How Cloud Tech Is Changing AccountingPosted by John Thoreson on May 30, 2016 in Uncategorized | Comments Off on How Cloud Tech Is Changing Accounting
Businesses have to keep up with rapidly evolving technology if they want to stay relevant in the industry. With that in mind, a paradigm shift in terms of software acquisition has happened in a way that companies no longer buy software as a product, but as a service (SAAS). Instead of a one-time investment coupled with upgrade costs, a company instead pays for monthly service. By understanding how cloud technology is changing the way businesses are run, specifically in the area of accounting, you’ll be able to see if it’s finally time for your company to take a leap and embrace the cloud.
The reason for the change in software paradigm is directly connected to the developments and advances in web and internet technology. For instance, instead of opting for external hard drives, a lot of people are now storing their data in Dropbox or Google Drive. The exponential growth of social media websites and apps also means that more and more people are going online. Soon enough, cloud-based financial apps caught on to the trend and are now becoming the norm.
Why Businesses Are Embracing Cloud Technology
A lot of businesses are jumping on the cloud bandwagon typically because of the following reasons:
- More controlled costs – in purchasing software as a product, one often has to pay a large amount of money upfront, and in some cases, hire additional IT professionals to make sure that the software plays well with the current hardware. Problems with the software or hardware could mean additional company expenditures. By going with cloud-based software, you get more consistent monthly expenditures, therefore making it easier to manage the company’s resources.
- Easy Access – cloud-based programs are accessible anywhere and are typically platform independent (can work with Windows, Mac OSX, or even Linux). In fact, you could even access them through almost any device, whether it’s your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
- Seamless Software Integration – depending on the service you’ve availed, you probably won’t even have to do anything to make sure that the software applications you’re using work seamlessly together; cloud-based apps are easier to interconnect because of their cross-platform nature.
- Real-time Collaboration – cloud-based apps, unlike apps installed in a few company computers, can actually be used by more than one person. This allows several people to actually collaborate and work on a single file simply by using the same cloud-based app on different devices. Doing so allows people to access data in real-time while also modifying them and seeing the changes done by their co-workers.
- Scalable Services – software applications typically come with different versions, each with a specific set of features and corresponding price. The great thing about cloud-based apps is that you can easily add or remove services according to your company’s needs. For regular software applications, buying one means having to stick with that decision at least until the next upgrade.
With cloud-based accounting apps becoming more and more flexible and affordable, what was once only accessible to large corporations are now accessible to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). One could easily choose the types of services needed to avoid wasting money on unneeded features. In a world where businesses continue to reduce operation and product costs, streamlining the features of software applications used can make all the difference.
For instance, here are some cloud-based accounting apps and what they can do:
- Xero – Xero is a cloud-based accounting app built for SMEs. Accountants who recommend Xero, however, have used it even with large corporations with relative ease. Its functional features include automatic custom invoicing, which allows you to produce invoices for clients quickly; zero software set-up required, which means that you don’t need to install any software to use it – just set up a username and password and you’re good to go; and lastly, a neat overview of your cash flow, therefore letting you easily monitor your finances.
- Receipt Bank – Receipt Bank is an app that allows you to keep copies of your receipts to help you manage your finances more efficiently and effectively. What’s awesome about this app, however, is how it works beautifully in tandem with Xero so that you don’t waste time collecting receipts.
- Salesforce CRM – Salesforce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) lets you keep track of your company’s projects, clients, and other important details typically splattered across documents and emails. By centralizing a lot of important company data, you spend less time rummaging through information and more time innovating.
As you can see, cloud technology has drastically changed the world of accounting for the better. From ubiquitous data access, to seamless third-party application integration, to better security, to consistent updates, cloud-based apps have proven to be much more cost-effective than regular software applications. By learning to embrace the cloud, you’re one step closer to reaching the sky.