Sam Michaels| Cloudtweaks
Any small business owner knows that bookkeeping is a necessary evil that takes time and energy away from the revenue-earning aspects of the business.
It can be frustrating to try and keep track of all of the transactions associated with your business. It can be complicated further by erratic cash flow. Having a cost efficient accounting system reduces many of these frustrations, which is why I advocate the use of cloud accounting.
Following are the reasons your small business or start-up should utilize cloud accounting software:
1) Ease of Use
If you have been using a cumbersome PC-based accounting system that is only loaded on one computer and requires an accounting degree to use effectively, then you will find the user-friendliness and ease of access of cloud accounting software a refreshing change. Processes that previously were difficult to master can be picked up and used by just about anyone. Many vendors also have a knowledgebase available and 24/7 customer support to answer any questions that you may run into.
2) Economies of Scale
Due to cloud accounting software being a resource shared by many, there are further benefits to be had, such as automatic updates and the availability of a large server for storage.
With cloud accounting software you are alleviated of the regular backups required with a PC-based accounting system. Service providers can guarantee that your information is kept safe and secure at all times.
Rather than being stuck in a stuffy office doing your accounting functions, with cloud accounting you can work from any location where you can get internet access. You are no longer restricted to just one computer either, as the software is accessible by anyone you give authorization to, whether they’re using a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smart phone.
5) Pay For What You Use
Unlike traditional software, you only pay for what you use so you don’t have to worry about paying more than what you need. And as your company grows, you don’t have to worry about whether you are outgrowing your software package, which makes cloud accounting software a great option for startups. The software is installed at no cost and you continue to have access for as long as you want, provided you pay your monthly subscription. This is great news for you, the customer, because it gives the providers incentive to continue to provide excellent value through improvements and innovations to the software.
6) Lower Pricing
There are a great many providers of cloud accounting software, most easily found through a quick Google search. Due to the large number of competitors, you are able to benefit from competitive pricing.
7) User-Friendly Interface
Cloud accounting software has simplified how you access your information and now everything you need to know about your business’ financial status is clearly set out on the dashboard, in an easy-to-read format. You can see at a glance your current bank balance, your accounts receivable and accounts payable balances for the current month and next month.
8) Single User Interface
Regardless of who accesses the information or from what location, the same information is available. This makes communicating with your business adviser and/or accountant much easier, as they see the same figures you see. You and your accountant can work together in real time to project cash flow, sales figures and so much more. This also gives you the ability to plan ways to minimize your tax bill.
9) Knowledge is Power
No longer do you need to waste valuable time in waiting for an answer to your question when accessing the software’s Help section. It is likely that your question has already been asked by another user and therefore the answer is readily available through a user community forum. If the answer is not readily available there is a strong possibility that someone within the community will be able to provide you with the answer very quickly. New Zealand-based cloud accounting provider Xero was one of the first to take this approach with customer support, and others have followed suit.
Cloud accounting software requires less input, but at the same time has the ability to produce results in a more efficient, faster manner. Armed with accurate, up-to-the-minute information, you have the ability to increase productivity, make better decisions, and expand your company.
Is your business enjoying the full benefits of cloud accounting software? Are your competitors? In order to make your business operations more efficient and competitive, you need to be using cloud accounting software or you could be left in the dust by your competitors.