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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

6 benefits of cloud-based accounting vs offline and paper methods

Posted by Matt Smith on April 17, 2018

We’re convinced that cloud-based accounting software is the future of finance for all businesses, big and small.

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These are just six of the reasons why:

  

1) Streamlined system

 

Accounting systems, especially for enterprise-level businesses, can quickly become bloated with a myriad of files, folders, clients, users, templates and spreadsheets. It’s all too easy for a user, particularly new users, to get lost—or worse still, for customer data to be left forgotten in the backend of a long file path.

 

With cloud-based accounting software, you only have a single data file to work with. You get instant access to anything you need, and you don’t have to segregate your accounting data according to different uses. Transactions, cash flow reports, budgeting software: it’s all in one single neat-and-tidy package, available at your fingertips.

 

What’s more, rather than having to deal with additional licenses, hardware, servers and so on, the cloud simply grows alongside your needs—and without losing any of the functionality along the way.

 


 

2) Improved collaboration

 

On a similar note, cloud-based accounting systems are especially good at increasing collaboration across your team or with your stakeholders.

 

The cloud allows more regular financial health checks by your accountant because of the ease of access.

 

The cloud allows more regular financial health checks by your accountant because of the ease of access.

 

It is often easier to share information as previous factors like physical location or licence agreements are no longer relevant.

 

You, your bookkeeper, accountant or CFO can all collaborate on the same project at the same time with cloud systems like Xero,  allowing for data rich decision making.

 


 

3) More useful reports

 

Speaking of the benefits of automation, cloud accounting also allows you to create more useful and up-to-date reports.

 

The fact that your data is updated automatically means that any time you want to analyse or share a report, you can simply formulate or download one instantly: no need to wait for staff to put one together. The system does it for you, and there’s less room for human error to boot.

 

Combine that with the fact that these reports come with built-in graphical representations such as charts and graphs of the data, you find yourself with reports that are not only faster and more accurate, but more visually appealing and useful for presentations to boot.

 


 

4) Better flexibility and customisation

 

Unlike enterprise systems, with the cloud you can often customise the functionality you need.  Therefore you aren’t paying for features you don’t require. You can usually upgrade the subscription at any time.

 

“Whether you have a small family trust, a GST-registered company or a export business needing foreign currency capability, Xero can provide a suitable solution.”

 

“A cloud system like Xero can cater to needs of most shapes and sizes,” explains Matt Smith, business advisory manager at Bellingham Wallace.

 

“Whether you have a small family trust, a GST-registered company or a export business needing foreign currency capability, Xero can provide a suitable solution.”

 


 

5) Increased security

 

There is a myth that cloud-based accounting software is somehow less secure than traditional methods. The reality is quite the opposite.

 

Data in the cloud isn’t simply floating out on the internet. It’s stored at dedicated servers in well-protected data centres. Well-protected, that is, both from malware and hackers as well as physical threats.

 

If you want better data recovery, in-built off-site data backups, disaster recovery, enterprise-grade malware and firewall protection and physical security too, then cloud-based accounting software provides it.

 

And at the fraction of the cost of trying to do all of that yourself!

 


 

6) Improved accessibility

 

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, is the accessibility factor of cloud-based software.

 

The cloud is online. It is accessible from anywhere that has an internet connection, and by anyone with the right permissions.

 

The cloud is online. It is accessible from anywhere that has an internet connection, and by anyone with the right permissions; all at the same time. Small business owners who get anxiety every time they go on holiday and out of reach of their traditional financial systems should be pleased with that innovation.

 

Get access anywhere, anytime, for anyone—even offline, syncing the data once you have a connection again. Useful stuff for collaboration and efficiency.

 


 

We think that any one of these reasons would be enough to convince business owners to make the switch to online accounting software.

 

Don’t wait to innovate, get in touch with Bellingham Wallace and find out how we can help you get your head in the cloud!

 

Xero is Bellingham Wallace’s preferred accounting software solution and as of 1 April 2018 we will be using Xero to process our clients year end financial statements. If you have any questions or would like to explore your options further, please get in touch with Matt Smith or Toby Bennett by replying to Xero@bellinghamwallace.co.nz

Topics: Financial Reporting