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Interactive Diagnostic


13 The Courtyard
Timothy's Bridge Road
Warwickshire CV37 9NP

01789 294484



7-8 Stratford Place

0207 495 0304


Why cloud accounting?


The move to cloud accounting and HMRC’s mission to make tax digital is undoubtedly one of the biggest improvements in accounting in decades. It can seem a little daunting at the outset, but the opportunities of working in the cloud are huge. Moving your accounts to the cloud can improve operations, reduce stress, and help you build for the future. 

We’ve been working with the cloud for around 10 years now. We were early adopters, because as accountants and business advisors, we could see the hugely positive impact cloud would have for our clients. 

We’re going to dive into just why cloud accounting is so positive, plus give you a taster of how we work with our clients to deliver the full benefits of a move to cloud. 

What is cloud accounting? 

Before a move to cloud, bookkeeping and annual accounts are typically managed via software or spreadsheets that are stored on desktop. This means limited access, as you need the physical device or USB where the files are stored to be able to open the accounts. 

There are also potential risks for password breach and security issues, while outdated or duplicate versions can cause a real headache with reconciling. And then there’s the ever-increasing need for storage space to retain your data. In short, desktop-based accounting isn’t ideal. 

With the cloud, the whole process is moved online. All data is stored virtually, meaning you can log in any time, anywhere, on any device. Your business’ data is always up to date, you can give multiple people access, and you can rest easy that your data is safely stored and encrypted. 

Cloud accounting software 

The primary cloud software that we recommend to our clients is Xero. We trust Xero wholeheartedly, and so do our clients. Xero and Grenfell James Associates have been working together for over 12 years, and the Xero software just gets better and better. 

But Xero is just the beginning. And that’s where it gets really exciting. There are now hundreds of apps that link to Xero to improve your business and the way you run it. From project management apps to direct debit automation, we can help you pick out the perfect blend of apps to make your business fly. 

Common apps we implement include Dext – software which allows you to capture and store receipts, bills, invoices and statements. Or there’s Futrli, which helps to simplify and improve cashflow modelling and forecasting. Another is GoCardless, which makes collecting and reconciling direct debit payments a breeze with automation. 

What are the benefits of cloud accounting? 


  • Access your data anywhere. Cloud provides the comfort of knowing your accounts are accessible from any device. It also means we can log in remotely to assist you with any queries or problems, and offer our advice immediately.
  • The latest data, always. With all information stored in one secure place on the cloud, the data you see is always the latest. Never have to worry about historic versions of your accounts again. 


  • Better business decisions. With your finger on the pulse of your business’ day to day accounts, you can make informed strategic KPIs and decisions much faster. Drive your business forward and plan for growth. 
  • Empower your team. Giving the right people access to the accounts can unite your employees. Allow your management team to see real-time financial information, and share results with the wider company with ease.  


  • Make life easier. Automate everyday business tasks to ease the pressure on your team and yourself while improving your business operations. Free up time to spend on your business strategy and future plans. 
  • Improve your profitability. Cloud accounting allows you to make more of your data, including accurate quoting, profit margin analysis, and improved cashflow processes. Cloud makes bookkeeping a beneficial and informative part of your business. 

How to move to cloud accounting  

Are you thinking those benefits sound fantastic, and wondering what the first step is? This is the really exciting part – we can look after the whole process for you! Here’s a bird’s eye view of our process: 

Step 1: Understand 

As business advisors and accountants, it’s really important that we get a full understanding of your problems and goals. Together, we can build a foundation for growth for your business. 

Step 2: Review 

We’ll do a thorough review of your current software and set up. This is where we check everything is up to date and reconciled, which will make the move to the cloud seamless. 

Step 3: Plan 

We’ll make a plan for moving your accounts to the cloud, and confirm all costs with you before we begin. Our quote will vary based on the software you currently use, and the number of years’ data we’re transferring. We’ll also recommend any apps to link to your Xero account, based on our understanding of your goals. 

Step 4: Transfer 

We use Move my Books to transfer your data from the old software to Xero. We’ll then carry out another review to make sure the data has moved across correctly and is ready to use. We’ll also set up any additional apps we’ve agreed to install. 

Step 5: Handover 

You’re now on the cloud! From here, we can hand everything back over to you to manage. We’re happy to provide training for you and your team to get you up to scratch with cloud bookkeeping. Alternatively, we can manage your bookkeeping and app integration going forwards. 

So there you have it, a whirlwind tour through a move to cloud accounting. If you have any questions, do get in touch – we’re here to help you realise your business’ ambitions. 

Grenfell James Technology Adoption Index

How does your business perform against others adopting financial tech? Find out with our interactive diagnostic:


How does your business receive invoices?


Invoices are mainly received in paper form


Invoices are mainly received by email


Invoices are emailed then automatically forwarded to a designated mailbox


How are purchase invoices processed?


Invoices are entered manually


Invoices are attached to manually raised invoices


Automated software (e.g. ReceiptBank, 1Tap, HubDoc etc) collates invoices


How are accounts processed?


Using Excel/paper-based


Using Computer-based, offline software


Using cloud-based accountancy software


How often is business data revised?


Data is updated annually


Data is updated quarterly


Data is updated monthly or more often


How is banking updated for your business?


Banking is updated manually


Banking is updated by imports


Banking is updated via a live feed


How are bank payments made?


Bank payments are manual


Bank payments are made using bulk imports


Bank payments are made directly via accounting software


How are bank receipts reconciled?


Receipts are chased and reconciled manually


Receipts are chased and reconciled automatically


A third-party platform is used to chase debts and collect fees


How often are management reports produced?


No reports are provided


Reports are provided but often too late to be valuable


Reports are automated with real-time information

Score 8-12:

Curious Exploration

Your financial technology phase is Curious Exploration

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Switching accountancy systems may seem like an upheaval, but can be much more straightforward than most businesses imagine. From talking to our clients, they have found moving from paper invoicing and desktop-based accounting software to the cloud and apps quickly makes the transition process a worthwhile investment of time. Digital accounting solutions bring in streamlined processes, up-to-date business data and greater confidence in the accuracy of information when making financial decisions.

Grenfell James works with your team to fully assess the needs of your business and minimise the impact of any transitions for solutions we recommend.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 13-19:

Measured Discovery

Your financial technology phase is Measured Discovery

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

Once cloud accountancy software is in place, there’s still plenty of scope to improve your accountancy processes and make sure your business is maximising the benefits of adopting a digital accounting solution. Grenfell James assesses each business to understand how any implemented solutions are being used, identify areas for improvement and the needs of the business overall to support your business goals and achieve success.

Our team of experts can discuss a range of time-saving automation and get different apps and cloud-based solutions talking to create and manage a digital accountancy eco-system to help your business grow.

Find out more about App Advisory


Score 20-24:

Bold Innovation

Your financial technology phase is Bold Innovation

% of respondent businesses are in this phase too.

You know the benefits of accounting technology and the impact it can have on your business goals. If you want to take it a step further, our team can conduct a systematic review of your processes, apps and business goals to ensure your digital accountancy ecosystem is keeping pace with the changing needs of a growing business.