Earlier this month, the Association of Accounting Technicians urged small businesses to upgrade their accounting and business management software, pointing to the generous small business tax concessions in May’s Federal Budget, and an increasingly competitive accounting software market as incentives for the upgrade. AAT chief executive Stuart Norman called on accountants to help their clients in making this decision. But, even if you embrace cloud accounting – how do you convince your clients to make the switch?

Why your clients should switch to cloud accounting…

1. Ease of Access

Cloud accounting software provides a mobility and ease of access that traditional accounting software can’t provide. Clients who are always on the go can use the cloud to access their accounts using their laptop, tablet or smartphone. They can update information wherever they are, while accessing the most up-to-date version of their business’s numbers. Handy features include the ability to scan or take photos of receipts, which can then be stored with each relevant transaction. Small businesses need to be agile. Cloud accounting offers this agility.

2. Collaboration

Cloud accounting allows access to multiple users across multiple devices. This makes it easy for employees to update the company’s accounts wherever, whenever – and there is only one version, instead of several competing versions. This real-time access is also good for you, as an accountant, as you will always have access to your clients’ financial data, with easy synching across platforms.

3. Time-saving

This collaboration also saves time: for you and for your client. Accountancy used to mean endless filling in forms, seeking information from clients and looking for necessary data. Cloud accounting software does that legwork for you, remembering everything you need to know about each client to prepopulate paperwork. Online portals allow clients to send data to you automatically, while digital signatures and document verification technology save even more time.

4. Simplification

Cloud accounting can help simplify the books, allowing clients to get on with the more important matter of running their business. This can be good for clients who are not great at keeping their finances in order, and it can also be good for clients starting a business. Research has indicated that as many as one in three businesses fail due to financial mismanagement, with one in eight failing due to inadequate or inaccurate records. With its simple set-up, ease of use and ease of access, cloud accounting software can make it simpler for clients to keep on top of their accounts.

5. Data Security

Keeping one copy of anything is never a good idea. Clients keeping just one copy of their accounts are just asking for trouble. The data held within those accounts could be vulnerable to physical threats, such as theft, fire, flood or natural disaster, as well as other threats, such as theft though hacking. By choosing the right cloud provider, businesses can store their data in the cloud safely, so that it’s accessible from anywhere; no matter what may happen to the devices used to access it. There is also the added bonus of automatic data back-up, should their system ever crash.

6. Pay As You Go

When clients sign up for a cloud accounting software service, there are no large upfront costs to worry about. They pay monthly for access, and set-up is super-fast.

7. Variety

No business is the same, so no accounting solution is the same. There is a wide range of cloud accounting options available, offering different levels to suit different business needs. Features vary widely; all clients need to do is work out what they need, and find a cloud accounting solution to match those needs. As their accountant, you can offer guidance during this process.

Making a case for the cloud

Making any kind of change in business can be unsettling. However, there are many reasons why switching to the cloud is good for both you and your clients.

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