Did you know that there are many benefits of accounting in the cloud (especially with a hurricane on its way)? Cloud computing has some great advantages, but the benefits of accounting in the cloud, especially if there is a hurricane on its way are especially worthy of consideration.
Accounting and bookkeeping firms now have the ability of staying online, nearly 100% of the time, despite the weather, server disruptions, even IT mishaps because the software is spread across multiple servers in different parts of the country, and the world. As long as there is internet access the financial backbone of your small business can be up and running.
It’s hard to forget Superstorm Sandy. I spent the days after Sandy driving past fallen trees and downed wires to get to the office. I then had to disassemble and move a desktop computer and printer across the office to a plug powered by a backup generator. Why?? Because we ran payroll in house and our software only supported check printing from one specific desktop computer. Without power to that computer I had no way of printing checks or approving payroll for the company. If I had however had payroll in the cloud I could have run payroll from any computer with an internet connection (or IPad or even a phone). It’s one of the reasons I changed the software soon after and am such a strong supporter of cloud-based products today. I have learned my lesson and don’t plan on repeating that mistake. Here are a few more reasons to consider the cloud so you can learn from my mistakes.
The Loss of Business
Imagine those companies that have experienced natural disasters such as a hurricane, tropical storm, tornado or tsunami. What do you think of the business data of those companies that did not make the decision migrate to accounting in the cloud? The disaster surrounding them just got personal, even if their physical location survived the tragedy. Their business information, on the single desktop or server was potentially wiped out from the storm for good. That’s not a good thing, and that’s for certain. You have lost your customer data, vendors and whatever employee data involved with managing your business.
What is “The Cloud”
For the uninitiated, The Cloud is what has become important to businesses large and small that have critical dependency on availability of their data.
The cloud is akin to an ATM system from your bank. Let’s say you are far from home, but you need money from your bank account. Despite the fact that there is no branch of your bank to be found, an ATM can produce not only instant cash, it can check your balance, and transfer money from one account to another. That’s because the data that makes up your account is stored in a secure storage facility off-site and away from the bank brick and mortar location. Not only that, the data is shared on multiple servers should one have a problem; there is no downtime. The cloud is external storage of a company’s important data and is accessible anywhere, anytime on just about any device.
What Makes it a Must Have
There are dozens of important reasons why utilizing the cloud for any size company is critical. Clearly the accessibility of information is number one, however, that is just the tip of the proverbial “cloud iceberg” so to speak.
- Business owners stay connected to their accounting firm AND their data. A secure platform like Xero can allow for shared access any time of the day
- Your customer experience can be improved
- Real-time information updating
- Data back-up occurs automatically
- Cloud accounting is less expensive. Rather than investing tens of thousands of dollars for customized software, a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution is a simple monthly subscription
- Your bank account (and credit cards) are synchronized to your accounting software
- Better security than traditional desktop accounting software
- Cloud account is scalable
Accounting in the cloud makes good business sense, regardless if you are a start-up, solo-preneur or enterprise client. Performing accounting in the cloud provides an accurate overview of your financial position at any time.
Handling Payroll in the Cloud
Payroll is one of those routine tasks that can be burdensome, time-consuming, frustrating and just plain troublesome trying to keep up with tax calculations and regulation compliance. Cloud payroll solutions are easy and painless for small businesses everywhere if you have the right solution.
In this day and age of the remote workforce, multiple locations and “on the move” executives, having the ability to run your business from your Mac, PC, handheld device or smartphone couldn’t be better. With the touch of a button or two, your data is there for review at a moment’s notice. And it’s up to date.
Why Cloud is Superior to Traditional Accounting Software
The reasons are numbered and varied, but the main reasons are easy to comprehend:
- Traditional software is typically outdated and likely to be several versions behind. By having old software the new features are being missed.
- The cloud provides access from anywhere at any time, from just about any smart device
- User access to desktop software is limited to the company, limiting interactions with advisors and reliability of data
- Traditional software is costly, time-consuming and downtime can be extensive
- Cloud software products are generally more secure. Because the data is backed up on multiple sites there is less risk from data locking viruses and other desktop specific viruses.
- Cloud-based accounting software is always up to date
- People make mistakes, cloud software automatically updates, backs up and verifies data without the human aspect involved
- Cloud accounting allows you, the business owner, to focus on what’s most important and not having to worry if the profit and loss statement is up to date
It’s Time to Upgrade to Accounting in the Cloud
Accounting in the cloud provides many more benefits than those highlighted here. Even if you are not facing a weather disaster, or merely the threat of some unknown force pointing its way toward your business, cloud-based accounting makes sense for any sized business. If you’ve made it this far reading this article, it’s more than likely time to change from your outdated traditional accounting software and upgrade to a modern cloud-based solution.