Choosing Cloud Based Accounting Software for your Business

Hillier Hopkins LLP

Chartered Accountants & Tax Advisers

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As times have changed so has accounting software and the latest trend is a movement towards cloud based accounting services. With a simple Google search one can find a considerable number of cloud based accounting software packages, the only remaining issue is to choose the best one for your business.

Most modern accounting software offers the same features for controlling income and expenses that older software did but with improvements to functionality. Cloud based services offer an additional benefit in their greater flexibility.

The Benefits of Updating to Cloud Based Accounting Software

First of all, cloud based accountancy services can be accessed from anywhere via the internet meaning that internal and external users can work on the accounts remotely or even simultaneously. This has obvious benefits, for example smaller businesses may carry out their own bookkeeping but wish to run through more complex accounting issues live with their accountant from time to time.

Also from a user perspective, cloud based accountancy services usually integrate with a large variety of third party services such as banking systems. This enables information to be automatically linked and avoids manual uploads.

As cloud based accounting software is generally provided as software as a service, live technical support is usually available 24/7. For example, the underlying databases are controlled centrally meaning that they provide better backup and quick bug fixes with immediate updates. In addition, the cost of the services is usually tailored to the needs of individual companies with additional features instantly accessible via service upgrades.

Finally, cloud based accounting services usually offer better security, as cloud based service providers invest considerable effort in protecting clients’ data and improving their software.

Disadvantages of Cloud Based Accounting Services

Cloud based accounting services so also have disadvantages – the most important one being their price. For a small business cutting down costs is vital so managers need to decide if this is a worthy investment or not.

Some other drawbacks are that they are dependent on good Internet connection, they often provide only basic features and do not consider industry specific accounting requirements.

In addition, some of them have data and user limitations, such as the number of transactions per month or the number of people being able to see and modify the information.

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It should be noted that there are a variety of other cloud based accounting applications which may be suited to your business. They cater for many industries, purposes and users, whether accountants or non-accountants.