Cloud Accounting Software
“The cloud” is a phrase that means something very different these days, due to the increasing use of cloud computing. But what exactly is cloud computing? And is it a good option for small businesses?
First, a quick definition. Without getting lost in ‘geekspeak’, cloud computing simply means both the software you use and your data are stored on remote servers on the Internet, rather than ‘locally’ on your computer’s hard drive or your own server(s).
That idea—of the data not physically being in the same place as you—used to sound scary to many. What about security? What about the risk of losing your data? Surely it’s best to have your data on a computer you can see and touch on your own premises?
Counter-intuitively, your data is likely to be more secure when stored in a cloud environment, compared with storing it yourself on your own computer or server on your premises. Why is that?
- Security Your own IT security is likely to be far less robust than that of a cloud provider. Reputable cloud solution providers use solid security measures such as 256-bit SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption. This is the same level of encryption used by online banks.
- Theft If your computer, server, smartphone, tablet or other device you use is lost or stolen, your data is safe because it’s not on the device. It’s in the cloud, stored securely behind encrypted passwords.
- Disaster You can relax a little easier because your data is in the cloud when it comes to disasters such as cyclone, flood or fire. A business using cloud-based system could have its premises burn to the ground overnight and could continue “business as usual” from another location if they had access to the Internet.
- Hardware Computer hard drives are like car engines. It’s not a question of if they will ever break down, but rather when they will break down. That’s why we all diligently do daily data backups, right? And we all take these backups off-site each day, don’t we? And we all do weekly tests where we restore the backups to ensure the backups are working as intended? Right …………. And yet it’s precisely what most small businesses fail to do.
- Software With cloud accounting software there is no software to install locally. No software updates or “patches” to install. You just log in to each system and it’s always up to date.
- Efficiency via Data Flows – By adopting cloud computing and building an “app ecosystem” for your business you can eliminate a number of inefficiencies where data is being manually re-entered into multiple systems. Your data can seamlessly flow from one app (area of your business) to the next without the added step of manual data entry. Manual data entry is not only an expense and an inefficiency that slows down your business processes, it introduces the opportunity for error.
The one exception
There is one exception here of course. If your business is in a region where you do not have reasonable Internet speed (e.g. 5 Mbps or more) with reliable connections, then cloud computing is not for you. Not yet.
Technology continues to evolve in this area, and it won’t be long until every business on the planet has Internet speeds that support cloud computing.
Where to start with ‘going to the cloud’
The process of going to the cloud starts with deciding on your cloud-based accounting and CRM systems. That’s because your financial and customer data are crucial, and will receive and send data to and from your other operational areas.
Your ideal accounting system and CRM platform will depend on your type of business and the systems or apps you already use. Building your business’ app ecosystem is one of the most important areas for any business owner or entrepreneur to focus on.
That’s why we love advising businesses as they move to the cloud.
If you’d like to sit down with us and have a chat about cloud accounting software and your move to the cloud, get in touch to make a time.
Going to the cloud is no longer an option for a modern, competitive business, it is a necessity. Talk to us today about which accounting software provider is best for you.
At DGL Accountants, we have the trained experts ready to answer your questions about cloud accounting systems
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