The cloud and its influence have spread at an abrupt pace among various industries. The accounting industry is also feeling its presence big way and it can be concluded by the fact that Big Four accounting firms (KPMG, Deloitte, PwC, and Ernst & Young) have got dedicated cloud strategies in action.
As the client of accounting services, there are several users and businesses that have already switched to the cloud accounting or are working in the process. Adopting to the cloud is not just a blind trend, but a well-thought business plan filled with a number of benefits.
If you are still not sure on why your should be choosing cloud accounting, then here are the top 5 reasons:
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1. Better Applications Integration
From estimating expenses to placing orders to managing receipts, almost all the accounting operation is handled accounting applications. QuickBooks, Sage 50, Zoho Books, Kashoo, etc. are some of the popular business accounting software that can ease the accounting operations.
Hence, the features and integration of your accounting applications hold the performance key. Since application performance depends on the hardware, cloud can be your way of extracting optimum performance.
Image Credit: Barbato Assicurazioni via Flickr
Working on cloud means, the local hardware restrictions are eliminated as you can choose for the server resources as per your requirement. Moreover, you can change them when needs change. As the software updates also arrive automatically, you are able to work on the finest accounting software without requiring upgrades to your local machine.
For business accounting structures, where alone accounting software is not enough and they require multiple tools (such as – CRMs, ERPs, Office Suite, QB add-ons, etc.) to integrate with, the cloud is an irreplaceable necessity. Cloud hosting solutions can accommodate integrations of any number of software and applications to keep the accounting in right shape all the time.
2. Collaborate With Different Users
Consider a case of an individual working on his taxes with CPA using any desktop-based accounting software. To keep the accounting details updated and correct, both (individual and CPA) will add information to the file and exchange the file over email. This will create several copies of the same file with both of them to eventually dwell the chances chaos and errors with tax filing.
The same situation with the businesses is even more troublesome as the number of parties in involved in the update and exchange of accounting files is greater. Also, the complexities of the data management are much higher. Redundancy of accounting files on the local servers can be a serious threat to business in terms of self-assessment as well as with legal regulations.
Cloud brings a very reliable solution to this chaos with the feature of real-time collaboration. Any number of users can connect with each other to work on the same file. Access permissions of the users can be modified by the admin and the changes made by users can be tracked to ensure the security of the data.
3. Never Lose Data
Accounting data is irreplaceable and on your local devices, it can be irrecoverable. Computers are prone to certain events that can lead to data loss. Obviously, such events strike without warning alarms. Creating data backups on the independent drives is commonly practiced method to escape the data loss.
The practice is an old-school thing and has certain limitations with it. Maintaining regularity with the backup or keeping the storage drives updated with the latest technology is a challenging task and take valuable time.
Image Source: Data Health Check 2015 | Databarracks
Data protection and backup over cloud accounting do not require any effort from the end of the user. It is automated, instant, and stored at a separate location. Therefore, the cloud is able to recover the data in case of accidental deletion, but also when the data center has met a disaster.
What’s even more special about the cloud is simplicity with the back restoration. It takes a few click and authenticated access to recover and install the data backup. Furthermore, hosting service provider’s support services can reduce your efforts of clicking as well.
4. No device Restriction
Today handheld mobile phones are able to process the instructions faster than what was considered as supercomputers some decade back. The point is that we have witnessed a massive evolution with the hardware technology and that has allowed you to work more productively even when you are traveling.
Without the cloud, you will have to install the accounting application on every device, you want to work on, and then carry the data to devices as well. And not to forget the hardware specs and OS compatibility. More the productivity feature, it sounds like an annoyance.
Switch to the cloud and all these annoyances will end. Since cloud stores the data and runs the application over a remote server, you can access it via a web browser from any internet-connected device without any concerns of hardware specs or OS. Just log in to your account and all your accounting will be available at your service irrespective of the device you are using is smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop.
5. Save Money
Talking about accounting and you can never ignore the expenses. The expenses that local machine-based accounting asks for are machine & server, dedicated space, IT maintenance, software licenses, etc. For small and midsize businesses with a limited budget, these expenses can be a big issue.
As a solution, they might like to go with the outsourcing of accounting services, which involves the risk of delays and lack of privacy.
Cloud accounting presents solutions to both cases – it can control the expenses for in-house accounting and provides a more control the outsourced accounting. Since it does not require a dedicated hardware, your expense with the hardware can diminish by adopting of BYOD culture. This Hosting service providers usually offer support without any charges, which save you from the maintenance expenses as well.
For the outsourcing of accounting, cloud avails you the finest way to monitor the operations executed with your accounting at any point in time and collaborate with your accountant to work. So, going with offshore accounting is always on the cards.
Cloud accounting or online accounting carries a number of features that can easily make the traditional computer-based accounting look outdated. Given that it costs lesser adds more muscle to it claim on mainstream option for the future of accounting. As the increasing number of accounting professionals are switching to the cloud, it is better for you not to delay.