Cloud accounting platforms such as Xero and MYOB give business owners access to their finances wherever they are, just as long as they have an internet connection. This saves them time and resources and delivers huge benefits in terms of efficiency, cost and automation.
Bookkeeping has been an essential part of running a business for millennia. And online accounting has changed it forever! In this article, we’ll discuss the pros and cons of cloud-based accounting software. And how it can help you manage your company's financials.
What is 'The Cloud'?
When we speak of something being in ‘the cloud’, it’s not something floating high above our heads. It usually means vast buildings full of servers in remote areas. Tasks previously carried on desktop computers are outsourced to these facilities. This includes processing and data storage.
Streaming from Netflix is a perfect example. That show you’re bingeing on is in the cloud. You access it via your web browser, and it doesn’t take up valuable space on your PC. As a result, you get more variety and vastly better quality.
Cloud computing gives you access to your data wherever you are. Just so long as you have an internet connection. This delivers enormous benefits in terms of efficiency and automation. Recent research says productivity gains from cloud services have delivered $9.4bn to the Australian economy!
And whilst the holding of personal info is a concern, it’s secure. Technology is making the cloud the safest way to store your sensitive data.
Why Cloud Accounting?
For time-poor business owners cost, efficiency and ease of use are important factors. Cloud accounting ticks all of these boxes.
Unlike traditional accounting software, cloud accounting platforms can be accessed anytime, anywhere.
You just need the login details. Most businesses will have multiple users, often the owner as well as an accountant or bookkeeper. With data being updated in real-time, you never need to worry about duplicating work.
Working from home or on the commute is becoming more and more common. Online accounting solutions cater to the modern, flexible workplace. As you grow, it’s easy to add additional users as necessary. And in large businesses, teams from all over the world can work as if they were in the same office.
Accessibility to data is however always reliant on an internet connection, if the internet connection fails you won’t be able to access data. Although outages are rare and for short periods, a sustained outage could occur. For example, in the case of a natural disaster.
Although it seems counter-intuitive, data security for cloud services has proven to perform better than desktop software. Remote servers have robust security protocols. Governments have recently come down very hard on businesses that have experienced data security breaches. Companies that provide cloud services are very concerned about your data security, as the future of their company may depend on it.
It's a serious issue. If your cloud-based software is breached or hacked all information stored in the cloud could be at risk. For example, Dropbox was hacked in 2016 exposing the login details of 60 million users. While the amount of data affected was minimal, these details were auctioned off on the dark web.
Increased competition means small business owners can access the best software in the world at an affordable price. Businesses no longer need to keep local servers or large computers on-site to store their data. They don’t need an in-house IT team to maintain these complex systems. Updates are available in real-time and accessible with the click of a button.
In addition, significant benefits come in the form of efficiency and time-saving. Today, cloud accounting software providers use artificial intelligence to automate laborious, time-consuming tasks. End of year financial reports can be created in moments. Inventory can be managed, and cash flow forecasts created all in one central cloud system. This saves business owner hours each week, allowing them to focus on running their business.
Intuitive Accounting Software
Most small business owners are keen to grow their business, and few have extensive accounting training. Modern accounting software is intuitive and easy to use. Thousands of hours are spent by the software companies, as they figure out how to simplify complex accounting tasks and jargon. This means business owners today are able to run their books at a basic level without the need for external help.
The Future of Cloud Accounting
It is certainly here to stay. The major accounting software providers in Australia are no longer rolling out improvements for their desktop accounting products. Rather they are looking to further automate processes and improve user experiences.
Certified accounting add-ons like Waddle are leveraging business accounting data stored in the cloud to automate other services. Waddle leverages invoice values and transactional data to provide an automated credit line. To operate a Waddle line of credit requires a fraction of the time compared to traditional invoice finance.
The benefits of cloud accounting are clear to see. It leads to increased accessibility, automation, security, cost savings and profits. Most small business owners are keen to grow their business, but few have extensive accounting training. The easy to use platforms remove this need.
The likes of Xero, MYOB and Quickbooks are all competing for the lion's share of the Australian small business market. They are constantly racing to release the next feature to make life easier for small businesses. If you are not using cloud accounting software for your small business, there has never been a better time to change. Most of the platforms offer a free trial, so sign-up today!
Waddle's invoice finance add-on
Waddle is built for cloud accounting. We’re an invoice finance add-on for the leading platforms. We help businesses close cash flow gaps and allow them to reach their full potential. The innovative Waddle dashboard connects with cloud accounting packages and gives businesses a tailored finance offer in seconds.
Following approval, Waddle offers a real-time credit line using real invoice data. The limit is adjusted as more invoices are raised and paid in the accounting software. Pick which customers to fund and only pay for the funds that you draw down on.
Waddle saves businesses precious time by making bookkeeping seamless thanks to instant bank feeds. No more uploading of invoices, more time to grow the business. Get an offer now!