May 9, 2016

What is Computing in the Cloud?

Cloud computing is where computer applications are hosted on a remote server and accessed via the internet. Chances are that you are already using cloud computing without even realising it. Do you check your bank account balance on your phone? Have you sent an email using your tablet? These are all done using the cloud. There are numerous benefits for your business to getting onto the cloud and using online web apps to manage your business accounts. Here are the top 7 reasons why more and more small businesses are using cloud-based accounting software and why you should too.

1. The cloud is everywhere.
By using cloud-based accounting software like Xero, you can access all of the information you need anywhere that has internet access. Reconcile bank transactions, create quotes and send invoices all on the go via your smart phone or tablet.

2. The cloud is online.
Because the cloud is online, any software updates are done automatically. No need to worry about expensive licence fees to upgrade your software or, worse still, having out of date software that’s vulnerable to hacking. Cloud-based software is offered as a service (SaaS) which means you pay a monthly fee for access and any updates are included automatically.

3. The cloud is secure.
Cloud servers are generally pretty secure, with accounting software providers providing bank-level security for clients’ data. Compare this to traditional accounting software which is hosted on your local server or even your computer: your computer is hacked or the server crashes and someone has forgotten to do the back-up. All of your recent transactions are gone and you have to spend hours, if not days, trying to get it all back manually. Using cloud-based software minimises this risk.

4. The cloud can be shared.
By using cloud-based software, data can be shared with anyone you choose. Invite your accountant or bookkeeper to view your accounts to make preparation of BAS or tax a breeze. You can give staff access to their payroll or leave information. You have complete control over who has access to what data.

5. The cloud is interactive.
Cloud-based accounting software can provide you with real-time information about your business. See when your customer views an invoice. Get your latest bank and credit card transactions imported with ease. Having this kind of information at your finger tips means you have more control over your cashflow.

6. The cloud is an eco-system.
With more and more software moving to the cloud, you can integrate other systems with your accounting software to make managing your business a breeze. For example, Xero has over 400 add-on solutions for everything from inventory management and ecommerce, to payment solutions.

7. The cloud is flexible.
As your business grows, the amount of storage required to manage the increasing amount of data also grows. By using the cloud, you can easily grow your business without having to invest in expensive new IT systems. Should you be wanting to scale back your business, you can easily do that too.

You might be thinking, “This all sounds great but I’ve been using my current system for a long time and it will take too much time, money and effort to change”. That’s where we can help. We can provide assistance with finding the right cloud solutions for your business, getting you set up with your new accounting system and we’ll even provide training to help get you started. Contact us to find out more.

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