It's simply using the internet to access software, data and storage.  Cloud accounting uses the internet, via a web browser, as the means of accessing the accounting software. Accounting packages can be purely internet based like Xero, or the software is able to be accessed in the cloud and at a desktop level, like Reckon and MYOB Account Right. Cloud-based accounting software does rely on good home or business internet connection speeds and unfortunately using a satellite internet connection doesn't quite "cut the mustard", constant improvements are being made to improve the internet access and reliability daily.

Cloud-based accounting software offers a number of benefits for businesses including:

·         Ease of access is the biggest advance.  Online accounting means just that – it is online!  You can access your businesses financial data from anywhere worldwide and at any time, from any compatible device.

·         Price is always important.  A monthly access fee is generally paid which usually works out less than the cost of buying the software and paying your annual subscriptions.

·         The ability for business owners to interact with West Currie Consultants in real time instead of having to send the data file to us.

·         The software is automatically kept up-to-date by the software provider.  This stops you continually having to update software as previous version become obsolete.

·         Backups are made frequently and automatic in online accounting packages, and in case of a hard drive crash, data recovery can be done easily.  Therefore, less chance of losing data.

 

Nothing is perfect, so what are the disadvantages of online accounting?

·         If your internet is down, you lose the ability to access your data.

·         Customer Support can sometimes be restricted to emails only – no human contact.

·         You have to depend on third-party services to keep your data secure.

·         Antivirus software and firewall protection must be kept up to date

·         You will have to keep your subscription current to maintain access to your online data,

If you're thinking of moving to a cloud based accounting software package like Xero, Reckon, Intuit or Myob, here at West Currie Consultants we invest considerable resources into ongoing staff training to ensure we can recommend the best accounting solutions for your business.  Choosing the right package for your business can be difficult, as there are over sixty accounting packages available in Australia. 

If you enjoyed this post, I'd be very grateful if you'd help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on Twitter or Facebook.  Thank you! - Kerry Pretlove