As software as a service (SaaS) becomes increasingly popular for time- and cash-strapped small business owners, cloud accounting is becoming a hot topic. This latest development in digital accounting gives even the smallest businesses access to a full suite of accounting services they might not have previously considered due to technical infrastructure issues and cost. The reduced cost and easy-to-use systems are just two features getting the attention of small and mid-sized businesses in a variety of industries. Here are five additional benefits cloud accounting provides to businesses.
Accessible on any device
Traditional accounting systems were often installed on only one computer in a business, because multiple copies of the accounting software would be required for additional computers—an expensive investment for many small businesses.
Since data and software is stored in "the cloud," and not on site at the business location, cloud accounting allows authorized personnel to access information from virtually anywhere. They can do this using devices including laptops, desktops, tablets such as iPads, and smartphones—and are no longer required to sit in front of one particular computer to find the financial information they're searching for.
Cuts down on work
Another benefit to a cloud-based accounting program is that once information is entered into the system, everyone can see it and all relevant forms and statements may be updated automatically and in real time to reflect the latest data. This cuts down on both paperwork and redundant inputting activities required by traditional accounting software. This in turns reduces the chances of inputting errors, and saves time that owners and staff can use more productively for running the business.
Business owners and their employees don't require extensive accounting knowledge to use an accounting system that is based in the cloud. Information is entered via a simple dashboard system, eliminating the need for and cost of a specialized accounting or bookkeeping staff member.
Real-time recording of income and expenses
Shoeboxes of receipts are a thing of the past for businesses that switch to cloud-based systems. Paper receipts and invoices are difficult to store and organize, and take up valuable workspace in an office or shop. Recording receipts in a traditional system may occur days or even weeks after an expense was incurred, increasing the odds that incorrect details are input.
Cloud systems let small business owners record their income and expenses as they happen, in real time. Some systems even allow smartphone cameras to capture images of receipts or invoices for storage in the cloud. This not only gets rid of annoying scraps of paper, it alleviates the possibility for incomplete recording when relying on memory and a handful of paper receipts.
Cloud accounting securely enables teamwork
Old-fashioned accounting programs were installed on one computer; collaborating with team members, other staff, or members of the accounting team meant transferring information to a disk or USB stick—an activity that could lead to lost information and security breaches. In addition, information stored on a laptop or computer can fall into the wrong hands if the device is stolen. On the flip side, information stored in a cloud-based program is only available to individuals with the correct login and password information.
With a cloud accounting system, information is available to all authorized individuals on any device at any time. This simplifies collaborative efforts, saves time, and reduces the opportunity for mishaps.
Learn more about how cloud accounting options help small businesses save valuable time and money today.