In a society that is being quickly powered by technology and the increasingly quick advances of it, there’s no surprise that accounting as been swept up by technology and software development. The most obvious example of this is cloud accounting. Cloud accounting means that data is accessible anytime, anywhere and from any device.
With data being so freely accessible, there’s opportunity to be as flexible as you like and develop collaborations that were before almost impossible. With cloud-based systems, all transactions are immediately processed – this does have both pros and cons and here we tell you about them.
The most obvious advantage is the larger volume of data that is able to be stored. In comparison to in-house servers, cloud-based systems can store a seriously large amount of data as well as storing previous data in a way that makes it recoverable.
In terms of storage, the cloud stores data and information on several servers – meaning your data is stored in more than one place. If you were managing your data through paper methods, when it’s lost it’s lost. The cloud on the other hand, allows you to be reassured that if something is lost in one place, you can find it in another. In a crisis situation, this can be the make or break of a business. The cloud allows you to restore normality a lot quicker and minimise losses to your business.
When thinking about practicality, records stored on the cloud are easily accessible from anywhere with an internet connection. This means that business owners and their employees are able to work wherever they need to. This allows companies to be flexible and allow people to work remotely. Access to real-time information also speeds up processes such as workflow, decision making and communication.
Cost. It’s one of the first things we think about when acquiring new software. Is it worth it? Cloud based accounting packages tend to be cheaper than buying software, this means that businesses are able reduce overheads and invest this saved money elsewhere. Cloud based programmes are constantly evolving to improve usability and functionality, instantly available to the user.
The biggest fear that we hear about regarding cloud accounting is the fear of being hacked. And rightly so, there’s usually something in the press about data being hacked. If the government and the NHS can be hacked, so can you. Of course, cloud developers are always working to reduce risks of hacking – you can never be fully guaranteed that your data is safe. Questions always arise around where your data is being stored and how secure the measures are. Whilst you’re able to access your data more freely, so are hackers.
Your data being present in a secure environment with limited access points should mean that you are aware of everybody accessing it. It’s not uncommon for Inland Revenue, HMRC etc to request banks to provide information on a tax payer. Think of it like this – HMRC require a cloud-based provider to give them access to all of your data and/or login to your account for direct access. That data being provided, or not being provided, potentially could be out of your control. If it’s provided, you might not even know about it.
With cloud accounting becoming more popular, we encourage you to fully research your options. The accessibility, speed and storage factors are appealing and can lead to greater efficiency for your business. Make sure that your data is secure and safe in the cloud.
If you need more information on accounting programmes and software, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team today!
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