The cloud is coming.
Actually, the cloud is here – and if we’re being real about it, then we have to point out that it’s here to stay.
Although the concept of “the cloud” can seem kind of ominous, the reality is that using the cloud and creating accounting workflows that leverage this technology will prove to be much more beneficial than scary. Let’s explain.
Implementing cloud accounting workflows will create three main advantages: accessibility, real-time data, and cost savings. These three advantages can be game-changers for accountants and for the clients/businesses with whom they work.
It's the age of on-the-go working and living. With a reported 64 percent of American adults owning a smartphone, apps are being used for everything from taking selfies to stock trading. So why would accounting and managing cash flow be exempt? They aren’t – and in fact, business-related apps are the second most downloaded category following only behind games.
Using cloud accounting software means that accountants, clients, and anyone else with valid credentials can access the information from just about anywhere, at anytime, from any device. And thanks to the beauty of synchronization, that information will be consistent and accurate, which leads to the next advantage.
By using a cloud accounting solution, anyone accessing the account can see real-time, updated data. There is no lag time or waiting for systems to reconcile or communicate. When information is changed in one place, it immediately changes in all the others.
Because dealing with numbers, money, and cash flow can be time-sensitive matters, the real-time data aspect can keep a business moving and provide an accurate snapshot of finances whenever necessary.
If you are still using desktop software that takes up space on your computer, takes time to boot or update, and maybe has a clunky interface, then each time you access the program, you’re losing money. Even if only one of those attributes apply, you’re still wasting money.
The sleeker design and user-friendly interface of cloud accounting software solves these money-draining issues.
A cloud-based accounting system does not require storage on your hard drive, so it allows your system to run faster and smoother. Plus, if there is an issue, maintenance isn’t difficult since the program doesn’t “live” on your computer and often the troubleshooting can be solved remotely.
Also, rather than forcing an upgrade when the software changes, cloud-based program upgrades often happen during popular downtimes and do not affect user flow. The next time a user logs in, there will often be a tutorial and instructions for using any of the new functions.
One last reason why implementing cloud accounting workflows needs to happen sooner rather than later, is that most cloud accounting programs have integrations with other cloud-based services. Some services, such as Neat’s Smart Organization System, have integrations that make workflows incredibly efficient.
Neat’s system integrates with QuickBooks® Online, which makes it easy to send expense reports and other financial information directly from the stored collection of scanned, organized, and parsed data.
No matter how you look at the cloud, it’s hovering over all of our online activities and if it isn’t embraced by businesses, they run the risk of falling behind in the fast-paced, online-driven business landscape.
Jen Cohen Compton, Editor-in-Chief at The Neat Company, has extensive experience within the small business industry, including founding her own business, Something Creative, in 2008. Since joining The Neat Company, Jen has worked as an ambassador to small business owners and managers by offering thought-provoking insights into how they can work smarter – not harder. In her role as Editor-in-Chief, Jen develops and creates print and web content directed at educating small business decision makers to help them implement technology advancements into their everyday workflows, which in-turn, allows them to save time and get to what matters.