Why your business should invest in cloud accounting
Cloud software is software that runs on the internet, instead of living on your computer. If you’ve used Google Drive, Netflix, Dropbox or online banking, you’ve used the cloud. With programs like Microsoft Word, for example, the program is installed on your computer and your files and data are stored on your computer. With the cloud, your data and files live on an internet server instead and there’s nothing to install.
This may sound unconventional, but it’s great. Here’s why:
1. You can work from anywhere
You can use cloud software anywhere where you have an internet connection. Since it is not installed on your computer, you can use it on any device – mobile, tablet, desktop – anywhere in the world.
2. And so can everyone else
Different people – you, your payroll team, your financial advisor – can all access the software from different places to view and edit records. If a team member can’t get into the office, is away at a conference or wants more flexible working arrangements, productivity is unaffected. Data updates in real time, rather than every time you save, so you will all see up-to-the minute information – if someone else changes something while you’re logged in, you can see it happen.
You can create an account for each person who needs access, with different permissions – for example, you might want to allow your payroll team only to access and edit payroll information, not other financial details. Instead of printing documents for your accountant or sending them as an email attachment, which is comparatively less secure, you can just give him or her a login.
3. Security is tight
Security is very high on the cloud, for obvious reasons. One of the most attractive aspects of using it is that you don’t have to worry about losing any of your data – it’s all securely backed up in the cloud, so if your computer throws a paddy, you can still get your data from another machine. And it backs up automatically as you go – that nauseating feeling of your computer crashing before you have saved is a thing of the past. If your computer is stolen, no one can access your data unless they have a login to your online account. And where traditional software can go out of date, updates on the cloud are free and instantly available.
Your software should comply with or exceed the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – a standard that all companies which take card payments online need to meet.
4. It’s organised
No more lost invoices, missing receipts or “I know it’s in here somewhere” piles of paperwork that you never have time to sort through. You can photograph or scan documents so they’re stored online and find them easily whenever you need to.
5. It’s automatic
Manually creating and sending invoices every time a customer makes a purchase can take up so much time. Most cloud accounting software will help you to automate your invoicing so it’s quicker. It should also be able to calculate things for you like pay, PAYE and pension contributions, enable pay runs and generate reports.
Sound good? Chat to a cloud specialist, such as a Xero Accountant to learn more.