The cloud is the next evolution for many software programs, from entertainment to business, the availability and adoption rate is growing quickly. For small businesses moving the day to day operational and management needs of your business to the cloud is an important decision and one that should be made with the facts.
With the launch of our new online accounting application Reckon One, I’d like to shine a light on why moving to the cloud can benefit small business owners looking for efficiency, security and mobility.
What is cloud software
At a glance cloud accounting software is software that is hosted on remote servers. This differs from traditional desktop software as rather than installing a program the user simply access the application via their web browser (or mobile app). Accounting software of this kind falls into the category of ‘SaaS’ (Software as a Service) programs (aka cloud).
Often these applications are available for a monthly fee and are built specifically with web and mobile capabilities. In my opinion the cloud has the potential to change the way we approach accounting software, which brings with it exciting opportunities for us all.
For example, if you’re a tradesperson who is manually writing up invoices as you have for many years, cloud accounting software gives you the ability to create the Invoice on your smart phone or tablet and email it directly to the customer from there. It’s all there in your accounting software no need to rekey when you get back to the office. With cloud accounting software being able to create an invoice while on the road is an incredible time-saver as it can help shorten the payment cycle.
And in the not too distant future we’ll also be providing small businesses with the ability to accept credit card and eftpos via your mobile phone as well.
The value of cloud technology
Innovation and efficiency are integral to business survival these days. Cloud accounting software aims to streamline the reception and installation process consequently cutting downtime for businesses significantly. This enables businesses to do things in the cloud without the nightmare of administrative and management overheads. In the cloud, when new features or program enhancements are released they are already live. This takes away all the complications and management overheads of having to download and install updates. Which normally have to be done outside of normal hours so that no one is using the system.
You’ll also find many cloud-based systems are easier and more dynamic. Programs made for mobile and web are often simpler and more visually appealing. Building our latest cloud accounting software, Reckon One, was as much about ensuring the users had a great user experience and graphically rich displays as well as ensuring that the features and capability of the core program met their needs. We’ve made a point of simplifying as many processes as possible down to a single-click.
Security in the cloud
Naturally businesses place a high priority on security of their company financial data, and rightly so. While traditionally many businesses have been concerned about storing data in the cloud, this sentiment is changing. For many businesses storing data in the cloud is far safer. Many small businesses are set up in a way that their data could be vulnerable to being physically stolen from the premises, lost, damaged or perishing in extreme circumstances. With cloud-based program data is backed up and stored offsite – but be sure to look into the security measures the supplier you choose takes and where the data is held and that it meets your other data retention and compliance requirements.
Getting your business mobile
Mobility is also crucial to businesses as the desire to work anywhere and everywhere grows. Many cloud-based programs are accessible on any device, PCs, Macs, phones and tablets. You can be connected anywhere, anytime. Many people might question why this is a good thing, but imagine if you could see the early indicators of growth in your business, or see exactly when bills are due or invoices outstanding; or track your budgets and do so much more wherever you are.
I urge you to take a look at what cloud-based software might be right for your business. Consider the tools and applications that you’d love to have access to anytime from anywhere. Also think about how much easier it could be to share data and collaborate with business partners.
Take a free trial of Reckon One and download the free mobile app on the App Store or Google Play.