What are the benefits of cloud accounting?

26 June 2018

When speaking to my clients there can be an element of uncertainty about the benefits of cloud accounting and why they should invest in a cloud accounting package such as QuickBooks Online, Sage One or Xero.

If your existing desktop accounting system isn’t broken, why try to fix it, or why learn how to use a new software package? I’m happy to challenge the perception that maintaining the status quo is the correct course of action for the following reasons:

Real-time information

The tools that are available to business owners, their bookkeepers and accountants have changed. It is now possible to spend less time processing financial transactions, make better informed decisions and reap the wider benefits of access to real-time information via cloud accounting software.

The use of bank feeds to automatically import and categorise bank statement lines, online invoicing software which can help to improve cash collection, attaching photos to expense claims and clear, quick and simple-to-understand financial reporting are some examples of how efficiencies can be gained in what were previously time consuming information processing activities.

Accessing data on the go

In an interconnected world, cloud accounting packages give a real-time view of your cashflow from almost any device that has an internet connection (smartphone, tablet or desktop) on a 24/7 basis.

This also means that your accountant can be given 24/7 access to your data meaning that you can benefit from a better service. We are now able to provide more relevant and timely insights to our clients and we help our clients run their business, rather than preparing accounts, often several months after the year end.

Improved security and no more upgrades

In a GDPR compliant world, our clients know that their sensitive financial data is secure and backed-up automatically to the cloud. Multiple users can access the system, at the same time, for no extra cost, with unique usernames and passwords allowing for an audit trail of who made each change. Data can also be shared securely inside the system reducing the risk of data breaches from sending emails or using pen-drives.

Cost savings

Businesses subscribe to their cloud package on a monthly rolling basis meaning there is no major upfront cash outlay. When a business licences a cloud product it is done for the organisation, rather than on a user basis as seen in desktop packages. Savings can be seen in software maintenance costs as there is no system downtime – software updates are installed automatically – saving businesses time and effort as they aren’t required to perform time consuming and expensive software upgrade projects.

If you have any questions about how cloud accounting could revolutionise your business, please do not hesitate to contact me or your local UHY adviser.