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5 benefits of moving from spreadsheets to accounting software

Being a small business owner means you’ll have a lot going on, with things changing and evolving constantly. Managing your business’s accounting through a program like Excel may work for you at the moment, especially if you’re a one-man-band, but as your customer and business base begin to grow, you'll start to face some limitations. This is when you might want to consider switching to an accounting software like Xero.

    Accounting software minimises mistakes

Spreadsheets are free to use, so they appear to keep costs down at first, but they could actually be costing you more time and money than you think. A spreadsheet involves manual data entry which is time consuming in itself, but the real issue lies in the inevitable mistakes, with the root cause being human error when entering data. Using accounting software like Xero will limit data entry and record-keeping mistakes because they do most of the hard stuff for you automatically. The software will help you and your employees gain a clear financial view from the get-go.

    Everything is kept together

Cloud-based accounting software can sync with other business applications, meaning you can have everything you need in one place. The dynamic functionality of this online software, with automatic data feeds and back-ups to the cloud, makes it miles better than spreadsheets. Plus, cloud-based accounting software services are accessible anytime, anywhere - from your tablet or mobile phone - so there is no need to get your laptop out every time something needs checking or changing.

    Planning the switch

If you do decide to switch to a cloud-based accounting software, there are a few things you can do to prepare. It’s a good idea to prepare your data for the transition, making sure it is clean, with your taxes filed and records reconciled. You can familiarise yourself with the new software before switching by taking advantage of free trial offers, and if you are currently using a different software, you can use them alongside each other. This way it will be more manageable when you transition fully.

    Audit trail

Your investors will need information about your company’s financial history, and this will be available at their fingertips when using accounting software. A proper audit trail ensures that your data cannot be compromised, whilst recording every business transaction, including sales contracts and payments to employees. A complete audit trail will reassure investors about the validity of your company and that it meets the needs of the tax department.


Spreadsheets like Excel are free to use, however sometimes it pays to pay, especially when your company’s finances are involved. Using online accounting software doesn’t have to be expensive either, with starter packs available from £6 per month, to premium packs for less than £28 per month. 


Shieldpay protects both sides in any transaction so that you can deal with anyone, anywhere with total confidence.

We've also integrated with Xero's cloud based accounting solution, so whether you're a contractor, manufacturer or importer you can invoice for little or large jobs, with fast payouts when you're done. Check out our Shieldpay for Xero connected app here.

How do we do it? We verify the identity of both sides, funds are held securely in the Shieldpay vault and only released when both sides agree they’re happy. Plus, if anything doesn’t go to plan, we help out with any disputes.

Find out more about Shieldpay, or let us know your thoughts by leaving us a comment or chatting to us on Twitter, we'd love to hear from you! 



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