What are the Benefits of Cloud Accounting Software?
Your old, outdated desktop accounting system. Using it yourself is painful, time consuming and you almost need to be an accountant to operate the system. If you ship your records off to your accountant to handle, you have no visibility into how your business is performing on a real-time basis. It’s a lose-lose situation, right?
Cloud accounting software hits two birds with one stone and makes your accounting easier than ever while spurring off a host of other benefits to boot. Read below to see why.
Reasons why the Cloud Rocks:
1. Anywhere, anytime access to your financial data
One of the main benefits to moving to the cloud is the ability to be able to access your financial records wherever you have an internet connection. Modern-day business owners like you are always on the go and always on the move. You should be able to invoice on the go or view various reports on the road, not just at your office.
2. Automation like never before
Thought your accounting always took you ages to get done? Good news, the cloud is making things a whole lot easier through automation. Create direct connections with your bank or credit cards so that the software can download your business transactions automatically, thereby elinimating much of the manual data entry. Go one step further and create bank rules which will automatically categorize transactions as they come in which reduces your job to the click of a button. And this is just the beginning…
3. Closer collaboration with your team and your accountant
When your accounting software is centralized in one location, it’s hard to keep everyone on the same page. First off, there is a major disconnect between you and your accountant. Secondly, members on your team that may need access to this system to fulfill certain tasks (let’s say to create draft invoices) won’t be able to do so unless in the office. As things are trending more towards working in a virtual environment, collaboration suffers. When in the cloud, everyone sees the exact same numbers at the exact same time, and get the job done no matter the location.
4. Zero compatibility issues
On desktop accounting systems, users need to be on the same version of software if files are being shared back and forth. If not, compatibility issues will ensure leading to headaches and unecessary wasted time. Cloud based systems are always on the same version.
5. Automatic backups
The absolute worst thing that can happen would be for you to have a neat set of reconciled books to all of a sudden lose them to hard drive malfunction. Sure, you could have an external hard drive to back up your data, but wouldn’t it be easier if you had the piece of mind that this data was constantly being backed up in real time? The cloud give you this piece of mind. On the flip side, it’s also good to always verify the accounting software providers’ disaster recovery plans to make sure that they’re taking the proper precautions as well.
6. Improving accounts receivable collections
Chasing after clients for collections sucks. Your cloud accounting system can help. Create invoices in seconds. Email them out directly to your clients. Hookup payment processors like Paypal or Stripe to your cloud system and let your customers pay you directly from there screen. Stop waiting weeks for checks to come in the mail. For small businesses, cash is king and speedy collections is just another one of the benefits of cloud accounting.
7. Ease of use
You no longer need to be an accountant to know how to use your accounting software. Cloud systems have been designed for the business owner to use and thus ease of use is for the non-accountant is a critical component for these systems. Yes, you will need to learn it. And yes, there is a learning curve (some steeper than less depending on the system), but this is just about the same for any tool or app out there.
8. Customizable approach to your accounting
Lastly, and probably most importantly, the real power of the cloud is the connectness you get with it. The cloud has this ability to connect people, software and devices. While your cloud system may provide you with your core accounting functions, every business is different in the way they handle their accounting. As a result, some systems have a marketplace of 3rd party apps (just like your iPhone) that will integrate within it, which helps automate certain parts of your accounting process.
Have inventory and a Shopify account? Connect this to your accounting system to avoid double entry. Do your staff submit expense reports to you? Yup, there’s an app for that which connects to your cloud accounting system as well. There are 100’s upon 100’s of options here. The cloud is now letting you approach your accounting in a more modular, customizable way.
Above are just a few reasons why we believe you should move your books to the cloud. The advantages are just too numerous. But there is one last consideration that also needs to be made.
The Trend is Cloud
There are tons of reasons why you should move your accounting to the cloud. Is the cloud for every type of business out there? Absolutely not. But for the vast majority, there’s no reason why your accounting shouldn’t be cloud-based. So say goodbye to your old clunky desktop accounting system or dreaded Excel spreadsheets and say hello to the beautiful future of your accounting.