Cloud accounting software is revolutionising small business accounting. With innovative new cloud software solutions, business owners now have a more reliable, more flexible and more efficient way of managing their accounts.
Unless you’ve set up an accountancy firm, the chances are that accounting is probably one of the least enjoyable tasks on your to do list. Using traditional small business accounting software takes time – something few business owners have – and can be a tedious task.
So, what if we told you there was a new way to do your accounts that would free up more of your time to do what you do best – running your business?
Cloud accounting software could be just the solution. Here’s our handy guide to everything you need to know about cloud software benefits for your business.
What is cloud accounting?
If you use internet banking, watch Netflix or are on social media, you are already using cloud technology. The cloud is a secure online storage platform that allows people to access their data and software anytime, anywhere.
Cloud technology has replaced hard drives as the place to store data. We are no longer dependent on the size of our hard drive and can store an unlimited amount of information in the cloud.
For small business accounting, this move away from the hard drive offers unlimited possibilities. You can work from wherever you want, safe in the knowledge that your data is securely protected and available in an instant.
What’s wrong with traditional small business accounting software?
You are completely reliant on your hard drive:
Your information is all stored in one place, but that one place is your computer’s hard drive, which is vulnerable to loss or damage.
Unless you regularly back-up your information – and, let’s be honest, who remembers to do this as often as we should? – if anything goes wrong, your data will be lost. If your computer breaks or is stolen you will also lose valuable data; in the event of a fire or flood you will lose your hard drive and more than likely your back-up hard drive, too. Not great for business…….
It offers little security:
Anyone with access to your computer – in the event of a theft, for example – will also have access to your confidential accounts.
Access is limited:
Only the owner of the computer has access to the data, so sharing information with colleagues is not a straightforward process. Any files that need to be shared, such as financial records or customer details, need to be downloaded onto a USB stick or emailed as attachments. Neither of these options is secure.
Backing-up data – if you remember to do so – can be an expensive and complicated procedure. Similarly, keeping your software regularly up-to-date is costly, time-consuming and can be difficult.
Traditional accounting software offers little customer support. When you do need help, again, it costs a lot of money and can be slow to resolve the problem.
What are the benefits of adopting cloud accounting?
Cloud accounting software is the perfect antidote to traditional, computer-based small business accounting software.
Here are some of the reasons why cloud accounting could work for your business:
1. Your data is available anytime, anywhere.
Having all your data stored in the cloud means you always have access to your accounts – and accountant – from any device that is connected to the internet, at a time and place that suits you.
2. It provides real-time data.
The cloud syncs automatically every time a change is made, meaning you always have the most up-to-date information at your fingertips. If a colleague enters new information it is immediately visible to everyone with access.
3. It’s more secure.
Cloud security is the best you can get. Yes, you’re reliant on a cloud service provider to store all your data, but the cloud is one of the most secure places to store information.
For cloud based software companies, security is watertight. It’s in their interests to make security of paramount importance. One breach, and their company goes down the pan. If you’re still unconvinced, just consider the security around internet banking. Your information is password-protected in the cloud. So, if your computer is stolen, your data cannot be accessed without the password.
If your computer breaks, or there is a fire, flood or other natural disaster, your data remains unaffected. It is stored safely off site so you can continue running your business from another device, as long as it is connected to the internet.
4. It offers more control and makes collaboration easy.
Cloud accounting software offers greater control over who has access to what data. You can invite key people to view specific data, but restrict them from seeing other confidential or sensitive information.
5. It’s always up to date.
The cloud allows software updates to be delivered quicker and more easily than with traditional software. Cloud accounting software updates automatically, for free, meaning you can be confident that you always have the latest features.
6. It’s cheaper.
With no upfront software costs, upgrades, maintenance or system administration fees, cloud accounting software is a cost-effective way for small businesses to manage their accounts. The cloud service provider manages all server failures and other glitches. By effectively outsourcing technical problems, cloud based software can save time and the money it would cost to call in an IT professional.
So, is cloud accounting right for my business?
If you’d like to free up more time and resources to do what you love best, whether that’s actually running your business or spending time with friends and family, then cloud accounting software is right for you. It’s flexible and allows you to work smarter. Want to do your taxes on the beach? The fluid data offered by cloud accounting makes that possible.
If you’d like to find out more about this new way of accounting for small businesses, then please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to talk through your options.