The concept of online technology for everything from personal bank services, to companion search sites, to social media networks, has inundated both our personal and professional lives. Most of this technology has been created to simplify our lives, to give us easier access, and to connect us more effectively to people and resources. This reality has crossed over into most professional environments as well. One of these environments is that of finance or accounting. Many accounting firms have begun to focus on how they can create greater efficiencies in their relationships with their clients, both for their own business practices as well as to benefit their clients. One of these focuses has been on the changing technology—specifically what is known as cloud-based technology.
Cloud based technology, or cloud computing, refers to anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. These services are divided into infrastructure, platform and software-as-a-service. Cloud based accounting services fall into the software format. Following are some of the benefits of cloud based technology, and more specifically, cloud based accounting.
One of the largest benefits of cloud based accounting technology is accessibility. As long as you have access to an internet connection and web browser, you can access your financial information from any mobile device or desktop wherever you may be. You can have information at your fingertips 24 hours a day – this becomes extremely beneficial for those traveling to different time zones and requiring full access without worrying about regular office hours in their home locations. You will be assured that your financial information is accurate and accessible.
Another benefit of cloud based accounting technology is the assurance of security. It is of utmost importance that your financial information is secure. Cloud based technology uses secure servers that can be accessed using an internet connection and web browser.
Cloud-based accounting systems also reduce administrative costs by eliminating the need to host, support, and maintain on-site software. There is no need to have an in-house IT staff to maintain servers, update software, manage hardware, etc. From a small business perspective, one saves costs associated with purchasing expensive business accounting software programs, learning complicated programs, hiring staff to maintain the process. When using cloud accounting software, IT tasks such as version upgrades and data backup are managed by the application vendor.
Adaptability of software
Another benefit of cloud based accounting is the ability to personalize to the need and size of the company. Some companies require payroll support, and this is a basic option for all cloud based accounting software. All software in cloud based technology has a number of other options in common regardless of their host: standard double entry accounting rules; customizable accounts and the ability to create journal entries specific to business needs; flexibility to create records for customers, vendors, items and employees; standard financial reports, cash flow charts, income and expense, invoice and billing. Each company will have the ability to create the accounts they require and adapt the records and reporting to their specific needs.