When it comes to managing your accounts, small business owners need a user-friendly, affordable and flexible system. Any accounting software will provide the basic applications, but cloud accounting packages streamline the process, helping you run your business more smoothly.
So, what is Cloud Accounting?
Back in the days when computers were so big they filled an entire room, someone had a brilliant idea. Why not make the power of a mainframe machine accessible to users of other terminals? That was 1950-something and the genius concept behind cloud computing was born.
Over the following decades, computers got smaller, virtual machines were born, and computers arrived in the home.
Fast forward to 1997 - cloud computing arrived with the delivery of software and applications over the Internet. Developments in mobile technology, touchscreens, processing power, encryption and cheaper bandwidth led to the birth of cloud storage services. Services which could be accessed and updated on demand and for a fraction of the cost of existing software options.
And there was no looking back.
So, what are the benefits of cloud accounting for small businesses?
Your data is actually more secure in the cloud than anywhere else. Automatic backups online ensure your data can’t be lost – unlike on your desktop which is vulnerable to theft, as well as damage or virus infection.
Secure data sharing
Your data is even safe when you share it. And it’s incredibly easy to share your information with your accountant via the cloud. Your accountant can easily access your data online, without having to download files and spend time waiting for documents to send.
Easy to use
The 9-5 business world often doesn’t work with the 24/7 lifestyle of a small business owner. Cloud-based accounting, such as QuickBooks, allows you the flexibility to take care of business easily, anywhere and anytime. You just need an Internet connection. The freedom to work from home and still be able to take care of your accounts makes your life so much easier. What’s more, your invoices and reports will look highly professional, reflecting well on your business.
There’s no need to invest in expensive infrastructure. All you need is a monthly subscription to your online accounting software, which quickly pays for itself in time saved. You can even upgrade this whenever you like at the click of a button.
Since you no longer need to input data manually, you immediately eliminate human error. Your software automatically uses your data to prepare reports, such as cash flow, tax calculations, or profit & loss statements.
Software upgrades and data backups are all in the hands of your supplier. You don’t even need to think about that as it happens automatically, freeing up your time to focus on other, more important things.
Integrating other applications
What is really cool about cloud accounting, is that other cloud-based applications, such as Google Apps (for email, calendars, document-sharing and storage), an be easily integrated using an Application Programming Interface (API) to extend your software’s core functionality. This ability to integrate other products can save you time from not having to re-enter data and information.
Last, but by no means least. One of the very best things about cloud accounting is the ability to tie in your bank, card, and line of credit statements directly into your system. It eliminates virtually all expense entry. You can even set it up to pay your invoices automatically.
Try it for yourself
Cloud accounting really can transform your life, taking the stress and the admin burden out of your accounts. You’ll have so much more time to focus on your business. Why not start with a free 30-day trial to QuickBooks.
We hope you’ve found this article explaining the benefits of cloud accounting useful. If you want a software package that will take the stress out of your day-to-day accounting, QuickBooks is the solution for you.