Over recent years as internet speeds and reliability have increased, we’ve all seen a big move towards storing things in the ‘cloud’.
Think about music. Now instead of buying music in a physical format and building up a collection over time, we pay a monthly fee and stream our music from a supplier. Why?
Because it’s more convenient and we get immediate access to a vast library of music that we can access any time from our phone, tablet and computer.
Or what about video and television? Now we can subscribe to a service and get access to a library of a size we’d find difficult to buy personally. And we can stream films and TV series at any time we want, wherever we want. Gone are the days of having to wait until next week to see the next episode!
Perhaps too, you used to buy memory sticks and USB hard drives to back up data or transfer files. But now you use online storage because you no longer have to worry about losing your storage device and you can get to your storage from all manner of devices.
Are these developments only confined to personal and consumer use? No. There are also now many business applications of cloud-based storage and services. And these carry many of the same advantages of convenience and access to wider resources. One that’s close to our heart is cloud accounting.
How it used to be
Traditionally computer accounting software would be dependent on buying a particular software package (often at a hefty price) and then installing it on whatever computer you wanted to use it on. Your accounts data would just be available on that machine.
For larger businesses using a network they would be able to access the data from any machine that had the software installed and was tied in to the network. Then there would be updates to be installed periodically to fix bugs, address problems or make improvements.
Cloud accounting services are changing much of this.
In much the same way as online music, video and data storage services, cloud accounting service providers charge a monthly fee for access. Usually there are varying packages that you can subscribe to based on the size of your business and the features you want.
They only require a web browser to operate, so no more installation of software or any updates. Instead you have accounts software that’s always up-to-date.
If you’re already familiar with using accounting software then it’s very easy to switch across. And if not the learning curve is not steep for any training you need.
A massive advantage for cloud accounting is that your accounts data is available from anywhere that you have an internet connection (providers use the same security standards as banks). On your way to meet a customer and want to check what their current balance with you is? You could look it up on your phone. Are you at home and get an email about a discount for some supplies you need to order? You could check your accounts on your tablet and see what you paid last time to see if it’s a good deal.
A further advantage is that it becomes much easier to collaborate with others. For instance, do you need some help with the figures? You could call us and since you can also give us access, we could both be looking at your figures while we discuss them on the phone.
Cloud services are also becoming more and more integrated. For instance, they can be set up to automatically bring across your bank transactions. And they’ll prepopulate the information for regular payments. This makes for big time-savings when it comes to posting information.
As time is passing we’re seeing industry-specific add-ons to some of the more popular services that are increasing their useability and helpfulness.
What Cloud Accounting Means For You
We’re finding many advantages to our clients from using cloud accounting services. We find that these clients are much better informed about what’s going on in their business, and that’s putting them in a much stronger position to achieve their business objectives.
If you’d like to know more about cloud accounting services and how they could help your business, why not call Seamus Parfrey today on 021 431 0266.