There is certainly a lot of talk about the ‘Cloud’. Whole industries seem to have sprung up recently which use the ‘cloud’ to deliver their services. Lots has been written about how this technology is changing the way we work. The accounting industry is no different; there is a quiet revolution going on as forward thinking accountants try to get the best possible business and accounting solutions for their clients.
In simple terms, the cloud refers to using the internet to access software and save material, rather than using traditional software which is downloaded onto a desktop or server. Companies using this technology can then move away from the restrictions of desk top computing.
So what are the benefits of using cloud based accounting packages and should I switch to a cloud based package?
One of the greatest advantages of switching to a cloud based package is that you get a real time view of your financial position. This can transform your ability to appraise your business and make better financial decisions. Traditionally, accounts have been prepared at the end of an accounting period. This could be at the end of the month, end of a quarter or end of a year. Cloud based packages are updated in real time, often with live bank feeds so that you always have the most up to date view of your business. The system will show how much you have invoiced, who owes you money, who you will have to pay this month…all at the touch of a button.
Your business data is available anytime from any device with an internet connection, meaning you are not tied to a desktop or, indeed, your office. This greatly improves flexibility, as you pick up business updates on the move on your phone or tablet.
One of the big risks of paper records is the risk of loss, theft or fire damage. Moving your data to the cloud means that it is automatically backed up, significantly reducing the risk of loss.
Cloud technology enables straightforward multi-user access, which means you can have several people accessing the same data at the same time. It is particularly useful if your accountant also has access to your records because you can then review accounts in real time.
Cloud accounting systems are also saving users time and money – unlike traditional accounting software, there are no expensive upfront licence fees or costly version upgrades to pay. Most providers operate a tiered pricing model which flexes according to the size of your business and the services that you need.
The future for cloud accounting is also looking bright. There are lots of ‘add ons’ on the market now which can be purchased and added separately to your cloud package to give you even greater functionality and better user experience.
At Your Finance Team we are certified advisors for Xero, which means we can install and train you on this market leading cloud based accounting package. Call us today 01737 241597