What is the Cloud?

You may ask, “So what is the cloud?” A great example is online banking, which uses the cloud for secure data storage.

You can access online banking from anywhere, at any time. You can do the same thing with cloud accounting software. You no longer have to rely on a single hard drive for your financial data. Instead, you can access that data online from wherever you want, at any time.

The cloud is fun – the desktop is not

Traditional accounting software ties business owners to a single office or desk. It takes up resources and reduces the fun of actually being in business.

But cloud accounting software lets you work from anywhere at any time. You can use a laptop, tablet or smartphone to access accounts data securely – and all the IT support is handled remotely.

Let’s look at how traditional accounting software compares with cloud accounting software.

The problem with traditional accounting software

Here are some common issues with desktop products:

  • Accounting information is only fully up-to-date on one machine
  • Software must be upgraded regularly, often at a cost
  • The software may only be licensed for use on one computer
  • Using a USB drive to move data is inconvenient, unreliable and not secure
  • It can be difficult and slow to access financial data and customer details remotely
  • The software can be expensive to buy
  • Adding more users can cost a lot of money
  • The pricing may not be transparent, with hidden fees for updates or extra features

Eight benefits of cloud accounting software

In comparison, online software has several advantages:

  1. Financial data flows automatically into the software from bank accounts and other sources.
  2. You can access accounts through any device with an internet connection.
  3. You have instant review of customer data and information, such as cashflow.
  4. You can use powerful tools and applications to process accounting data.
  5. It’s easy for all the team to use.
  6. It can grow as your business grows.
  7. There are no more worries about outdated software, IT costs or server outages.
  8. You pay on a simple subscription basis, paying only for the services you need.

World-class security and total control

Moving from the desktop to the cloud is a huge and one of your main concerns will be the security of your financial data.

This is a natural concern, but the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. That’s because no data exists locally – it’s all online, protected by powerful encryption.

This is a much safer method of storage than keeping data on a local hard drive. Think about the following scenarios:

Stolen or lost laptop

With cloud accounting software, if you were to lose a laptop your accounting information would still be completely secure. The loss of the laptop would be inconvenient, nothing more. But losing a laptop containing traditional accounting software and data could be disastrous.

Natural disaster

In the event of a natural disaster or an office fire, you won’t lose any work time if you use cloud accounting software. Data will be safely stored online, so you can access accounting information through the internet. But with traditional accounting software, your data may be inaccessible for days or even weeks.

Data backup

Computers are fragile things. Hard drives can stop working, operating systems can crash, software can have bugs, and users can make mistakes. It’s vitally important to have backups, so you can return to a previous ‘saved point’ if necessary. In the cloud, this is all done for you – you don’t have to lift a finger. But with traditional accounting software it’s you – or your IT team – that has to remember to make regular backups and store them securely

Using cloud accounting software puts you in control. You can decide who can view data, and control each user’s level of access. The cloud really is the safest place for your accounts data.

Working together

Business moves fast these days. It’s vital to use cloud technology if you want to keep up, because the cloud allows you to work together with your accountant and advisors.

Why not give us a call at Moran and Partners to set up a meeting to demonstrate the benefits of converting to Xero which will most definitely save you time, money and facilitate you making those informed decisions based on real time accurate financial information.

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