Cloud accounting has proven increasingly popular in recent years. It allows companies to store data off-site on remote servers in a bid to save time and money. There are plenty of cloud-based software options out there, each with various features that will suit different business models.
Some technical aspects of installing and using the software can be complicated so manual assistance may still be required. If you’re unsure of anything, a professional accountancy firm will be able to advise which programme is best suited and how it will operate long term.
What is Cloud-Based Accounting?
Instead of storing accountancy data on an internal spreadsheet system, everything is held off-site on remote servers. By setting up an account and password, only your employees will have access to this data which can also be automated if necessary.
As you’d expect, cloud services come at an added cost depending on the service needed. Subscription packages are popular as in most cases they are usage-based. Likewise, you can add certain features tailored to your business requirements. These could include:
- Sending invoices and notes
- Adding payroll details
- Reconciling bank transactions
- Managing VAT online
- International payments
Most cloud accounting software comes with mobile apps where you can manage your accountancy data on-the-go. There are hundreds of additional apps that can assist with tasks such as invoicing, time management and currency conversion.
There are various reasons for moving your accounts to a cloud-based system, perhaps the main one being security. A system crash won’t erase all your files as the information is stored on the cloud-server. Similarly, you’re also protected against fire damage and theft.
It also provides greater cohesion within your organisation, allowing staff to access the same information online. This is especially useful if your business comprises of various branches that work from the same figures. Cross-department efficiency will be greatly improved.
Cloud software is automated so the system will be updated as and when information is received. This makes real-time reporting far more reliable than with a manually-updated spreadsheet.
As everything is done online, your own storage network won’t be affected. Any updates will be provided by your cloud-service provider, reducing hassle and the further expense of installing new software on individual desktop computers.
When it comes to conversing with clients, you can explain what the numbers actually mean and identify problems with greater clarity. This helps you advise on business decisions and prepare growth strategies, resulting in higher customer satisfaction and increased profits for your company.
Is Cloud Accounting Worth It?
In an increasingly online-dominated world, the move to cloud accounting makes sense. As human error is reduced, input efficiency will improve and boost overall productivity. There’s less need to worry about security, whilst installations and updates will be taken by the service provider.
However, with many cloud-based packages available online, it’s recommended to shop around before making a decision. For further advice, a professional accountant can point you in the right direction. You can speak to an accountant at DLR Accountants for advice on this.
Cloud accountancy is one way that accountants are going paperless. But there are potential pitfalls that need to be avoided.