Can I run my Accountancy Firm using Macs?

Yes, you can. You can run your accountancy practice solely on Macs. But, before you rush out to buy a Mac, there are some considerations you need to know.

Apple computers are fantastic devices, they look great and are well built which you would expect for a device that costs anywhere from £1K upwards. The macOS operating system feels a little dated when compared to Windows 10 but is very stable, and rarely crashes and usually everything will work seamlessly, that was Steve Job’s vision.

What software do I need to run my accountancy business on a Mac?

At Kimbley IT several accountancy firms partner with us to look after their IT, giving us a great window into the software you will need:

  • Accounts Production Software

  • Bookkeeping Software

  • Payroll Software

  • Email Service

  • Document Management Service

You'll quickly find that traditional accountancy software is built for Windows. For example, you cannot run Sage 50 Accounts, IRIS Accounts Production, CCH Central and Digita on a Mac.

The answer in the past has been to run a costly and clunky hosted desktop. Essentially, this is a remote Windows computer that you connect to when you need to access the software you need to use, but can't install directly on macOS.

Luckily, there are many cloud base alternatives to the software we listed above, happily filling the space left by the dinosaurs who don't want to support macOS.

The software is generally cloud-based, and because of this, services can usually integrate with each other with a simple click of a button.

Also, you don't need to install software on your computer. You don't need to install complex updates at every new budget reading. The days of calling Sage support and waiting 40 minutes for the phone to be answered are well and truly over. Literally, in most cases, all you need is your Mac and Google Chrome to access the software.

You can see it is quite possible to run your accountancy practise solely from an Apple Macbook.

Now you have your essential software covered what do you do about emails, and document management?

This is where G Suite comes in. G Suite is Google's equivalent of Microsoft Office, but it is modern, good looking and fun to use. We see more and more business move to G Suite. Within the last 12 months, we helped three accountancy practises get their businesses running from G Suite.

With G Suite, you get the world most popular email services, over 1.5 billion people actively use it. With the business version, you get confidential email mode, fantastic spam protection, security features that prevent people send fake emails to your clients and more.

Google Drive offers you unlimited space to store all your business files. With search to find what you are looking for even from files you have scanned (it can read the contents) and Share Drives to organise your data.

But what is truly amazing with Google Drive is it can open and edit Microsoft Office files without the need for you to own Microsoft Office. We all know clients will continue to send you Word and Excel documents. With Drive, you can work on these files as you would if you had Microsoft Office installed on your Macbook.

Sometimes you may need to install some software because there is not a cloud-based version. A great example is BrightPay. BrightPay has a client that has to be installed, which expects to be connected to an old server, where it will save its files. Using Google Drive File Stream, we can trick BrightPay into thinking it is connected to a server - when, in fact, it is connected to Google Drive. Which turns out to be very useful if you have multiple users using BrightPay and needed to access the same files. Doing this has successfully avoided you needing to buy a complicated and expensive server!

So I can use Macs to run my accountancy business?

You sure can! And we can help you get up and running with the systems described above.