If you have an email account from Microsoft or Google, then Cloud based technology is not a new concept to you. The technology has finally hit the Accounting industry and is making a huge difference and changing the role of Accountants for years to come. The cloud provides great benefits that save time and money which is re-invested into your business.
Moving your accounting from "On-Premise" to "The-Cloud" can bring significant benefits. Not only is it cheaper, more secure but also accessible comparatively to the desktop counterpart. Below are the Top 5 reasons I think Cloud technology is the best thing after bread.
1. Accessible anywhere providing the required flexibility - Cloud accounting software allows the user to access their information securely 24/7 from anywhere all that is needed is an internet connection. You no longer have to buy multiple licenses or carry your laptop everywhere. As small business owners are out and about and now have access to the engine room anywhere. That quick report to see how your business is doing. Done.
2. Cloud Accounting is a time saver. This is taking the traditional method of Accounting and reversing it on it's head. Connecting your online banking to your cloud software package means the bank feeds from your credit card and bank card statements come directly through to the software system. The reconciliation process of accounting used to be a huge headache but with bank feeds your constantly synced to the bank so your reconciliation is never off. No data entry. More strategy.
3. Build your customized cloud software. In the past building your own customized solution would have been extremely expensive with hiring IT consultants and other experts. Products like Xero and Quickbooks online have an ecosystem of apps to choose from which are called "add-ons". Some add-ons are free while others carry a fee of a few extra bucks monthly. Thinking of automating your Accounts Receivable collection process...Yup there's a app for that!
4. Sharing and collaboration has been overhauled. In the old days the accountant would spend most of time "converting" a Simply Accounting file to a useable Quickbooks format. Once this conversion was completed the accountant would then move on to the actual year-end process. With the ability of sharing and collaboration the Accountant is now put in a position of having a conversation with clients during the year not just during the year-end. No more copying data to USB drives sharing is effortless.
5. Improved security. A lot of people object to the security element of financial information in the cloud. Actually cloud-hosted software is more secure than software hosted locally on your desktop or your own server. The data is stored in high security storage facilities and your data is encrypted meaning it is unreadable to hackers. Additionally, your data is backed up multiple times in a day in many different locations to help protect your data. If your laptop is stolen well that's okay just buy a new one because your data is safe. If you are comfortable using online banking, you should be equally comfortable using Cloud technology.
Essentially with Cloud technology you have the ability to compete with bigger companies on a technological level but get to keep that small business owner mindset. I think this marriage of the two principals will help grow businesses. Most businesses see Accounting as a necessary tax compliance, it is but Accounting is the business language and if you know the language well you can really start to realize the benefits the information can provide.
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- Written by: Jag Bath