What is cloud accounting? Trying to choose the best accounting software for your business can be difficult.
One of the options available is online accounts software, also known as cloud software.
All your data is held on a remote server, which you and anyone you choose can have access to. You will need to have access to the internet and log in to the software to access your accounts.
When I first looked into online accounting software I was very wary of someone else holding my data and ruled it out. I have now looked at it again and would choose cloud accounting over purchasing a product from the shelf.
Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of running cloud accounting software over a package run on your own computer.
Have a look at our most popular cloud accounting reviews. Most of these companies offer a free trial period so you have the opportunity to try before you commit.
Advantages of Cloud Accounting Software
- Access to your accounts from anywhere, where ever you have internet access you can use your accounts, some packages even have applications which run on iPhone or Android. It is, therefore, possible to invoice your client as soon as a job is finished, before you have even left your customer.
- You can share information with other people; anyone who needs to be able to access the records can log in. You may need to limit the usage of other people
- There are low start-up costs, as you do not need to purchase the software. Packages like QuickBooks and Sage have a fairly high purchase price and you may need to upgrade the software to ensure you are covered for support.
- If you change your mind, you can cancel at any time; you are not normally tied into a contract. It is worth checking this before you agree to the software.
- Regular updates are made to the software. Each supplier wants to stay ahead of the field and offer the best software available, to ensure that they can keep their customers.
Support is normally included in the monthly price.
- It may help to reduce accountant’s bills, as your accountant may also have access to or even recommend a product to you as they are a partner with them.
- Most companies offer a free trial and have a dummy business set up so you can try the software before you make a commitment.
- You do not need a large disk space to store an accounting package and all the data.
- Bills can be scanned in to save time and storage space.
What is Cloud Accounting – Disadvantages
- There is a monthly fee so it may work out more expensive.
- You may not want to share certain information with other people in the business that has access to the software.
- Some businesses prefer to keep all their records in-house.
- All your information is held over the internet, you need to ensure that the software is secure and they are a reliable business.
- You need to ensure you have internet access where you intend to use it.
What is Cloud Accounting? – Choosing the right package
There are so many different options for online accounting software that finding the right one may be a minefield. Start by looking at what each one has to offer and prices. Most have a free trial, so it is worth spending some time looking in detail how they work and how easy they are.
If you are still not sure to speak to other people including accountant and business owners.
A few of the options include WAVE (completely free), Accounts Portal (allows to business entities on one account), XERO (my favourite), QuickBooks and Sage.
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