We often get asked “What is the cloud?”. A great example is online banking, which uses the “cloud” for secure data storage. Just as you can access online banking from anywhere, anytime. You can do the same thing with cloud accounting software.
You no longer have to rely on a single hard drive, such as as Sage or even a saved spreadsheet, to hold your important financial data. Instead, you can access that data online wherever you want, at any time.
As well as taking care you all your bookkeeping needs, we value the benefits of using cloud accounting for our clients – to work faster and smarter. Not only does this help our clients to work more efficiently, but you can be involved in your own finances, see the position of your business at any time and use reporting effectively.
Desktop vs The Cloud
Traditional accounting software ties business owners to a single office or desk. It takes up resources and reduces the fun of actually being in business. But cloud accounting software lets you work from anywhere at any time. You can use a laptop, tablet or smartphone to access accounts data securely – and all the IT support is handled remotely. Let’s look at how traditional accounting software compares with cloud accounting software.
Here are some common issues with desktop products:
- Accounting information is only fully up-to-date on one machine
- Software must be upgraded regularly, often at a cost
- The software may only be licensed for use on one computer
- Using a USB drive to move data is inconvenient, unreliable and not secure
- It can be difficult and slow to access financial data and customer details remotely
- The software can be expensive to buy
- Adding more users can cost a lot of money
- The pricing may not be transparent, with hidden fees for updates or extra features
In comparison, online software has several advantages:
- Financial data flows automatically into the software from bank accounts and other sources.
- You can access accounts through any device with an internet connection.
- You have instant review of customer data and information, such as cashflow.
- You can use powerful tools and applications to process accounting data.
- It’s easy for all the team to use.
- It can grow as your clients’ businesses grow.
- There are no more worries about outdated software, IT costs or server outages.
- You pay on a simple subscription basis, paying only for the services your clients need.
Security & total control
Deciding to make the move from the desktop to the cloud can feel like a huge change. Many businesses are concerned abut the security of their financial data in the cloud. This is a natural concern. But the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. That’s because no data exists locally, but online, secured by powerful encryption. This is a much safer method of storage than keeping data on a local hard drive. Think about the following scenarios:
- Stolen or lost computer
With cloud accounting software, if you were to lose a laptop your accounting information would still be completely secure. The loss of the laptop would be inconvenient, nothing more. But losing a laptop containing traditional accounting software and data could be disastrous.
- Natural Disaster
In the event of a natural disaster or an office fire, you won’t lose any work time if you’re using cloud accounting software. Data will be safely stored online, so you can access accounting information through the internet. But with traditional accounting software, their data may be inaccessible for days or even weeks.
- Data Backup
Computers are fragile things. Hard drives can stop working, operating systems can crash, software can have bugs, and users can make mistakes. It’s vitally important to have backups, so you can return to a previous ‘saved point’ if necessary. In the cloud, this is all done for you – you don’t have to lift a finger. But with traditional accounting software it’s you – or your IT team – that has to remember to make regular backups and store them securely
Using cloud accounting software puts you in control. You can decide who can view data, and control each user’s level of access. The cloud really is the safest place for your accounts to be.
If you want to talk to us about your requirements for a bookkeeper or accountant, we offer completely free of charge business consultations so we can get to know each other and see if The Business Hut is a good fit for your own business.
Thanks for stopping by,