In an age of technological advancements, where new programs and applications are available every day, there is increasing pressure on business owners and accountants alike to move from server based ‘off-the-shelf’ accounting packages to cloud-based systems. While this may seem daunting to many, there are a vast number of benefits and value-adds when a cloud-based system is adopted.
Here are some of the benefits of cloud-based accounting systems over traditional server based packages:
- Cloud based software provides multiuser access from anywhere in the world.
- Cloud based software has one version which is updated automatically as the developers add new features or fixes. There are no runtime errors and the database cannot be corrupted, or as the experts say; “you cannot break the system”. An example of this was the increase in the recent VAT rate to 15%. The new rates appeared automatically in cloud based software databases and no intervention or update was required by the user.
- Cloud based software can hold many financial years in the same database, and there is no need for rollover and backing up of data.
- Due to their openness to client feedback, the developers of cloud based software are constantly improving their product to provide a better service to their clients.
- Cloud based software can integrate with various data sources through the use of the applications available in the market. These software systems can, in many instances, ‘fetch’ data such as supplier invoices and bank statements directly from the service provider.
- For entrepreneurs who work out of the office, customer invoicing can be done online wherever they are. This eliminates the need to manually collect information from customers and prepare invoices later.
The days of printing and processing data into an accounting system are almost over, and database to database information transfer has become a reality. This makes processing more efficient, real-time and accurate. There is also a huge saving of paper, which assists business owners to establish practices that lead to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and also reduces the cost of document storage.
The process of change in itself can be overwhelming to some and that is why it’s important for accounting professionals and business owners to have a community of advisers from which they can gain knowledge, advice and assistance before, during and after the transfer process. Many accounting professionals are already in the full swing of using cloud based software and are in a position to provide the necessary advice and assistance.
Cloud based accounting is believed to be the future. Well, the future is here, so hop on board and enjoy the ride.
Manager | Accounting Services, RSM SA Durban