How the Cloud Makes Money Management Easier
Now that we’ve had a chance to learn about how cloud-enabled services can help your business – see Making Sense of “The Cloud” and Office in the Cloud – it’s time to dig a little deeper into the tools that make the cloud really come alive for your business.
If you’re a business owner, you know how important it is to keep your company’s accounting up to snuff, and how challenging that can be. If this is something your business struggles with, you may want to consider Web-based tools. Also known as cloud services, this software resides on the Internet and can be accessed using any Web browser, unlike traditional accounting software that’s locked into your desktop PC.
If you are willing to consider moving from a desktop-based package, you’ll find there are numerous advantages, including:
Easy access: Using any Web browser, managers can get real-time financial information, and staff can input their work hours and expenses. Suppliers and vendors can submit and receive invoices instantly, and it’s automatically tracked. You can also reduce or eliminate paperwork. Some systems even allow your business to get paid through the web using electronic payment systems. This is handy for your customers and cuts down on the complexity of manual payment by cheque.
Data security is usually handled for you: The service provider usually manages your data and its security, so you don’t have to worry about backups or guarding it from prying eyes. Giving up control of your data requires an initial leap of faith, so choose a provider with a good reputation for security. Companies that provide cloud accounting software trade on their reputation for securing your data, so it’s a high priority for them.
Low (or no) up-front costs: Because the software runs as a service in the cloud, you pay a subscription fee as opposed to buying it upfront. This amortizes the cost over time and removes the annual spike in expenses when it comes time to upgrade to the next version.
No more software patch installation: As with any application, there will be bugs at times. To fix this with traditional software, you need to download a patch and run an update. That takes time, and could cause potential conflicts with other applications. With software in the cloud, the publisher patches any software bugs and introduces new features on the server side. So you never have to worry about having the latest version of the software because it’s done for you.
The Bottom Line
Accounting in the cloud can provide significant advantages in terms of time savings, productivity and peace of mind, so it’s worth a look. If you’re interested in reviewing a few different options to see what cloud accounting software can do for you business, have a look at Wave Accounting, a free accounting app and FreeAgent, a subscription-based solution.
Have you begun utilizing cloud-based services for your business? What advantages, efficiencies or learnings have you discovered as a result? We’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback in the comments section below.