Cloud accounting, also referred to as “online accounting”, serves the same function as accounting software that you would install on your computer, except it runs on servers and you access it using your web browser, over the Internet.
When using Cloud Accounting your data is securely stored and processed on servers—or “in the cloud”. This means you are able to access your business financials from anywhere and using any device, as long as you are connected to the internet.
In addition to the flexibility of accessing your data from anywhere, servers are actively monitored and maintained. They usually have a much higher level of security than many small business networks and staff laptops.
There are currently several Cloud based products on the market including;
- MYOB AccountRight Live
- Reckon Online (previously known as Quickbooks)
There are several benefits to moving your accounting software to an Online, Cloud Based product.
- You can see at a glance your entire bank feeds, sales data and invoices.
- You can set up the system so that your bank and credit card information is fed into some Cloud products on a daily basis. The effect of this is a significant time saving in data entry and bank reconciliation time. Now it is possible for many businesses to reconcile their bank account within 5 minutes on a daily basis and know that the figures are completely up to date at all times
- No more backing up files and sending to the Accountant. They can access your Cloud Based data with your authorization.
- No need to run constant upgrades, the supplier looks after all of that. You can be certain that you are always using the latest version.
- You can be On-site, raise an invoice for a client and email it to them, while also saving it in your cloud based data file.
- Data security concerns around cloud accounting are minimal, and there are significant data security benefits too.
- Business owners should be more worried about losing their financial data through computer crashes, or natural disasters.
- Many business owners are guilty of forgetting to backup their desktop accounting system on a regular basis. Most Cloud based systems constantly back up the data entry so that loss of information is minimal.
- You can access your accounting information anywhere, anytime on any device. This means that you can be in your office, on the job, at your kids’ school swimming carnival, at the beach, on holidays, overseas on business or pleasure and be able to check your business figures
- Several users can be using the file at once for some cloud based products
- Your accountant/bookkeeper can access your data file (if authorised) in order to prepare accounts or answer your questions.
- Allows for real time collaboration with your accountant and bookkeeper. There has never been a better time to utilise the skills and advice of a good accountant who has access to your accounting data every day of the year.
It is important that if you are interested in a Cloud Based accounting program that you get some help when setting up.
Sitting down with your accountant or bookkeeper now to install a system and get it set up correctly from the beginning will save you stress and time next financial year end.
Please contact our office if you would like some further information on Cloud Accounting.