Cloud computing is becoming more and more common. In many companies and industries, working in the cloud has become the standard. This term might sound foreign to you, but it’s a concept you’re actually probably more familiar with than you realize. Cloud computing is defined as: “Internet-based computing in which large groups of remote servers are networked so as to allow sharing of data-processing tasks, centralized data storage, and online access to computer services or resources.”
While that might sound like a mouthful, it’s actually pretty simple: information is stored on the internet so you (and other designated users) can access it from any computer in any location. It makes collaboration a breeze, and saves you the hassle of storing everything locally. If you use any social media site (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), these are essentially cloud networks. Dropbox, QuickBooks, and Google Drive are also cloud services.
I honestly love the cloud, and think using it for accounting can benefit you greatly (here are my top four reasons why). It gives you incredible accessibility to your data, opens up the possibilities for multiple users (while eliminating unnecessary revisions floating around!), and reduces your costs. Accounting in the cloud makes sense, but it is still a relatively new concept and as such I do get many questions about it. Here’s a FAQ about cloud accounting to help you understand it better:
Is accounting in the cloud secure? Yes. When you use a program like QuickBooks, it’s actually far more secure than a program stored locally on your hard drive. In the event your computer gets stolen or your office burns down, the data is still safe because it’s stored in the cloud. On top of that, qualified companies put a tremendous amount of time and effort into keeping your information safe – a lot more time and effort than you probably do.
Is the software as powerful? When it comes to QuickBooks, yes! The online options are streamlined to only offer you the services necessary to your business, but still come fully equipped with everything you need to run your business accounting. The benefit of this is you save a lot of money!
Is cloud accounting really cost effective? Yes. Cloud software like QuickBooks almost always comes at a monthly subscription fee instead of a one-time price. For example, QuickBooks Online starts at just $9.99/month compared with the $199.95 you pay for the basic desktop version of QuickBooks. You will almost always end up saving yourself money, and for many businesses the savings is significant. Another aspect of saving money is the ease of scalability. Discover you need to upgrade your services? All you do is change your online monthly subscription rather than having to spend another $400 to get the next level of desktop software.
Is the software reliable? Again, my answer is yes. All you need is a good internet connection, and you’re off and running. The big companies like QuickBooks have put lots of resources into making their online services as reliable as possible, and it’s unlikely you’ll experience any downtime or glitches.
Cloud accounting is definitely the direction things are headed. If you haven’t switched yet but are ready to or are still hesitant and have more questions, give me a call. I’m happy to talk about finding a solution that will serve your business well and prepare you for the future.