Gone are the days when people only talked about clouds to avoid awkward silences between strangers or at 6.55pm weekdays during the news bulletin, now it seems every second person is a budding meteorologist. But chances are they aren’t talking about a visible mass of condensed watery vapour floating in the atmosphere, instead they are referring to an online platform that makes data accessible and available at anytime, anywhere on any device – The Cloud.
The Cloud has now worked its way into and changed most industries, and accounting is no different. Cloud accounting in simple terms is operating an accounting system in The Cloud. But how do you know if Cloud accounting is right for you or merely just another craze to be avoided like planking or fidget spinners? We’ve outlined below some of the benefits of Cloud accounting to business and as well, some of the drawbacks.
- Improved decision making – with a Cloud accounting system your data is in real time, meaning you can log-in and get an up to date overview of your business. This is vital in assisting to make good decisions.
- Flexibility – Cloud accounting allows users to log-in anywhere and at anytime. This means you could monitor your business while on holiday in the Bahama’s, thus making your holiday tax deductible! – disclaimer, please discuss with your accountant in relation to whether your holiday is tax deductible (it probably isn’t).
- Collaboration – Cloud accounting systems permits access for multiple users. You can allow access to staff, advisors, financiers, etc, which fosters a much more collaborative environment.
- Reduced computer pain points – because the Cloud is online, computer headaches like downtime when servers go out are no longer relevant. There’s nothing to install and backups are done automatically. Often upgrades are also done behind the scenes too, like magic. Security hasn’t been neglected either, most Cloud accounting systems boast security comparable to internet banking – so if you trust your bank (bad example but their security is normally good, its their ethics that are questionable….) then you can trust Cloud accounting.
- Customised systems – a by-product of the burgeoning Cloud accounting space is that it has created a secondary marketplace of Cloud add-ons. These are other Cloud applications that connect into your Cloud accounting system and there is an App to suit just about any industry and any business making your accounting system tailor made for your business.
- Hostage to an internet connection – with all things Cloud, if the internet isn’t working or is slow, then your accounting system will follow suit.
- New systems – for some businesses, adopting a Cloud accounting system means changing accounting systems. What comes with that is learning a new system. However in our experience, you can actually teach old dogs new tricks when it comes to Cloud accounting systems.
- $$$ – Unfortunately, all of this doesn’t come for free. Cloud accounting systems usually have a monthly cost. Similarly there are different packages for different needs so its quite possible that the monthly cost for the right product for your business could be on the low side in any case.
When it comes to actual Cloud accounting, at Tribe we support Xero and MYOB mainly, however its horses for courses when it comes to Cloud accounting systems. Our best advice is to have a chat with your Tribe advisor or contact Mark Gale at Tribe Accountants.