5 Great Reasons to Switch to Cloud Based Accounting
From tech experts to small business insiders, everyone is talking about how 2016 is the year that businesses are finally making the jump in numbers 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 accounting is no different.
Change is hard in business and with accounting being one of the last to hold on to desktop, many businesses are still trying to make the decision whether or not to make the 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 desktop and onto the cloud.
The top reason why businesses have shied away from cloud-based accounting is because so far cloud based accounting has cost the same - if not more - than desktop. The truth of the matter is that in 2016 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 on a monthly basis, 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.
Cloud storage, safety and security also remove the administrative and support costs often associated with 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.
2. Access your books from any device, anywhere.
Gone 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.
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 can write orders directly into the system. Shipping 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, it also improves the accuracy of your record keeping. Being able to log in from anywhere at anytime 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.
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.
Desktop accounting isn't dead, but it may be in its twilight as the smart phones, mobile devices and wifi are taking over the planet and offering increased freedom to roam. The variety of operating systems and device types is growing every day. Being independent from changes in hardware offers a 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 2016.