Cloud-based accounting software is essential to understand the critical numbers of your business.

This month I want to get you up to speed on a tool that could make your life a whole lot easier.

Cloud-based accounting software is software that is on a remote server, rather than your computer or a hard drive.

The software offers many benefits, the most attractive being that this transcendental ‘cloud’ that your data is sitting on can save you a huge amount of time.

Here’s how:

Easy to access

By using cloud-based software your data is available anytime, anywhere via any device that has access to the internet. You could be on a train on the way to a meeting and need to quickly glance at sales figures on your laptop or sipping a cocktail on holiday in Fiji and want to swiftly revise some debtors information on your phone (highly unlikely right?!) But my point is that if you need it, all of your accounting information is readily available.

Up to date

Another bonus of cloud-based accounting is that it’s always up to date. Developers of the software consistently run updates to improve it and ensure security is at its best.

Safe and secure

Speaking of security, to keep customer data safe, all cloud-based software is designed to store, encrypt and back up information. This means that there is never a risk of losing data if your computer crashes or you experience a simple flat battery on your phone or laptop.

The encryption of data guarantees that it’s stored compliantly up in the cloud to prevent hackers from accessing your information, similar to the security that is used for internet banking. In addition to encryption many providers use firewalls to protect their customers and some will let you customise your security measures.

Integrates with apps

Quality cloud-based providers integrate with hundreds of third-party apps to ensure that you can continue to use these services. Some of the app’s that providers integrate with are payment gateways like Stripe, Square and PayPal, CRM’s like HubSpot, Insightly and Mail Chimp as well as services that offer HR and payroll systems, inventory control, time tracking and more.

Receipt management

A provider like Receipt Bank offers a service where you can forward emailed invoices and scan cash receipts, so you’ll never have that centre console of the car full of receipts again! I personally think this is a real bonus.

Tracks cash flow

By having everything in the one place, quotes and invoices, expenses, scanned receipts and automated bank feeds you can easily monitor your cash flow and determine at any time how you are tracking.

Generates reports

Because all of your accounting information is now stored in the one place it is much easier to generate reports, which you can invite your accountant to view, fostering regular conversation and proactive advice. Come tax time this makes things much easier.

Cloud computing

How much does it cost, you ask?

Cloud-based accounting software is cost effective. You can start out with a basic package which will provide you with affordable entry solutions like payroll. Or upgrade to a premium package which will allow you to do things like send invoice and quotes, reconcile bank transactions, automate superannuation, handle multiple currencies and much more, starting from around $30 a month. Some providers offer a 30-day free trial where you can get to know the software and then make a decision.

So, what are you waiting for?

All of the above means you can manage your accounts whenever, wherever and save yourself the arduous task of late nights, staring at a computer screen.

By saving time on accounting you can focus on strengthening and growing your business.

I recommend trying out cloud-based accounting software through a trusted provider like Xero, QuickBooks Online or Receipt Bank.

At Clear Path Accounting, we are experts at cloud accounting, so contact us if you would like help to get your business using the latest cloud software.

Suzanne Walker CPA