As part of the trend towards ‘cloud computing’ there has been a major move to accounting applications being made available online. Initially, accounting software for the cloud was very basic but it is becoming more and more sophisticated. Quickbooks and MYOB both now offer cloud options and a major player Xero which only provide cloud accounting is offering an excellent product for small business users.
So what are the pros and cons
- You can access data from any computer, anywhere ( even on the beach, if you can access an internet connection) – you don’t need to load the software on your computer – this also means your accountant or book-keeper can access your data which in turn means you don’t have to backup the file, send it and then wait for your accountant or book-keeper to send it back before you can carry on entering your information – it all happens almost “livetime”.
- Cloud applications are normally on a monthly subscription basis- when you no longer need it you simply stop paying for it. This can mean that the software is ultimately more expensive however you will have access to all updates and upgrades without having to download and install them and more importantly you don’t have to pay an upgrade fee each year for the software.
- Information from your bank statements is normally automatically downloaded into the software -this means less data entry and time spent by you and therefore more time for you to do what you do best – and in the case of your book-keeper or accountant doing the data entry for you, this will lead to a more efficient and accurate and less time consuming system of data entry
- In remote areas particularly cloud computing may be difficult if there isn’t a reliable broadband service.
- Some may be concerned with security issues however all software sellers state that their clouds are encrypted and data is secure.
- In some instances the software may work out to be more expensive especially if you are using a basic software package and you don’t need to upgrade every year.
The attitude towards cloud computing is being compared to internet banking. Many of us were concerned about internet banking when it was first introduced but now it is readily embraced. If you think that cloud computing may be the answer for your business then contact us on (08) 9300 3240 to find out more.