Twenty-five years ago accounting software for businesses was hosted on an expensive mainframe computer generally housed in an air-conditioned office all by itself and had a team of IT professionals to look after it and highly trained staff to operate it.
In the late 90’s these systems were installed and maintained on servers usually based in the Accounting department. Some of this software, especially for SME’s, could be maintained by the company accountant or book keeper, such as MYOB and Quickbooks.
Nowadays with the emergence of cloud based accounting software SME’s and their accountants can share in the benefits that this technology provides. Below is a list of key benefits that can be derived by implementing one of these SaaS (Software as a Service) applications.
· Anytime, Anyplace, Anywhere - You can access your data from your iPhone , iPad, Android device, tablet or laptop as long as you have an internet connection.
· Cloud accounting software is SaaS and you pay a monthly subscription which is expensed to the P&L rather than having to invest large amounts upfront for server / PC based systems.
· Systems are scalable as the business grows – just add on functionality as required.
· Software updates are free of charge and happen automatically– so no expensive downtime.
· Data files are automatically backed up – so you don’t have to rely on someone to change the backup every day.
· It is more secure than a server or PC based system which have a higher risk of viruses or file corruption.
· 24/7 Support and ongoing training for Small Businesses.
· Automatic bank feeds means you do away with all that manual entry and risk of mistakes.
· Collaborate better with your accountant – time spent focussing on forward looking strategic business growth and establishing key business metrics.
· No need for expensive servers or IT staff, thereby reducing overheads.
· Accountant advice available 24/7 and not just when they come to visit you.
· Integration of E-commerce functionality.
· Cloud accounting can improve company performance.
In light of all these cloud financial management benefits, it is hardly surprising that SME’s are starting to embrace cloud accounting as a practical, secure and inexpensive way of managing company finances. Is it time for your business to join the cloud?