Cloud Accounting is an accounting software hosted on impersonal, reserved servers. The software is used by businesses to acquire functions which are similar to those associated with the model of Software as a Service, i.e. the SaaS. Cloud Computing is gaining increasing popularity; ex-Product Manager at Ingram Cloud and current Principal of IQMS writing for Forbes projects a compound annual growth rate of 19% for Cloud Computing around the world between 2015 and 2020. In 2016, Forbes also reported that that 74% of the Tech Chief Financial Officers were predicting greatest influence for Cloud Accounting on their businesses in the following year. So what is behind this overwhelmingly sprouting influence of Cloud Accounting on firms and how has this impacted firms’workplace functions?
1- Ditch the Maintenance Costs
As firms expand, they face inevitable cost escalation due to purchase of more servers, new licenses and greater database fees to accommodate incoming clients. Installation of new equipments is also time-consuming.Through Cloud Accounting, businesses can “ditch” such costs by expanding operations without purchasing expensive equipments and licenses. While the cloud-based solution does take initial implementation time in order to, for example, integrate systems and configure software, overall the processis effectively much faster.It also costs much lesser to send data to the cloud, for processing and returning back to the user,and further business expansion hardly entails any additional costs.
2- Clients now prefer to access data on-the-go
Contrary to the traditional accounting methods, Cloud Accounting offers users immense flexibility in terms of data accessing. Accounting data can be accessed on any device, as long as the device is connected to an active internet connection: this is substantial advantage compared to the traditional methods which restricted access to just a few on-site computers. In addition to greater flexibility, Cloud Accounting allows for the automatic updating of financial information, which in turn assures greater accuracy of the balance of accounts, and takes any human error out of the equation. In all obviousness, this has also affected the employment status of accountants at firms.
3- The staff can now have flexible working hours!
With the advent of Cloud Accounting, staff at firms enjoy greater flexibility by working from any location, any office of the firm, from their houses when they cannot make it to the office (when they are sick, babysitting etc.), or even from a hot desk between the firm’s offices. For Steven Tuckwell, Director of 1st Cloud Accountants (a company which recently changed to Cloud Accounting),this affords the luxury of working from hisfavourite place- the back-garden of his house, on a cozy evening, with a sip of coffee. Such comfort of time and space undoubtedly results in higher employee performance output.
4- Local Firms are now open to the International Market
Cloud Accounting has provided opportunity for local firms to go international- taking their operations beyond the national borders and their products to the international market.With this extended outreach, effective customer management has become possible as clients can now call any office of the firm for information. Greater firm networking allows one office to support another, performing all operations in real-time environment. Sage Drive, a service which allows clients to access their Sage50 data from any place where Sage50 is installed, is something which several firms on the cloud have been eager to invest in. While the clients run theirsales and purchase ledgers etc. on the front end, the firm tidies up their back-end accounting systems by connecting a YSH Drive straight into their system.