What is cloud accounting software, and how will it benefit your business?
Do you remember being told “Get your head out of the clouds”? How funny it is that it is now the new buzz word? Cloud accounting software is accounting or business software that is hosted on remote servers. ‘Off premise’. It provides accounting and business process capabilities to businesses that matches the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model.
Setting up Cloud Accounting Software
A traditional accounting package is installed on your computer. It is also installed on every computer for each user. Data is shared via mechanical means (for example on a flash drive), or later, by office computer integration that used the office network.
Cloud accounting does not require a set up on each individual computer. There is one simple ‘set up’, on a remote server. This means the software can be accessed from all computers in the office, and also remotely. It also means you can access it from anywhere, on any device. Aka: The Mobile Office.
The benefits of cloud accounting software
Historically, businesses that needed to implement a robust financial management system would have to invest in both hardware and software. This resulted in high set up and maintenance costs.
On the other side, businesses that have adopted cloud accounting technology have found that the costs significantly decrease as the technology allows for minimal infrastructure requirements.
Data storage and sharing
Traditionally, financial data is recorded and stored on a hard drive on which accounting software is installed. Although this method keeps your data away from the outside world, there are several downsides like the possible loss of data in the case of a disaster.
Cloud solutions store accounting data on the cloud, protecting it from physical intruders and accidental losses. Plus, in a matter of seconds, you can share data securely across your organisation or even with authorised third-parties.
In a conventional setup, finance managers’ capability to access data from anywhere or at any time is limited. The Covid-19 stay-at-home orders which have forced many organisations to adopt remote work policies are further exposing this limitation. Fortunately, cloud-based accounting solutions are altering this aspect of business management by providing access to financial documents, data, and reports in real-time no matter team members’ locations or time zones. I like to use the example “You can work from the beach if you want to.”
Faster workflow and reporting
When it comes to workflows and reporting, the physical method usually requires several approval steps from people who would need to be physically present in the office. If a manager is out of the office, for instance, reports would have to wait until they return, and this usually leads to unnecessary bottlenecks.
This means financial reporting takes a longer time without a reliable cloud-based financial system that allows authorised persons to immediately retrieve the accounting reports on their own.
Financial data security
Another way online accounting is transforming organisations’ financials is in the area of security. Whereas in-house infrastructure is subject to data loss, theft, or damage, financial data is far more secure and confidential with cloud-based accounting tools.
Cloud accounting makes data entry, report generation, controls and financial management faster, more accurate and more user-friendly than ever.
Experienced Head Of Sage Accounting Software, with a demonstrated history of working in the accounting software industry. Skilled in Business Process, Coaching and Training, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Databases, and Team Building. Strong professional with a Certificate Programme in Logistics focused in Logistics, Materials, and Supply Chain Management from University of Pretoria/Universiteit van Pretoria.