Even if you’re not in the tech industry, you’ve most likely heard of the cloud. We’re not talking about the fluffy white ones that float in the sky, but rather it’s your spot on the internet where you do business. When you work in the cloud, you are accessing software programs, applications, and storage features through the internet. You will use a personal computer, laptop, or other connected devices to get to this information – it is no longer kept on your in-house server or office computer.
More than just a buzzword, the cloud is transforming how business is done. Below we discuss five ways that the cloud can change the way your company operates – for the better!
Access from Anywhere
Traditional bookkeeping programs are often kept on a local hard-drive or server in a company’s office. If you need to get to your financial data, you can only run it from that computer or from by accessing the server in your office. But if you are like most owners, managing your finances can’t always be done on a 9-to-5 schedule. You may be out at clients all day and not able to work on your books until you get back to the office. Even if you have a bookkeeper on staff, you are still limited to when they are working. Unless you are willing to make a special trip to the office, you’re out of luck if they have left for the day or go on vacation.
Enter cloud-based bookkeeping services. By moving your accounting system to the cloud, you will always have access to your books, at any time of the day. All you need is a secure internet connection and you can work from anywhere. Your finances will no longer be constrained to business hours. You can bill customers, enter vendor invoices, download bank transactions, and reconcile your accounts on your schedule.
It’s Easy to Use
Since users could be using a variety of connected devices to access their financial records, cloud-based bookkeeping systems are designed to be easy-to-use. You will find that adding a new customer or vendor, reconciling your bank account, or uploading your receipts are simple tasks you can do easily through a cloud-based bookkeeping program. Popular online software packages from Quickbooks and Xero offer apps that you can put on a smartphone, which gives you easy access from anywhere.
Improve Your Efficiency
Cloud-based bookkeeping systems can improve how your company operates. Some features that can impact the efficiency of your operations include;
Client invoices – When you bill a client, your cloud accounting software can automatically send the invoice via email. A client may also be able to pay you directly by clicking on a link in the email. Not only does this speed up the time it takes for you to get paid, the client’s payment is automatically posted against their invoice – saving you or your bookkeeper time. It also helps to reduce posting errors, since payments are automatically linked to the invoices.
Receipt capture – No more forgetting to turn in your receipts! Many cloud-based accounting packages give you the ability to capture your receipts by using an app on your phone. Just take a quick picture and link it to the right expense account.
Multiple users can work in real-time –Your staff will become more efficient when they can work in the system at the same time. This also you to generate reports that have the most current information available. Whether you are in the office or out on the road, you can easily use your laptop, smartphone, or connected device to see where your finances are. So if you are on the way to see a client, you can easily pull up their account to see when you billed them last, if they owe you any money, and what they typically purchase from you.
Software Can Grow with You
Cloud bookkeeping software programs are scalable, which means that as your company grows – the software can keep up. Companies that are growing may need for more than one person to have access to the financial records at the same time. Traditional bookkeeping programs that a small business owner may have may be limited to just one person.
Perhaps you are considering opening up a new location or introducing a new line of services. A scalable software solution will allow you to do such things as add a new company, calculate multiple currency rates, or consolidate multiple business entities into one report.
Your Data is Secure
There are many risks to your company if you house your financial data onsite. If your hard-drive fails and you don’t have a current backup, you can lose days or even weeks of work. The laptop or computer that you use to keep your books could be stolen. Files can accidentally be deleted. Disgruntled employees can pose a threat to the data that you keep on site.
With this in mind, keeping your data in the cloud is one of the best ways to keep it safe. Software companies who offer cloud-based solutions have IT departments that are dedicated to keeping your information safe and secure. They will have the most up-to-date security solutions and protocols in place to prevent unauthorized access and data loss. For even more safety, data is often housed on multiple servers, possibly in different physical locations. This helps to keep information safe in the event of a natural disaster.
More than just expert bookkeepers, the staff at Valley Business Centre will help you to transform your business through the cloud. From implementing a cloud-based bookkeeping system to integrating useful applications for your business, our team will work with you to find the best cloud-based products. We work with clients that are located in the BC area and throughout the region. For more information, contact the bookkeeping specialists at Valley Business Centre today.