The demand for cloud accounting solutions for small businesses has grown significantly. Dozens of options can help business owners with payroll, invoicing, expense management and record keeping. Many of these software packages also integrate seamlessly with each other, making the accounting function of your business easier and less time-consuming.
The major software solutions, such as Intuit QuickBooks, can provide all-in-one solutions, while other options focus on just one subcategory of accounting, such as expense management or payroll. The breadth of available choices gives you the ability to select a suite of products that can be customized to suit your business and its specific needs.
Upgrading cloud accounting software is becoming essential for servicing your clients and employees. Software providers will likely start phasing out desktop solutions in the near future, so small businesses should start thinking about migrating now before they might be forced to later. Optimizing your cloud accounting platform can take time, but the benefits of making the switch are numerous.
Traditional desktop accounting software packages are limited only to what’s available within that specific suite of products. The rise of the cloud has led to the emergence of packages that address broad and specific accounting needs. Many of the newer cloud accounting products are also designed to integrate with each other. With the cloud, small businesses can choose the products that serve their unique needs instead of being limited by what’s offered in a single all-in-one solution.
Cloud accounting solutions also offer greater flexibility for a workforce that may be spread out across multiple locations. Whether you’re working at the office, at home or at the local coffee shop, the cloud gives you access to the same information and capabilities no matter where you are. Salespeople who happen to be traveling can submit expenses right away and be reimbursed quickly instead of waiting until they get back to the office. Speedy access to records and invoices gives your business the ability to address client concerns right away and preserve important relationships.
Secure Database and Server Management
Choosing a cloud accounting solution is a lot like choosing to save your money at a bank instead of at home in your closet. You have easy access to your money at home, but what happens if you’re out shopping and need to pay for something and don’t have cash on you? What if someone breaks into your house and steals your cash? Storing your money in a bank account means you can access it anywhere there’s a branch. If you need to pay for something, you can just swipe a debit card. Plus, you know that your money is protected by bank security and the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Cloud accounting works the same way. If you use a desktop solution, all of your data is probably just stored on that machine. Others may not have access to information if it’s just stored locally. If your computer crashes, you could lose vital company data. Using the cloud means that all of your company data is stored safely and is protected by the provider’s servers, security and data backup procedures. Plus, all of your business’s accounting data is available to any user with one simple login. Using the cloud makes running your company’s accounting functions easier by allowing for greater data security and flexibility.
One of the biggest advantages of cloud accounting is how dramatically it can save on the time spent on mundane accounting work. Record-keeping errors can be time-consuming and costly, but most cloud solutions can handle much of that work for you automatically behind the scenes.
Most products allow you to sync your ledger to your bank accounts. Bank statements can be reconciled automatically, sending alerts whenever there are problems. Expense solutions often provide the ability to scan receipts using a mobile phone, automatically code the expense in the ledger and set up the appropriate user for automatic approval. The quick approval process can also generate reimbursement as quickly as the next business day. Tax time also becomes less of a headache, since payroll solutions can handle withholding from regular paychecks and generate employee tax forms at the end of the year.
Since much of the line item reconciliation and coding is done automatically, it can also detect errors quickly. The failure to pay bills on time and collect on invoices is critical to the success of your business, and identifying issues right away can help save your business’s reputation and relationships with clients.