Today, it is extremely hard to miss a line of business that can do without information technology. Businesses the world over are turning to the cloud to cut the cost of running different business functions. Cloud computing is fast becoming a necessity for businesses that want to stay on top of the competition.
And, not unless you have been burying your face underneath excruciatingly exhausting financial records – you must have noticed many organizations are embracing cloud-computing environment – so much so that by 2016, the average organization was using at least 13 cloud-based platforms.
But there are still quite a number of businesses that still using on-premise ERP software or accounting software. But, every client that wants to see their business survive the test of time, they need to take cloud computing seriously. And that includes embracing cloud-based accounting software systems. In fact, Gartner predicted that 40-50% of enterprises will have moved its core collaboration systems to the cloud by 2018.
Why is Cloud Accounting Software superior to a Traditional Method?
Imagine your town has been hit hard by the superstorm. There are fallen trees everywhere, and downed wires that supply electricity to the affected areas. Several buildings have been destroyed, including your offices. Unfortunately, you process payroll in-house. And that means your best accounting software is tucked in one of the desktops that sit there like a small heap of misery.
There is no way you are going to access the payroll system. And, possibly, all your data is gone. Forever. That is how dangerously ineffective traditional accounting systems can be.
What if your accounting system was cloud-based? All you needed would be an internet enabled device (laptop, iPad, or even a mobile phone), a source of power and access to the cloud-based payroll system. And, you will be good to go.
Also, read: Latest Accounting Software Trends to Watch Out
Other reasons why Cloud Accounting System superior?
You don’t need to keep a team of IT staff for regular maintenance of your systems. Once there is any security issue, the vendors will swiftly patch the bug, even before you noticed there was one.
Can be accessed anywhere, anytime
Cloud accounting software allows you to interact with your system at any time of the day, wherever you are. That’s a plus compared to the accounting package that is running on your 15 years old Windows XP computer tucked in the backroom.
Can be tinkered to accommodate any business model
The good thing about most SaaS offerings is that they can be built up modularly to suit your business. For example, if you are running a small business, some of the best small business accounting software includes Freshbooks, Bill, and Quickbooks, among others. But, for mid-sized enterprises, NetSuite, Intacct, and Xero are just some of the best accounting software cloud partners because they offer enterprise features and extensive configuration at affordable prices.
Easy to use
Gone are the torturous days of cryptic control keys combinations that offered a plate-full of key combinations and their respective functions. The cloud accounting system is designed with the user in mind – easy to use, and where every user interaction is limited to clicks.
Artificial intelligence makes it even more alluring
For example, application of machine learning supplier invoice processing send payments and in supply chain finance is changing the way businesses approach these tasks. Also, thanks to AI, new powerful data-driven features – for example, real-time analytics – are coming up at a rapid pace.
Cloud security is world class
There is a lot of misconception (and myths) about the security of the data housed on the cloud. But the truth is, cloud computing is one of the most secure and reliable ways to store your data.
- For example, unlike with the on-premise legacy systems, once your PC is stolen or crashes, you will not be worried about losing crucial data to criminals. Your data is on the cloud, as opposed to the hard disk of your PC. You can always access your data from wherever you are – as long you have the internet connection.
- You can always control the level of access to view your data. It is much more secure compared to emailing files or sending out a disk tape with your data on it.
- Cloud-based software vendors work harder to ensure high levels of privacy and security for your data and that of theirs. And to prevent data loss, these cloud solutions are forced to adhere to a myriad of controls around data encryption and disaster recovery.
Three things to keep in mind
There are issues though you need keep in mind. For example, if you are a CPA, you are a trusted advisor to your client. If your client approaches you regarding switching to cloud accounting software, here are some of the things you need to keep in mind:
- You have to do due diligence to find out the right solution that not only guarantees both you ease of access and safety but also allows for future growth. If they are a small fish, the best small business accounting software solution should not only offer more features than their business needs but should also allow for integration with other equally important tools.
- Cloud accounting software should offer you the ability to work more collaboratively with your clients. That way, you will no longer have to communicate through Excel, but your clients can always get real-time financial reports and any other updates.
- Go for a system that allows for continuous audit trails – that’s very important especially to ensure compliance with the regulations. It also makes it easy for you to track any mistakes and any other issues that might trigger an alarm to the federal auditors.
Unlike on-premise systems, cloud accounting software are a real blessing. The cloud offers you and your client’s ability to work on your documents from anywhere rather than having to do it at your office. Besides, it is cheaper to get started, and to maintain and can be configured to match the needs of different units in your client’s business.