These days it’s hard to go a day without hearing mention of the "cloud." It's not hard to see why. Consider these benefits of software as a service (SaaS) delivery models:
- Data is not tied directly to a physical location or device.
- Software can be easily customized, making it ideal for users who want to mold it to suit their own specialized needs.
- Multiple redundant sites means improved reliability.
- Costs are lowered as companies may no longer need to hire, train, and retain dedicated IT personnel.
These are just a few reasons why your business should look to cloud-based accounting programs. But don't take our word for it. We asked four business and accounting experts to share their take.
No Longer Ground-Bound
“Most small businesses should not have software installed on their computer. Most small businesses should only use online software (cloud computing). Is it safe and reliable? Yes. Of course, there might be certain instances where having a server in your office is preferable — speak to your local IT consultant about your specific situation.
In specific regard to online accounting solutions, this is where you'll experience massive productivity gains. You can access and work on your finances from anywhere; more easily give access to your finances to your accountant, bookkeeper, or other user; and leverage the power of mobile computing to manage your finances or cash flow — even while standing in line.”
— Ramon Ray, smarthustle.com
The Sky's the Limit
"The move to the cloud has been a huge benefit to small businesses. One of the areas where we see this most prominently is the accounting software space. Before the cloud you had to pay several hundred dollars upfront (at a minimum) to purchase accounting software. [With cloud-based accounting programs, you get access to robust software for a low monthly subscription fee.]
Another major advantage of cloud-hosted accounting software is that you do not need to install anything on your computer. You log in to the software over the Internet using your browser, and the company that offers the software handles everything. Since you do not have to download and install anything, you can access your accounting software from any computer that has an Internet connection.
The subscription model that most cloud service providers offer has another advantage: upgrades are included in the subscription cost and happen automatically. This means you don't have to worry about big upgrade expenses, and you don't need an in-house IT staff to manage the software for you.
Security is one of the concerns business owners have with moving to the cloud. I think this concern is misplaced. The chances are slim that a small business will have the security and backups in place that the major cloud software providers maintain. While they are not unheard of, security issues are much less frequent at major cloud software providers than they are at the average small business."
— Dave Waring, fitsmallbusiness.com
Stay Above the Competition
“The chorus of voices telling small-business owners, "Move to the Cloud" is growing so loud that the real message is getting lost: Cloud services are not trendy or cool — they are absolutely vital to the future survival of your company. That’s not an exaggeration. Businesses that are not using cloud-based data connections will be abandoned by customers and run over by the competition. That's how powerful these new data connections are.
Start with accounting; connecting your accounting software to other cloud-based resources is the best and fastest way to benefit. Imagine connecting your customer list to your CRM system so salespeople can create new accounts (and invoices!) on a tablet ... from their car. Then streamline operations by connecting the shipping department to delivery service companies for instant mailing labels and tracking codes ... which automatically generates a shipping charge and a customer invoice when the package ships. And, finally, pare down the accounting function itself by moving billing and collections to a Web-based system, eliminating paper, envelopes, stamps, and hours of manual filing each week.
But this is just the beginning. When accounting becomes part of the data ecosystem in your company, you can improve cash flow, get better management information, and see mistakes drop while efficiency skyrockets.
In short, cloud-connected accounting will transform the way your business runs ... I guarantee it!”
— David Worrell, rocksolidfinance.com
The Trend is Cloud
"Your old, outdated desktop accounting system … using it yourself is painful, time consuming, and you almost need to be an accountant to operate the system. But if you ship your records off to your accountant to handle, you have no visibility into how your business is performing on a real-time basis. It's a lose-lose situation. Cloud accounting software, conversely, hits two birds with one stone and makes your accounting easier than ever.
Is the cloud for every type of business out there? Absolutely not. But for the vast majority, there's no reason why their accounting shouldn't be cloud-based. So say goodbye to your old clunky desktop accounting system or dreaded spreadsheets and say hello to the future of your accounting."
— Ryan Lazanis, xenaccounting.com
Paychex is proud to have joined the ranks of those spearheading the move to cloud accounting with our new online accounting program.