In an increasingly fast and connected world, with technology offering new applications and platforms for all different aspects of business, lets look at cloud based software and how it has evolved to meet the needs of small business, particularly from an accounting and bookkeeping perspective.
Working with cloud-based software, whether it’s a specifically targeted product such as Xero, or a more general application such as Google Drive, offers much more scope for flexible work practices. Data becomes accessible anywhere, anytime, you can get an internet connection, on multiple devices.
Essentially all you need for an ‘office’ is a internet connected device and you can log into all your programs and applications, and access all you data, in real time.
Shifting to cloud-based systems can increase productivity and streamline your business practices.
Some of the advantages of embracing cloud technology include:
- Cost effectiveness – Rather than buying a software package, and downloading and installing it on your computer, then subscribing to, and often paying for, updates, cloud-based systems such as Xero operate on a monthly subscription fee, and can be accessed from anywhere,
- Convenience – Because you’re working a platform, or platforms, that don’t require installed software to operate, you can work from any internet connected device at any location.
- Connectivity – The flexibility of cloud-based systems, particularly ones that allow for multiple users, means that you can connect and share with clients and colleagues from anywhere in the world, anytime, in real time.
- Add-ons and Integration – Many cloud-based accounting software packages integrate with various other systems and add-ons, saving valuable time by reducing data entry, and providing automated inventory and customer management updates.
- Productivity – The above points all combine to help you save one of your most valuable assets, time.
How does the cloud work? Basically, data is stored in the cloud, a remote, secure sever, rather than on the hard drive of your computer, or on portable memory devices.
It allows for remote (authorised) users to access data at all times, and provides a sense of security with the knowledge that your data is securely backed up. Worried about security? Cloud-based software such as Xero offer a level of security on a par with that of major banks.