The introduction of cloud computing has changed the way small businesses function. From internal processes to external sales and marketing strategies, business owners of all sizes are utilizing the cloud in unique ways. Thanks to this increased connectivity, small businesses have expedited their expansion from a local to a global scale, simplified their accounting systems and annual tax processes, and fostered their growing desire for innovation. This trend of cloud computing has yet to peak, however. Increasing at a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent, by 2016 the market size of the cloud is estimated to reach just under $20 billion.
With the future of small businesses floating in the cloud, small-business accounting is quickly changing. With less time worrying about invoicing and expenses, you can focus on what you do best: running your business. To illustrate this point further, here are five ways cloud accounting will transform the future of your small business.
1. Accessibility: With cloud accounting, you conveniently have access to your books from any location with an Internet connection. If your small business is in the start-up phase, chances are you're on the road and working odd hours from home. Cloud accounting programs will grant you easy access to the books from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. Many programs even have their own mobile apps available for a mobile, user-friendly experience.
2. Multiple Users: You may be a small-business owner, but that doesn't make you an accountant. Using a cloud-based accounting system allows multiple users to have access to the books simultaneously. Unlike older desktop accounting software, several users can now access a single set of books without overwriting each other's work. So work in tandem with your accountant without worrying about the outdated exorbitant fees associated with networking computer software together.
3. Data Safety: Older software was reliant on users saving and backing up data at the end of each day. Frequent backup drive complications led to lost data, duplicated work, and wasted resources. Choosing an online accounting system will ensure automatic backups, encrypted data storage, and peace of mind that comes with a sense of protection in a world of increased cybercrime.
4. Maintenance: With cloud accounting, there are no expensive software licenses to purchase, no updates to download, and no additional IT staff to pay. You can anticipate that with each log in, you are experiencing the most up-to-date program at your fingertips; what's more, the website's programmers are responsible for working out any bugs.
5. Ease of Use: Educating users was once the biggest hurdle in implementing new accounting solutions. Today, most online accounting systems are designed with the non-accountant in mind. Prompts will help to assure that you enter the correct data into specific fields, while system staff is oftentimes available to assist clients in troubleshooting.
The basics of accounting may not have changed; the pillars of monitoring your expenses and revenue remain as strong as ever for your small business to succeed. However, technological innovations and the growing trend of cloud computing has simplified the accounting process for all small-business owners. Explore the cloud accounting options available to you and take part in a multibillion-dollar trend that is changing the future of business accounting.