Those of you reading this are probably still using old accounting methods. Plug all of your numbers into an Excel spreadsheet, print them out, bring them over to your accountant, wait, have the accountant return the spreadsheets, evaluate, make appropriate changes. Rinse and repeat.
Okay, to be honest, I sincerely hope none of you are printing Excel spreadsheets; hopefully you at least have some type of accounting software, or that you’re at least transporting things via USB or e-mail or something. That said, all of these ideas strike me as very antiquated compared to cloud accounting. It’s fast, it’s secure, it will save you time and money – the whole idea comes highly recommended.
What is the Cloud?
You might not realize it, but you’re on the cloud right now! The cloud is basically all of the different things on the Internet, all the interconnected servers and services that make up our beautiful, digital world. You can refer to the cloud in a vast sense (all of the Internet as one cloud), or in a smaller sense (the accounting documents shared between you and your accountant). Microsoft gives a decent explanation of the forms the cloud can take.
What is Cloud Accounting?
As you can probably guess, it’s accounting, on the cloud! The main advantage of cloud accounting is real time changes to documents; you edit a figure, and that edited figure is instantly transmitted to your accounting team. Comments, changes and important notifications are all shared in real time; you can set up notifications on your phone so that you’re aware anytime something important occurs. No more walking over with a USB; this method is a lot more efficient, and that efficiency saves you time. As we all know, time is money, so it’s quite worthwhile. Real time cash flow management can be set up, so all of your transactions are instantly recorded on the cloud accounting software, and herein lies what might the biggest advantage of cloud accounting: everything is connected, so everything is streamlined.
Is it Safe?
Short answer: Yes. Long answer: Like anything, there are potential security risks with cloud accounting, but the folks who have made the software need it to be secure, lest they go out of business. The software we’re keen on, Xero, is highly secure. Think about this: if someone steals your laptop, and your accounting software is local, they can just log in and get your figures. For cloud accounting, they need to know your secure login. Should your computer be damaged or destroyed, no worrying about whether or not you backed it up; it’s automatically backed up on the cloud. These factors mean cloud accounting is in many ways more secure than traditional methods.
Our experienced accounting firm will set up cloud accounting for you; should you need extra assistance, we can even have an IT team come in and help you set everything up. The data will be sent to us in real time, and together, we can find the best accounting solutions for your business.