Reasons To Consider Cloud Accounting

Cloud accounting offers many benefits to SMBs.

Reasons to consider cloud accounting

With accounting software platforms entering the cloud environment from every direction, it is no wonder that many small businesses are grappling with whether to make the jump into cloud-based accounting software. Industry providers big and small, new and old are offering suites of accounting technology at rapid rates, pointing at everything from new integrations to expanded feature sets to showcase how cloud accounting is the answer to every SMB need.

If you’re considering making this transition, the following are 5 reasons to consider cloud accounting.

1. All The Major Providers Are Officially In The Cloud

Companies including Xero, Kashoo, Wave, QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Intacct, FreeAgent, Sage and Zoho Books have all entered the cloud accounting space to one degree or another. Some platforms, such as Xero and Wave, have been entirely cloud-based from inception. Others, most notably QuickBooks, created cloud versions of their established accounting software to enter the market. This is important because of competition for features, integrations and usability helps ensure that providers are scaling to meet the needs of customers.

At the beginning of cloud accounting, most of the programs were infamous for a notable lack of sophisticated features, especially those already existing in their desktop counterparts. While there is still some variance between cloud and desktop versions, especially between programs such as QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, the cloud accounting set has stepped up tremendously to develop better and more advanced features to suit a growing audience of small businesses.

2. Most Third Party Integrations Are Cloud-Based

Most small businesses need more than just a basic accounting software platform. They require integrations with various applications, such as specialty expense tracking and management applications or time tracking software. The majority of these applications has either been built entirely in the cloud or has migrated over to ensure full access and usability in a mobile environment.

While third party applications typically integrate with both desktop and online versions, they are often built to integrate seamlessly with their online counterparts—with little burden put on the company to facilitate the connection.

3. Ease of Mobility and Accessibility

A top reason often cited for using the cloud is ease of access from anywhere. Most online, cloud-based accounting software includes robust features that allow users to access information, upload data or complete reporting metrics from anywhere and on any device. This includes third party applications, whose mobile feature sets are often some of the most compelling selling points for their use. For example, TSheets.com, a time tracking application, allows users, managers, and business owners to track time from mobile phones, via text messaging and while in the field. This integration brings tracked time directly into a cloud-based accounting platform while actually reducing the burden on user-generated information. It reduces errors and improves information management and accountability. Paper time cards just can’t compete with that cloud-based feature.

4. You Don’t Have To Be Entirely In The Cloud All At Once

Speaking of third party applications, a transition to the cloud is not an all-or-nothing endeavor.

In fact, you can choose to “test the waters” by using a third party application, such as Tallie to manage your expense tracking, without changing anything else (provided of course that your accounting software integrates with Tallie). You can slowly migrate your systems as you are ready and keep legacy data safe while you ease your way into a cloud-based accounting environment.

5. You Can Decentralize Your Accounting Department

Cloud-based accounting makes a lot of other things possible, such as outsourcing bookkeeping services or engaging with an outside business consultant. By freeing your accounting data from physical location constraints, you open up opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. You could expand your accounting department, leverage outside experts or reduce management costs simply by expanding the geographical area you can consider for your accounting services needs.