According to a YouGov survey, over one third (38%) of senior decision makers in UK small businesses are in the cloud – using one or more Internet-based applications (excluding email and online phone services) to help run their business.

Personally, in the real world I reckon this is a bit of an exaggeration, but that’s not to say cloud computing isn’t taking off in a big way.

According to the survey, the shift to online for core business applications including online document, customer and financial management will see high growth percentages over the next 12 months. And a small but growing number of small businesses, almost one in 10 (9%), say they would like to use online services for all their main business applications.

Tying in with the pro-online survey of 500 UK small businesses—which was commissioned by Intuit UK by the way—is the launch of QuickBooks Online, a new product tailored for the UK market. Designed to provide easy online money management for small businesses and available on Mac and PC, QuickBooks Online has been designed to help businesses do their books, automatically backs up their data and offer secure access from anywhere.

Core features include the ability to create and manage invoices, track cash flow (including sales and expenses tracking), manage VAT returns (automatically track VAT and generate VAT returns), and support for multiple currencies. QuickBooks Online securely stores all financial data on central servers rather than on a computer, protecting it from computer damage, loss or theft. The service also backs up data automatically every 2 hours.

QuickBooks Online is available in three versions in the UK, including:

  • QuickBooks Online Simple Start – Design and create professional invoices, keep an eye on cash flow and have one convenient place for your customer data. £9 per month for one user plus accountant.
  • QuickBooks Online Essentials – Generate VAT returns with one click; handle multiple currencies, powerful reporting tools. £19 per month for three users plus accountant.
  • QuickBooks Online Plus – Plan ahead with budgeting and customisable reports. £29 per month for 5 users plus accountant.

There are no contracts, it is free for the first 30 days and small business owners can cancel the service at any time. Customers who sign up by 4th May can trial the service free for 60 days. Check out the full range of pricing options