings right before you can start entering data. Hours can be spent in setting up the accounting system properly. Those packages that focus on accounts production are far too complicated for the average small business user.
From an external Accountant’s perspective, the ease of using the Big Red Cloud in general including logging in, tracking clients using the cloud and making changes to entries in particular clients’ datasets from any computer is exceptional.
The Big Red Cloud allows business owners to concentrate on getting the basics right, i.e. issuing sales invoices and allocating payments received, providing lists of debtors and creditors, balancing their cash book and bank balances, and reconciling supplier ledger balances.
The Big Red Cloud also has the facility to run a Nominal Ledger, Trial Balance, Profit & Loss Accounts and Balance Sheets if business owners so wish, but it is not a pre-requisite for using the software. The product is very well priced and the back up support is excellent.
Q3. Any areas you’d like to see improved
Clients who are currently using the Big Red Book and move to using the Big Red Cloud will see the same familiar screens. Data input procedures remain effectively the same and they will be able to transfer all their customer and supplier names, addresses, and analysis categories into Big Red Cloud, however they cannot at present transfer all their transactions into the Big Red Cloud midway during the year.
Q4. Tell us about any other management software packages you use
As a professional accountant running my own practice I am familiar with a lot of software management products, however these packages require a lot more accounting knowledge to run properly and in many cases they are not fully utilised by clients. A lot of our time can be spent reviewing client’s posting to nominal ledgers and making corrections