Question in full:
We currently manage our monthly accounts using GP Iris and find this manages finances on a day to day basis perfectly well. The problem we have is the difference in reporting between the cashbook accounting Iris produces and the profit and loss reporting offered by our accountants. Is the answer to change to QuicKbooks or Sage, which we have never used, or is there something else we can do?
A: Iris GP Accounts software is an extremely useful book-keeping package which was originally developed by GPs for use by GP practices. As a result, it is a very user friendly piece of software which has been specifically tailored for the industry. Many of our GP practice clients use Iris GP Accounts software and for pure bookkeeping purposes, it is second to none. Its comparative simplicity of use is a major selling point. Iris GP Accounts is primarily a cash based bookkeeping package which enables a practice to record their income and payments as they are received or made through the bank.
However, most practices’ accounts are prepared on an accruals basis, which means that adjustments are made to include income and payments not yet physically received or paid that relate to the same period. In order to prepare reports that are more like your final practice accounts, your 2 main options are as follows:
- Use the base data provided by Iris GP Accounts software and then add in adjustments and estimates for debtors; creditors and accruals using a spreadsheet, for example, much like your accountant would when they prepare your year end accounts.
- Use alternative accounting software that incorporates debtors, creditors and accruals postings, such as Sage, instead of using Iris GP Accounts software. Alternative accounts software packages, such as Sage, are generally more complicated to use than Iris GP Accounts software and more experience and knowledge of bookkeeping and accountancy is required in order to fully utilise these more powerful reporting tools.
Therefore if the resources are in place and your practice requires more detailed management accounts figures, then alternative accounts packages are certainly worth considering and could well prove beneficial. However, for many practices, the Iris GP Accounts software cannot be bettered purely for sector specific bookkeeping simplicity purposes. Your accountant should be able to help you assess your practice’s specific software and reporting needs and we offer this as a tailored service to our GP clients.