5 Considerations When Moving Your Accounting to the Cloud
The business world has been drastically transformed by various technologies that boost operational efficiency, client satisfaction, and more. From marketing automation software to conversational AI-based chatbots, there's a variety of tools that can take your business to the next level.
Thanks to another technological concept that has changed how we do business — cloud computing — you can now move your accounting entirely to the cloud and access your records from anywhere.
If you're thinking about moving your accounting to the cloud, you should know that there are a lot of benefits to it, but also some considerations to take into account.
Benefits of Cloud Accounting
The advantages of cloud accounting are huge. The most obvious one is remote access. With traditional accounting, you probably have the software installed on a few office computers, and you can only access your financial records from there. However, with cloud-based software, all you need is an internet connection, and you can log in from any device, anywhere. You can even work from home.
Traditional accounting programs usually require a lot of manual data input and updates, which can lead to many errors and inconsistencies. Thanks to the ability to integrate with various other apps, cloud-based software can update your financial information automatically, which both saves time and prevents mistakes.
Another advantage of this type of accounting software is scalability. As your business grows, you don't need to renew your licenses and equipment or buy new servers — the cost of scaling up will be negligible, and your provider will handle any upgrades.
Having your provider's technical support is another plus. You don't have to worry about security and system maintenance as the cloud provider will take care of these. With traditional applications, if your hardware crashes, all your info goes down the drain, but with cloud accounting, you get automatic data backup.
It seems obvious that cloud accounting can make your life much easier, but here are some things to consider before you make a commitment to transition.
What Are Your Accounting Requirements?
Choosing the best cloud-based software will depend on your individual needs. Two-thirds of accountants prefer cloud accounting to on-premises solutions, but if you're a solopreneur, for example, you might be among the one-third that can't be bothered to transition.
If you do decide to go for the cloud, you need to choose your provider carefully. Do you need a simple system to keep track of your financial records and do taxes, or do you require additional features and integration with other platforms?
Maybe you need some industry-specific tools or some custom features. The point is, make sure you get exactly what you need so that you don't end up paying for redundant features or missing vital tools.
Will Your Data Be Secure?
Generally speaking, your data will probably be much safer in the cloud than it would be lying around in your computer. If your PC crashes or gets stolen, your data is lost for good or worse — it may fall into the wrong hands.
Cloud-based data doesn't stay in your computer, which makes it much more difficult to access without authorization. However, you need to read your vendor's security policy carefully to check if they're doing everything they can to make your data safe. Look for at least two-factor authentication, firewalls, end-to-end encryption, and automatic backup.
Think About Integration With Third-Party Apps
You may want to sync up your accounting software with some other apps, such as your CRM, which will allow you to pull out data automatically and speed up many lengthy processes. That's why it's essential to look for a platform that integrates with all other important apps you use.
Many cloud accounting providers offer a cluster of business apps that sync up automatically and increase your productivity.
Do You Have a Solid Internet Connection?
The whole point of having a cloud-based accounting system is being able to work from anywhere online. That's why you need to make sure that you'll have a strong and secure internet connection at all times so that you don't experience any bugs.
Even if your desktop or laptop computer fails, you'll still be able to access your financial information and do your accounting on your smartphone. The only important thing is to have a stable connection.
How Can You Make a Smooth Transition?
The amount of time you'll need for a smooth transition to cloud accounting depends on how big of a transition it is for you. For example, if you're the sole accountant at a small business, the entire process will be fast, and only you need to get familiar with the new system.
However, if there's an entire accounting department or you're an accounting agency, you need to make sure that everyone's on board and ready before you make the big change.
The good thing is that most cloud providers help you with training and are always available for technical support. If they don't provide training, you'll have to do it yourself using any method you see fit, such as live presentations, webinars, etc.
About the Author:
Jennifer Wilson is a writer at Qeedle.com. She knows business processes and operations management inside out. As she understands all the challenges of running a small business firsthand, it's her mission to tackle the topics that are most relevant to entrepreneurs and offer viable solutions.