What to consider before doing your accounting in the cloud.
In almost all areas of our lives, the simplicity, convenience, and efficiency of cloud-based computing has taken over – from storing our family photos to banking and healthcare. The ability to access information from anywhere and let someone else handle all the maintenance are just two game-changing reasons we’re getting out of our PCs and into the cloud.
But when it comes to moving to cloud-based accounting, many companies are still hesitant to make the switch. That’s understandable: financial records are the lifeblood of a business, and it can be a bit daunting to think of giving up the perceived control of an in-house system and tossing it all into the cloud. However, the advantages can be huge, if you take time to research, plan, and make smart choices.
Why you should do your accounting in the cloud
- Simplicity + efficiency = increased productivity. In a broad stroke, convenience is the most compelling reason to advance to cloud based accounting. When it’s easy for more of your team to access the numbers in the office, on the jobsite, or anywhere in the connected world, more can be accomplished in a lot less time.
- Most cloud-based solutions work like websites – they’ll load and function whether you’re on a Mac, PC, tablet, or phone. Anywhere, anytime accessibility, not tethered to a location.
- With a cloud-based system, you can set up automated data feeds from banks and credit cards to streamline AR and AP processes and reduce the human error that can come from manual entry and reconciliation. Automation also means your financials are more up-to-date, allowing for real-time analysis and action.
- Software upgrades can be expensive. When you subscribe to a cloud-based system, updates are included with your membership. That way, everyone stays on the same page, and bug free, without the multi-thousand dollar hit often attached to keeping your software current.
- Security. This is often the number one concern with moving data off an in-house system. But in reality, your data can be more secure in the cloud: service providers ensure there are backup systems, redundancy, and tight encryption in place, and have teams constantly monitoring for cyberattacks. Server facilities are built to tight specifications to protect against natural and manmade disasters, such as floods, fires, and break-ins.
- It’s not your problem anymore. Technical issues are no longer the responsibility of your IT crew when you move to the cloud. That’s your service provider’s department, and their reputation is on the line should their service glitch even once, so you can expect top-notch support if you select a quality provider.
Why you might not want to move your accounting to the cloud
- Yes, we did just say superior security is a pro of moving to the cloud. But it can be a downside if you don’t take the time to research the tools and service provider you select. You will want to look for a provider with backup systems, encryption, 24/7/365 monitoring, and uptime guarantees so you know your data is as safe as it can be.
- Here’s another one that can work for or against you – in the short term there’s no need to buy software, so integration is cheap, but over time you might end up paying more for the service than the software. Once again, diligent research before you commit can ensure you’re getting the most cost-effective solution.
- Limited Functionality. Many cloud-based accounting tools don’t have the features and functionality needed by certain industries such as construction. You’ll need to do your research to find the right tool that can handle the complexities of financial and project management specific to your industry.
The bottom line…
Moving to cloud-based software for your business’ accounting needs can be a game-changer. No matter what decision you make, the most important factor for success is doing your research. Your financial advisor can work with you on what’s best for your business. The advisors at No Boundaries Advisors take pride in matching our clients with the very best CPA for your individual concerns, even if it comes at our expense.
If you’re considering moving to the cloud, or have already made the decision and aren’t sure where to go next, we encourage you to contact us today to find out how we can support your business now and in the future.