What is Cloud Accounting
Cloud accounting (also called online accounting) has all the same functionality as desktop accounting, however the whole process is moved to and stored on the cloud, instead of being saved on a hard drive on a computer in the office. Using one of the many online accounting software solutions available, your business financials are accessed using a web browser or an app on your smartphone. The information is encrypted, in the same way online banking is, so only users with the access login details can view or edit the data.
Benefits of Cloud Accounting
Operating your accounts online has many advantages, with some of the key points being:-
- Access to your accounts information anywhere where you have internet access, ensuring you have the data to make accurate business decisions on the move.
- Access to real time information. Cloud accounting software packages have useful features to help keep the bookkeeping and bank reconciliation work simpler and quicker, helping to keep real time information on your business performance.
- Live bank feeds are available on many of the cloud accounting software platforms and this function is one of the key benefits of moving to the cloud. Live bank feeds are the ability to directly link your business banking securely and safely to the accounts software. The feed pulls the bank transaction data (dates, descriptions and amounts) straight into your accounting software, saving data entry time and ensures accurate, timely information on cash balances within your accounts.
- Multi user access to the accounting software makes it simple to share information with other management or employees. Access rights can be adjusted so different users only see certain information. Giving your accountant access to the software helps with ongoing support to your business and improves the accuracy of advice that can be offered.
- As the online accounting platform is run on the cloud, the software can be updated by the developers at any time. This removes the need for users themselves to run timely and expensive software updates. You will always be working on the most up to date version of the software.
- Security is taken very seriously by cloud-based software developers. They ensure the security and privacy of your data, by using high levels of encryption. The level of security used on cloud accounting software is very similar to online banking, which is deemed safe by many. The data is backed up in the cloud, removing the risk of losing your data by theft or fire.
- Many other third-party apps can be connected to your cloud accounting software. With the use of open API’s (application programming interface), software packages can talk to each other and send data. Such examples of apps that can be linked to the accounting software are: cash flow forecasting apps, industry-specific management tools and detailed invoicing apps.
Selecting the correct software package
With many options now available, selecting the right cloud accounting software may seem daunting to many business owners. We have extensive knowledge and experience of using the packages, and can help you select the right software depending on your business requirements and affordability.
We also have partner programmes with the main providers, ensuring we have product knowledge and expertise in:
We do not prefer one to the other, as they all have their strengths depending on the type of business you operate and what you require. A discussion with a member of our team will help to decide the best option for you.
Once the right software package has been identified, we can assist you with the subscription options and then setup the software to meet how your business operates and ensure it captures all the important data from your transactions. We provide initial training and ongoing support to ensure the transition across to cloud accounting is worthwhile and you gain all the benefits of the move.
Future of accounting
Cloud accounting has already been around for years, with the first stage of Making Tax Digital (MTD) implemented in April 2019 causing many VAT registered businesses over the VAT threshold to transition across to online accounting.
The next stages of MTD to be implemented in the coming years will mean many more businesses will need to operate cloud accounting software that is MTD compliant. With all the benefits of the software mentioned above, alongside the regulatory aspect of being MTD compliant, there seems little point putting off the transition.
Please get in contact with a member of staff or Partner to discuss how your business can transition to cloud accounting.