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Cloud Accounting – What’s this all about?

Technology is changing how Accountancy services are delivered. It's taken a while for our old industry to catch on but now things are changing rapidly.

There is software available to help with communication, data entry tasks, invoicing, banking as well as just about any other process you can imagine that touches off the finance function in any way.

Accountancy Software itself has changed significantly. The growth of cloud services has resulted in various product providers changing the traditional model of desktop or networked Accountancy Software and moving to a Software as a Service (Saas) model.

What this means is that rather than having a desktop piece of software which would traditionally have been accessed on "the Accountants PC", the software is accessed via the Internet through a browser. There are huge benefits to this such as;

  • Ease of access through an internet browser. This means that team members in various locations can have access to the same information. This includes your external Accountant! Sharing of back-ups is a thing of the past.
  • Hardware cost savings as there is no requirement for onsite servers.
  • Version control; all team members will always be working from the same version of the software. One of my personal pet hates and frustrations has always been "updates" which are now a thing of the past with cloud accounting software. All updates are pushed out at the same time across the entire platform and the user will only see the benefits.

While all of this change and new technology is very welcome there are a few things that you have to remain realistic about;
  • Cloud Accounting has not changed Accounting (a debit is still a debit and a credit is still a credit!). It won't turn a loss into a profit either I'm afraid! It is just facilitating how data is recorded and results are delivered. Some providers are excellent at selling and marketing their products. Images of a stress free business owner clicking a button to be presented with the most up to date Profit & Loss Account for their business is something that can give the impression that all you need to do is subscribe……this is not the case!
  • Rubbish in will still result in rubbish out
  • Not all Accounting software on the market will necessarily suit your business
  • Processes and controls are still essential to ensure that the correct information is being captured
If technology is used correctly it should result in better information. It should allow your Accountant to assist you in growing your business and help your business achieve its goals by being able to focus on analysing financial performance and making good decisions based on the data.

If you would like to discuss the potential opportunities for your business by moving to Cloud Accounting why not give one of the team a call and we would be happy to discuss this with you.



 

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