13 November 2017

Head in the Cloud? It should be!

The Cloud – comprising a multitude of flexible online resources accessible via any device with an internet connection – has transformed accounting for businesses. But why and how do cloud-based solutions differ from traditional accounting software?

There are several differences between older forms of accounting software and cloud-based accounting solutions. 

You can keep up to date 

Any traditional, download-to-desktop, accounting software you own is likely to be out of date - or will be very quickly - have less functionality and will probably run much slower than a cloud-based solution. Moreover, it is more likely to be susceptible to malicious hacking attacks – every business’ worst nightmare. According to our friends at Xero accounting software, this is because data is often transferred from place to place, which can be insecure and unreliable.                  

Stay flexible and secure

Cloud accounting is much more secure and more accessible. You can determine who gets to see your data by granting them password access. Your accounts don’t reside on any one device, as they often do when using traditional software, so if your computer is stolen or hacked, your accounts data isn’t compromised or lost.     

Worried about security? You can sleep easy 

Indeed, a question we hear time and time again is “if I keep my accounts in the Cloud, will my data be safe?”. The simple answer is absolutely yes. With what we might call a “Fintech Revolution” in full swing, data protection and cyber security are at the top of the digital agenda and providers of cloud accounting solutions are at the forefront of the fight against cybercrime. Your data is encrypted in ever more sophisticated ways. To access the data you can also enable two factor authentication, to add an extra level of security.               

Cloud-based accounting solutions are simply more efficient…saving you time and money 

Traditional accounting methods will always have their place, but it’s undeniable that cloud accounting saves time and money compared to the old ways. Face-to-face contact with your accountant is important, particularly if you are seeking assurance over a complex matter, but it takes precious time. Many basic accounting tasks can be completed quickly and easily online, leaving you with more time and energy to spend on other areas of your business. 

As well as reducing paper and being much better for the environment, with the Xero Marketplace all your regular accounting functions can be easily automated and stored within the Cloud, so you can run your business more efficiently.        

Xero’s cloud accounting software, enables automated feeds direct from your business bank account, saving you time on reconciling payments. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technology can capture images and printed text from invoices and receipts and automatically convert them into purchase ledger entries.

In addition, you can set up automatic alerts for sales invoices and payment reminders, saving you time and money in debt collection. Small businesses report being paid up to 15 days faster by using online invoicing and enabling the ‘pay now’ function

Seamlessly integrate your business systems

It’s not just accounting functions that can be connected to the cloud.  The Xero Marketplace also connects with over 500 specialised apps designed to support a range of small business functions. These options give you the ability to automatically integrate with hundreds of system add ons such as time tracking, stock and inventory, point of sale and card payments as well as your CRM.

The perfect solution for those on the go

Convenience is king. Most people in the UK now possess a mobile device with an internet connection, such as a tablet or phone and, with a schedule packed with client meetings, networking events and so on, more and more professionals are using technology to do their work on the go. We live in a digital age and it ultimately makes sound business sense to do your accounting using the same devices, wherever and whenever you desire. 

If you are still in doubt about the virtues of cloud-based accounting, click here to discover even more benefits, contact our Xero team on 0115 964 8888 or email enquiries@rwbca.co.uk to arrange a Skype consultation. 

The views provided in this article are for general information purposes only. Nothing in this article represents advice of any nature whatsoever. Accordingly, RWB CA Limited does not accept any liability or responsibility for the information contained in this article or any decision or other action that may be taken in reliance upon the information contained within it. RWB CA Limited accepts no responsibility for any errors of fact or opinion and assumes no obligation to provide you with any changes to its assumptions.