Editor's Update 09/07/20:
How does cloud accounting work? Cloud accounting software is hosted on a remote computer server. Data is sent, processed and stored on a remote server, also known as 'the cloud'. Cloud-based accounting works very similarly to other cloud-based software, and allows you to access and perform any accounting service as long as you have a computer and an internet connection.
What are the benefits of cloud accounting software? There are many benefits of cloud accounting software, hence why most businesses have transitioned to cloud-based solutions:
1. Managed and reliable backups
2.The option to work online and offline
3. Access anywhere, at any time
4. Secure and easy sharing options
5. Centralised data
Moving to a cloud platform is no longer a privilege but has become a necessity to stay productive and profitable. With so many service providers at your disposal, choosing the software which is right for you in the long term can be quite tough.
Are you grappling with this problem yourself? If your answer is “yes,” then use these 9 tips to choose the best cloud accounting software provider.
1. Start with introspection
Evaluate your needs and skills. If your dependency on the software is going to be very high, then you would be better off with a package that gives you a whole range of options. On the other hand, if you need the accounting software to supplement the efforts of your staff, you can choose a lighter package.
2. Check out the benefits
Asking certain questions can help you here. Will the software allow you seamless access from anywhere and through any device? Is there a need to install the software in your devices? Are the upgrades free? Does it provide scalability instantly? A positive answer to all of these questions means the software is good enough for consideration.
3. Have a specific budget
You do not want to overly spend on your accounting software. Good service providers will provide you with a variety of payment options and also offer you packages that vary in costs. Choose the one that fits your requirements and budget.
4. Add-ons integration are important
Add-ons make your life easy and business processes efficient. The two vital components here are as follows:
- CRM options for managing sales and marketing
- Operational management options for inventory, job/project management and payment gateways
The integration should be complete and problem-free. So, discuss your needs with the service provider in detail and check out what they offer. If it seems effortless, then the software on offer is right for you.
5. Data transfer
Data transfer needs to be quick, secure and convenient. Check whether the software can handle a high amount of data transfer. Ask about the security of your data and how it is protected. You do not want a solution that makes data transfer and access difficult. At the same time, you do not want lax security, where your sensitive data can be easily exploited.
6. Free trials
Service providers who are confident of their offerings will not hesitate to give you a free trial. In fact, they will encourage you to take a trial. Use this option and check the functionality and suitability of the accounting software before you make the choice.
7. Customer support options
No matter how good the accounting software is, there are going to be times when you will need support. This can be either technical or process-related. Assurance that an expert is ready to extend a helping hand at the other end helps. Check whether they provide a toll-free number, e-mail and online chat options for support. You do not want to be left hanging with no support at crucial times.
8. Staff training
Your worries do not end with adopting accounting software. You need to ensure that your staff is well-versed with its use. What training does your service provider offer? This is an all-important question you must ask if you do not want your staff grappling in the dark after complete integration. A good company will offer you training in the form of web seminars and interactive online meetings.
9. Referrals and recommendations
Testimonials, social media sites, and online ratings can come handy to know the experience of businesses that use the software you are considering. Professional sites like LinkedIn which often have forums where business owners like you discuss their experiences can also be helpful. Consulting with a firm that is already using the software can give you first-hand information. So, do not hesitate to ask your potential service provider for names and contact information of their existing customers.
When you cover these aspects, you make your move to cloud-based accounting solutions foolproof.
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