4 Reasons to Celebrate Cloud Accounting During National Small Business Week
In celebration of National Small Business Week, which runs from May 4–8 this year, here’s a look at four ways using a software-as-a-service (SaaS), or “cloud,” accounting program can help small-business owners achieve this year’s theme of “Dream Big. Start Small.”
Cloud accounting software is delivered through Internet, a model made even more valuable with the proliferation of smartphones and tablets. Using their mobile device, business owners can input or access information when they are off site working to grow the business, whether it’s in sales meetings, on service calls, or at trade shows — anywhere with an Internet connect.
Multiple User Access
Before cloud-based services, businesses that had more than one person requiring access to the accounting program had two choices: pay to install software on multiple computers, or have staff members take turns using the one computer with the accounting package installed. Because cloud-based applications are hosted on off-site servers rather than on local hardware, businesses that use cloud accounting can authorize multiple users to access financial records from any Internet-enabled device.
As a business grows, this capability opens the door to remote collaboration between staff, off-site contractors, and third parties such as bookkeepers or accountants. With multiple stakeholders simultaneously viewing financial information, everyone can view relevant data when on a conference call, meeting, or training session, regardless of their location.
Growing small businesses are likely to deal with some amount of staff turnover. As new employees join and others leave, keeping sensitive financial data secure becomes a concern. The ability to easily add and remove authorized users is one way that SaaS accounting keeps data safe. Another is the fact that the servers on which sensitive accounting data is stored typically have far more security features in place than a program hosted in a business’ physical location would have.
Predictable Cash Flow
Small businesses often struggle with cash flow, and the last thing an entrepreneur needs is the headache of trying to squeeze money out of a budget for expensive accounting software. Cloud accounting packages are often more accessible to cash-strapped business owners than traditional accounting software because they typically use a subscription model where users pay a small monthly fee rather than a large up-front purchase cost. And, since subscription fees typically include any system updates, cloud accounting users don’t need to worry about additional investments down the line in order to take advantage of new features and functionality as their business grows and their accounting needs get more complex.