5 Great Reasons To Switch To Cloud Based Accounting
From tech experts to small business insiders, everyone is talking about how 2021 is the year that businesses are finally making the jump in numbers to cryptocurrency. And to cloud-based accounting. Desktop software is quickly becoming a thing of the past and not just in accounting. Major software companies like Microsoft, Adobe and others are embracing the cloud and the accounting field is no different.
Change is hard in business and with accounting being one of the last to hold on to the desktop, many businesses are still trying to make the decision whether or not to leap to the cloud. Here are the Top 5 questions most accountants are concerned about, followed by some arguments for why this might be the year that accounting gets off the desktop and onto the cloud.
So without further ado, let's take a look.
The top reason why businesses have shied away from cloud-based accounting is that so far cloud-based accounting has cost the same - if not more - than desktop. The truth of the matter is that in 2021 it will save your company money. Instead of paying a high flat fee for desktop software that will eventually lead to costly and often painful upgrades or might be outgrown by your business, most cloud-based accounting software is paid monthly, giving you the flexibility to grow or contract the number of users and features you pay for. Upgrades and updates become virtually irrelevant as they are automatically incorporated by your provider as they become available. And as a bonus, you need to update all your computers at once if you don't want to run into compatibility issues.
Cloud storage, safety and security also remove the administrative and support costs often associated with the desktop, LANs and even the devices needed for data entry. Your business won't need fast computers or expensive servers to run the software. You simply need a device that has a browser and an internet connection.
Furthermore, some cloud-based solutions, like ZarMoney, have a FREE trial or even FREE licence for 1 user, which is perfectly fitting for a small business owner managing his accounts.
2. Access Your Books From Any Device, Anywhere
Done are the days of an accountant being tethered to a desk or even hardwired to your network, but what about having to be connected to the same personal devices? Hard drives crash. Laptops can be stolen and even lost. As mentioned above, cloud-based software only requires a computer with a browser and an internet connection to access your data. This means anyone who needs access can log on at home, at another office or from any hotel room around the world. They can log in with any device including laptops, tablets and smartphones. Not only does this make running your business from outside the office easier but it also gives you flexibility within the office because you can log on from any computer in the office.
This functionality is accessible from anywhere, from your grandpa's house, from your garage and your holidays in New Zealand. Keep your business in check from every business trip you will be obliged to do.
3. Increased Operating Efficiency
Not only does the cloud afford you easier access to your business's financial records, but it can create greater efficiency by simply providing more access. More robust accounting systems can easily be utilized by a wider variety of employees - from accounts receivable to sales to warehouse and more - each with their own set of permissions that allow different access privileges. Sales department can write orders directly into the system. Shipping department might only need to pull up orders and print packing slips while your accountant might have higher level permissions to oversee the entire operations financial picture. Many businesses will reserve the highest administrator rights for the most trusted senior management positions, giving you the piece of mind, knowing YOU control every aspect of your bottom line, all while creating a better 'team' environment that empowers your staff.
Since access is so much easier, you will find that you and your team can update cloud-based software as your transactions happen, not when they return to their cubicle or office. Not only does this improve efficiency, but it also improves the accuracy of your record keeping. Being able to log in from anywhere at any time gives you and your employees more freedom to be where you need them while entering data, instead of having to enter data where you might not really need them.
And let's face it, time is money, especially for the small business owner who often has to deal with everything by himself as his team is still very small, still growing. Imagine how many other opportunities you will be able to take with all that time saved not having to manage administration, taxes, paperwork of your business.
5. Safety And Security
Keeping your financial data secure is probably one of the top imperatives when it comes to running a business. Cloud-based software makes it easier than ever to stay on top of any potential threats. Gone are the frustrations associated with backing up your data, redundancies and corrupt databases. Gone is the need to be your own security expert dealing with firewalls, networking and server security designed to keep your data safe. As your business grows, that can be a costly expense.
Cloud software offers physical security where your data will be stored in a safe environment by experts, rather than on your own desktop or internal server. Security systems that employ encrypted connections prevent thieves and hackers from accessing your financial data when it is stored safely on the cloud.
How Safe Are My Data In the Cloud?
Generally, cloud servers are quite well secured, among basic safety measures that cloud companies implement we can find:
- Advanced firewalls. Not just any firewall, but advanced systems checking for data packets, examine the source and destination data and also verify packet integrity.
- Intrusion detection. It can happen - intruder breaks through first lines of defence and gets into the system. That is why there are in place intrusion detection systems, which identify when someone is trying to break in and tracks odd user behaviour that might be an intruder. When a user is evaluated as a treat, he is either evicted or put into Cloud Prison, where he waits till he is properly verified as an actual real user.
- Event logging. In case it is already too late to stop the intruder, it is important to proceed with the analysis of the system, see what happened, how did it happen, and to release safety patch to patch the path. This seems like a far-too-late solution, but it happens quite often that intruder chooses for his first attack so-called poking attack. This attack is meant only to poke defence systems to see whether a full-scale attack would be possible or not. Even logging also serves as a database of all odd user behaviour, the user needs and helps improving security systems by evaluating user behaviour patterns.
- Internal firewalls. In the cloud, similar to other systems, are layers of access, where some accounts may access and some not. Since some attacks manage to penetrate the first less secure level, the internal firewall is meant to prevent the attacker from getting deeper into the system causing more damage.
- Encryption. Encryption is fancy applied math applied to a secure system. Encryption works in a way that every user gets generated (literally calculated) key. This key is then applied to open up the file by calculating its way through the encrypted file. When an attacker steals file that has been encrypted, and couldn't steal pattern, formula which would calculate the file data, he will end up with worthless mesh of characters. Encryption complexity rapidly increases, and as of now, there is standard encryption of 256-bits. The most advanced being AES encryption system. To break this system (to calculate all possible outcomes) it would take, to the most powerful supercomputer in the world (MilkyWay-2) a couple of million years.
- Physical security. Every modern data centre is being monitored by a surveillance system and has on-spot guards to take care of possible in-person intruders, secure data in case of a natural catastrophe or during unexpected events, like a fire attack.
- Insurance. It can happen that this all will fail. What then? In most of the developed world data, centres must be insured. So when there is already data breach, you should be compensated for every misfortune this brings.
Desktop accounting isn't dead, but it may be in its twilight as the smartphones, mobile devices and wifi are taking over the planet and offering increased freedom (and for business owners often obligation) to roam. The variety of operating systems and device types is growing every day. Being independent of changes in hardware offers flexibility that was not offered even just a few years ago.
Even the smallest of businesses can benefit from taking a serious look at making the leap to the cloud in 2021. Try it out with ZarMoney for FREE today. No credit card details required.