Essentially, accounting software with a "cloud" component enables accounting data to be stored securely offsite -
on servers/hard drives managed by a cloud provider and accessed remotely anywhere, anytime via the internet by the software user.
Today, most offers are based on either terminal server or browser technology. Although it's recently become a buzz word, the cloud is not a new concept. Large businesses have been using private "clouds" for many years to help facilitate multiple users accessing central business systems at the one time, and to connect ERP systems with 3rd party providers or customers (e.g. online ordering).
We are now seeing the creation of affordable solutions for small to medium businesses, so that you can take advantage of the same technology big businesses use to drive efficiency, enhance the customer experience and keep up with the competition.
- Work on your business where and when you want - in the office, at home, or on the road
When your accounting software is held on a hard drive on a computer, it can be accessed when that computer is available. For many businesses, this means access is restricted to a single computer and a single location. When you move to a cloud solution, you have the flexibility of being able to access your company files anywhere you have internet access. So, you can have one business partner out with the laptop recording quotes or sales while another business partners does the book keeping at a different location and both are inputting their data into the same place. No double keying necessary and no need to take turns when accessing files.
- Save hours every month by having bank transaction data delivered directly into your accounting software
Reduce data entry time and eliminate manual keying errors by having your bank transactions delivered into your Cloud Accounting company file, then set up automatic matching rules for transactions which occur regularly - such as fuel purchases or lease payments.
- Peace of mind - you're always backed up
With your business information held in a secure third party server, you always have a secure data back up, so that essential business operating data is still available if something goes wrong with the office computer. What would you do if your office was flooded or burned down by a fire? It is important for business information to be safe and accessible no matter what.
- Build your business by sharing data with your accountant in real time
If you choose, you can giver your accountant access to your company files via the cloud. This eliminates time consuming file transfers and travel, and also gives you the opportunity to have your accountants collaborate with you on building your business by monitoring key business indicators such as inventory levels and debtors.