13 June 2017

What is cloud accounting?

Cloud accounting software allows you to perform all the functions of traditional accounting but with the convenience of instant access on multiple devices. This can be either on premise software or self-installed accounting packages. However, instead of being on site, the software itself is hosted on a remote server and users access software applications remotely through the Internet or other networks (mobile data) via a certified cloud application. 

Data is sent into ""the cloud,"" where it is processed, encrypted and returned to the user securely.

Using cloud accounting software alleviates the business from the pain of having to install and maintain software on individual desktop computers. It also allows employees in other departments, or branch offices wherever they may be, to access the same data and the same version of the software, and more importantly work on the move.

What is the cloud? 

So for those of you who don’t know, what exactly is the cloud and why should I trust it?

In short, cloud accounting is a way of describing when data and applications are stored and utilised online. This is done on a secure server operated by the cloud accounting company with their own highly advanced security teams/procedures operating on them 24/7.

So what did we do before ‘the cloud?’

The standard way to work for people who don’t use the cloud would be to run programs directly from their computers. Software would be installed onto a users hard drive and the data created was also stored onto that very same hard drive.

This is still the case in many accountancy practices and businesses running older versions of Sage or Quick Books.

Accounting technology today

Today, as internet speeds have improved and data storage costs dropped, how data is stored is changing.  

Businesses globally are opting to run applications online from remote servers with the data stored on these servers in the cloud. Streamlining their processes and making their working days more efficient and cost effective.

Benefits of moving to the cloud

The decision to move to the cloud presents numerous business benefits, including:  

  • Access to data anywhere, anytime – unlike previous software that had to be installed onto an individual computer, cloud applications are not tied to a single device or workstation. With an internet connection and correct login details, you can access real time data anywhere, anytime.
  • Lower IT costs with improved overall experience – backups and upgrades are vital for businesses and cloud applications do most of this for you, saving on IT support costs.
  • Faster updates – cloud software is developed and updated continually with new features being added and any bugs being fixed almost instantly.
  • Better business continuity – Theft, power outages, fires and unforeseen emergencies are all potential business risks that can't be prevented. Cloud-based businesses can recover faster when disaster strikes compared with those who store data on-site. 

How can cloud accounting benefit your business?

Cloud accounting allows you to work on your accounting in any location at any time. Meaning it’s easier to get real-time reporting and data visibility throughout your organisation. Keeping you on top of your business affairs and saving your business time and money.

At RWB we are Xero Platinum partners and the majority of our clients use cloud accounting services as it offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Powerful data processing and reporting
  • Easy set up, with automatic software updates
  • Access to financial information in real time - anywhere, anytime
  • Available on office desktop, at home or on your mobile devices
  • Automatic daily imports of your bank statements to keep on top of cashflow
  • Reduction in manual data entry
  • A full suite of accrual accounting features such as invoicing, payables, receivables, expense claims, VAT and reporting 
  • Efficient invoice entry and processing
  • Online collaborate between accountant and business

Xero reasons not to switch to cloud accounting

As the largest independent Xero champion in Nottingham, we can support and serve a wide range of industries on Xero software. If you are considering cloud-based accounting contact us 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.