You’ve heard of “the cloud”, but chances are good that you’re not exactly sure how it benefits your business’ accounting and bookkeeping. On the surface, it sounds like a recipe for disaster. After all, you’re packaging all your financial information up and shipping it off to some nebulous destination online. Isn’t that a threat? Actually, cloud accounting benefits your business in any number of ways. For savvy business owners interested in greater accuracy and ease of access to financial information, the cloud is the way forward.
Accounting software is an investment, certainly, but it’s a costly one. Cloud accounting solutions offer a significantly lower cost entry point. They’re generally subscription based, rather than requiring you to pay for the full cost of the software up front. You’ll also find that licensing cloud solutions for multiple workstations is also far cheaper than purchasing licenses for conventional accounting software.
Collaboration is essential for your business, but you can’t afford to let everyone have the same level of access. Segregation of duties and limiting access privileges can be easily accomplished using cloud accounting technology. Each user profile can have rights as broad or narrow as required for them to do their jobs and collaborate.
Safeguarding your business’ financial information has always been of paramount importance. In the past, this was accomplished by running manual backups of your information, or storing it within an onsite server (if your business was large enough to afford a server and an IT pro to maintain it). With cloud accounting, that’s a thing of the past. Your information is automatically backed up and stored off premises, guaranteeing that local disasters cannot affect this vital data.
Transitioning to a Paperless Office
The paperless office has long been a goal for many businesses for a variety of reasons. It reduces waste and cost, allowing you to run “greener”. It reduces clutter, chaos and the chance for lost hardcopy files. Cloud accounting solutions ensure that you’re able to take a big step toward running a paperless office while still ensuring that your financial information is still available to those who need access.
Access from Anywhere
How many times have you been on the road, or at a conference and found that you needed access to financial information. Maybe you needed to take a quick look at your cash flow statement, or you had questions about your accounts receivable. In the past, you’d either have to wait until you returned to the office, or have an employee send the information by courier (or scan and email hardcopies). With cloud accounting solutions, that’s not the case. You get constant access to all your financial information from anywhere with an Internet connection, including your tablet and smartphone.
While it’s true that not all aspects of your bookkeeping should be automated, there’s a significant benefit to be found by automating those that can be. Automation streamlines processes and shortens the time to close your books. It’s all about being more efficient and running leaner, while maximizing accuracy and speed. To gain this additional efficiency, many small – midsize businesses might want to consider an outsourced solution. Some outsourced accounting solutions have a team of integration specialists in house who will take care of connecting your systems, mapping data and financial information, and ensure at the end of the day the accounting is being done in the accurate and more efficient manner.
Instant Access to Reporting
Creating financial reports can be time consuming and frustrating. However, with cloud accounting solutions, that’s a thing of the past. Creating cash flow reports, quarterly reports and other essential business statements can be done by a skilled accountant and produced with only a couple clicks of the mouse.
As you can see, there are numerous ways that cloud accounting solutions can benefit your business. The single caveat here is that you need to choose the right service provider. Selecting a highly skilled accountant or outsourced team will be the key to correctly selecting the proper software for your business, ensuring it is used properly and maximum automation is achieved, and that you can get accurate reporting on time every time. Accounting contractors, employees, and outsourced solutions are from being created equal, and a little due diligence on your part will go a long way toward providing peace of mind.
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