Then welcome to cloud accounting! While cloud accounting has been around for a while, I have met countless people recently that have no idea what it really is. So here are the basics. And if it doesn’t excite you (as it does me!), at least you’ve learned your one new thing for the day!
What IS cloud accounting?
- Accounting software that is hosted on a remote server.
- Software that is accessed through the internet.
- Data stored on a remote server instead of your local computer.
What are the BENEFITS of cloud accounting?
- Accessibility. You can access you financial information from any computer and most popular devices, from anywhere you’re connected to the internet.
- Multiple users, single source of information. Users from any location can access the same information without sending files back and forth. This is particularly useful when you have users and trusted advisors at different locations.
- Software is automatically updated. No need to install and maintain software on individual computers. No problems related to users having different versions of software.
- Data security. Data is stored on remote servers which often use bank-level security, similar to when you bank online. Often, the data center’s security is much better than your own.
- Since no data is stored on your local computer, there’s no chance of losing valuable information. Backups and disaster recovery are automatically included.
- Add-on applications. Many applications are now built for the cloud, and are built to integrate with other cloud solutions. You can pick and choose which applications best suit your needs instead of getting a whole system and using only part of it.
- Initial capital expenditure is less, as the costs are spread over time.
- The software solution is generally very scalable. Adding users and growing your business offerings does not require additional software implementation.
Are you a GOOD FIT for cloud accounting?
- You prefer to work at home, the office, or on the road.
- You have other users or trusted advisors (e.g., CPAs, bookkeepers) that need access to the accounting data.
- You often work on different computers or mobile devices.
- You have a reliable, fast internet connection.
- You’re comfortable letting someone else take care of systems administration.
- You prefer to save money by eliminating servers and IT infrastructure.
- You understand that the time saved will be worth the monthly cost.
When are you possibly NOT A GOOD FIT for cloud accounting?
- You are the only person that works on the books, and you work in only one location at all times.
- You do not have a reliable, high-speed internet connection.
- You tend to make a lot of modifications to your software to suit your individual needs.
- You’re uncomfortable with another company keeping your accounting file.
- You prefer to pay an upfront fee plus maintenance fees and upgrade costs instead of a monthly fee.
- You tend to call the support line frequently. Some cloud accounting software companies offer email only support, with limited phone support.
- You have a large in-house accounting department using highly tailored software.
Does cloud accounting sound like it could fit the bill for any of your office management challenges? Want more information on the specific ways cloud accounting could help your firm? Drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll unchain you from that desk!