Cloud accounting is more than just a trendy buzz phrase ranking high on Internet searches. It represents a dramatic shift in the way you store, access, and process financial data. Large and small businesses benefit from making the switch from traditional software to cloud-based systems, but it’s smaller businesses that pose to benefit the most from this transition. Let’s look at the reasons why.
But before you can do that, you need to know what people mean when they talk about the cloud. In its simplest terms, the cloud is a network of remote servers that store data on the Internet rather than a local server or hard drive. While many people claim it’s just a new marketing catchphrase describing the Internet, it’s more than that. It promises to revolutionize the way you do business.
Why accounting is moving to the cloud
In the past, accounting software was something you downloaded to a single computer, or it came on a single CD-ROM. Financial data was tied to this device, and only those with physical access to the desktop or disc could update it. It isolated data from other devices, applications, and people.
Cloud-based accounting removes those barriers between applications and your team. Its software relies on the Internet to store data, so your financial information is no longer tied to a single, local server. It’s spread out across remote servers stationed (potentially) all over the world. Anyone with a device capable of connecting to the Internet can download the software and access the data stored on these servers. In other words, you can access information online anytime from anywhere on any device.
That means, you can log in from your tablet to convert estimates into invoices as you sip on a latte at home. It means an authorized employee can view and update customer information while they’re on a business trip. You no longer have to share files the old-fashioned way by emailing them, transferring them onto a memory stick, or inputting them manually when you have access to the computer.
Convenient, mobile accessibility is empowering for overworked business owners struggling to maintain traditional systems. But don’t dismiss the benefits of hiring an experienced accountant to help you navigate this new software. Like any new system, cloud-based accounting programs can take time and effort to learn. It helps to have a professional who understands the ins and outs of these systems to coach you and your team through this transition.
The cloud adoption challenges
Migrating your accounting to the cloud is challenging at best. If you don’t have the resources to do so, you might want to consider another alternative, which is hiring an online accounting services.
Not all Chartered Professional Accountants (CPAs) have the experience needed to tackle this duty successfully, so be sure to find a specialized virtual accounting CPA firm like Adian Professional Corporation. Firms can only offer knowledgeable advice when its CPAs can suggest specific programs and customize your app’s user experience to best suit your needs. They must also be available to give on-going support throughout the year — especially at tax time. Meetings are easy and convenient, and just like when you access your software, these meetings happen online. All you have to do is visit your CPA’s website, like http://www.adianpc.ca/, to schedule a virtual conference that satisfies your schedule.
The online ecosystem of cloud accounting will only accelerate your business. It makes it easier to keep your books accurately up to date, and its real-time reporting removes the risk of errors caused by manual data entry. It makes it easier to collaborate with your CPA online and prepare for taxes. It also reduces the rate of downtime.
Cloud-based software is regularly making backups of your information. Since it’s secured on several servers rather than one, it reduces the chance that outages, natural disasters, or physical theft can jeopardize your accounting.
When it comes to your books, security and accuracy are two essential features your business can’t go without. Cloud-based accounting programs make it possible to achieve both without much effort on your part. While the cloud is a term that’s gaining traction in the world, it’s not an empty buzzword describing a passing phase. Marketing forecasters estimate 78 percent of US small business owners will use cloud computing by 2020. Join them and you’ll see it’s a rapidly growing system that helps develop your business into a modern success.