Cloud accounting software is commonly referred to as an online accounting software, web- powered software or web-based accounting software. This is hosted on a remote server, where the users send data to “the cloud” and it is processed and returned to the user.
Cloud accounting software applications can be accessed by its users via the internet or using another network through a cloud application service provider. When the business is in possession of the cloud-based accounting software, it does not need to implement individual desktops with the software as everyone is now able to access the cloud on any of their own devices. As a result, cloud accounting is an optimal work from home solution and this lets remote/overseas teams and branches access the same data and version of the software, helping to save costs and improve communications.
Besides this, the cloud accounting software will have data backup and disaster recovery functions, which can help in events of accidental erasure of data, tracking data leakages and/or cases of hardware damage.
Why should businesses invest in cloud-based accounting software?
The clearest advantage to this will be convenience. The business employees will be able to access their finances from any location. There will not be time wasted with downloads, updates and hardware issues that may come with regular software. Especially for software that are engineered with their own mobile apps, the employees can even get access to numbers while on the go and do not have to return to office/sit in office to handle the accounts and look at cashflow.
Timing will be an advantage as the user can get a real time view of their current finances and financial situation when the data is on the cloud. In this case, business stakeholders will be better informed on making decisions for the financial future and goals of their business. With traditional accounting, the difficulty is looking through a long report but not necessarily having the most updated information. Hence for fast moving businesses such as startups and consumer businesses, having access to the real time view of their financial situations can prove to be extremely useful for them.
Cloud based accounting softwares help the user to automate and a regular workflow can be automated and carried out by the cloud. This includes services such as sending out invoices, automatic payments to vendors and suppliers and a myriad of other applications. Carrying out collaborative efforts will also be easier as the cloud can help businesses to generate reports that external accountants requested. The external accountant is also able to have access to the software and can access the required numbers at any point of time, speeding up their job. The collaboration can also be controlled, in which employees receive different amounts of access, helping with security.
All humans are capable of making little mistakes in the digits, whereas with the cloud accounting software, there is lower risks of an accounting error as relevant information is entered and automated, hence generating more accurate reports. Also, specialised knowledge such as accounting practices, formulas or shortcuts are not required, given that the accounting software has some standard templates and reports to generate. All the employees and supervisors have to do is to enter and scan income, expenses and relevant financials regularly.
With online hosting, there is no installation required for cloud-based accounting softwares and no hardware requirements are included. The cloud is accessed via a web browser (e.g. Chrome) or mobile app to login to the account. Hence, an in-house team to maintain the software is not required. Cloud based software users are also able to quickly access their tech support through phone or chats and receive the technical help they need. Last but not least, with many firms now valuing the ideals of sustainability, the use of paper in stacks and drums is no longer a viable option. Cloud based accounting software can help businesses remove unnecessary expenses on paper, ink and cut down on manual errors. Space for documents and archives will be less needed and it would be possible to experience decluttering in the office now.
Quickbooks is a dedicated software that has commonly used accountancy features. Such features include practice management for project managements, data-in with bank feeds and apps to automate data entry and document collection, payroll and payment acceptances, workpapers for analysing and adjusting year end statistics, and filing for personal and corporate tax returns. Other daily accounting tools are provided as well.
Quickbooks also has a mobile app for monitoring cash flow, use times, and processing of payments. Users are able to upload receipts on the go and while working from home as well. Expenses tracking is also made easy. Colleague collaboration is available with an activity and change log, and Quickbooks takes account security and information privacy seriously with data encryption and automatic backups for information provided to it.