For some, this might be a swear word and for others this might be the norm but it has become almost a necessity in business to utilize cloud accounting.  In the past one drawback of cloud accounting was the quality and reliability of your internet connection.  With modern internet connectivity, this has become far less of an issue.  The positives far out way the negatives by far.

We have found the following important items to note:

Flexibility and Connected

You can enjoy flexibility and access information from where-ever there is an internet connection and on any smart device.  There is no need to be office-bound anymore and outsourcing certain sections of your accounting work has become very easy and can make your workforce more productive and effective.

Secure

Financial data is always secure.  The old desktop version of the software requires backing up regularly and in practice backups are not always performed regularly. Automating this bank up process can be costly.  The business’s financial information is safe and secure even when a workstation/laptop is stolen or destroyed. All that is required is to log in using a different workstation and continue working.  No unauthorized access of your data without a username and password.

Access granted

It is very easy to grant access to a new team member or revoke access to a departing member and it is also not required for team members to be in the same building or the same network to have access to financial information.  Each person is granted relevant access level permissions on the system only allowing access to the information and functionality needed at their level.

Work Realtime

You and your team can work in real-time on data as work on the same data.  This enables you to reduce the time to perform tasks as team members are working on the same information in real-time.  There is no longer a need to send information back and forth between team members.

Software update

Software is updated automatically without departments or business being interrupted.  You have access to the latest version of software and as new features are added you normally gain access without having to do anything from your side.

Automate tasks

One of the most attractive parts of cloud accounting is the fact that tasks can be automated. Rules can be created to allocate bank transactions automatically, bank feeds can be pulled into the system directly from the bank account, invoices can be sent out automatically from the system and 3rd party information pulled into the system automatically.

Monthly subscription and no huge up from expenses

There is normally a substantial capital investment with desktop versions where with cloud accounting this is normally very little upfront cost.  The desktop version normally requires a server and a network setup.  With cloud-based accounting software, you only need a workstation (laptop, tablet or phone) and an internet connection. It’s not a requirement the be on the same network to use cloud-based accounting software.  It is very easy to deploy cloud accounting software compared to desktop software.  Only grant access and the person can log in from any device, no installation needed.

Only pay for what you use

There is no need to purchase bloated software you will never use to the full extent because you can buy just the basics and subscribe to ad-on modules if and when you really need them.  There is a vast variety of ad-on that integrate seamlessly with cloud accounting systems and normally you only pay for the user licenses in use. No need to buy licenses that you will not use.

Paperless

Cloud-based accounting allows you to move closer to a paperless office because client invoices can be sent directly from the system, supplier invoices can be pulled into the system automatically without printing it and no more manual capturing.  Reports can also be sent out directly from the system or exported to excel and sent out.

Scalability

The business will become more scalable with cloud accounting compared to a business that is bound by desktop software.  Adding multiple warehouses and users at various diff locations can be done easily.  As mentioned, this can be deployed very easily compared to the desktop versions.

There are various players in the market with the more prominent players being SageOne, Xero, and Quickbooks Online.

I hope this helps you understand the advantage of cloud accounting versus desktop accounting software.