How cloud accounting can cut admin time in half
By Julian Harlow | February 25, 2014
The advantage for businesses moving to cloud accounting services is to cut the amount of time spent on mundane administrative tasks.
The vast majority of Australian businesses have now moved beyond recording their accounting data on paper-based systems - software packages provided too many advantages compared to their manual predecessors. However, the traditional software package installed on computers has now made way for the next progression in accounting software: cloud accounting. Also known as online accounting or software as a service, cloud accounting can provide businesses with numerous advantages such as a more accurate and up-to-date picture of your finances, and the ability to access your business accounts wherever you have internet access.
However, the advantage most immediately noticeable to businesses moving over from more traditional standalone accounting software is the ability for cloud accounting services to cut the amount of time spent on mundane administrative tasks.
Automatic bank feeds
Perhaps the most impressive aspect of cloud accounting to anyone coming from an older software package is the ability of cloud services to pull data directly from financial institutions. When properly set up, your accounting software service can automatically include your transaction records in your accounts, significantly cutting the amount of time your business must devote to accounting administration. The reliability and ease of use of bank feeds has grown considerably in recent years, to the extent that even personal budgeting software applications such as Pocketbook now use bank feeds to show your finances via smartphone apps.
Streamline your data entry
Cloud accounting services will help your business cut the amount of time spent on just getting your bookkeeping data into the system. Data can be entered into the system once and everybody who has access to the accounts will then have that data, without the need to transport data from one standalone computer to another or one office to another. By allowing data to be entered from any device that can access the internet, information can also be entered before staff (or you as the business owner) have forgotten or confused data, preventing time wastage and reducing mistakes.
No more updating, but greater data security
If you have made the move to online accounting you will also be aware that getting rid of standalone software means no time wasted on updating software, and you no longer have to spend time backing up data securely. That is, if you were in fact backing up your data securely (and no, a backup kept on the same premises as your main system doesn’t count!).
There are now numerous cloud accounting options available to Australian businesses, including companies such as MYOB, Reckon, Xero and Saasu. Each platform offers different attractions such as varying levels of complexity, with the tradeoff being how much functionality is provided. If you know your accounting requirements well, or if you talk with your accountant or financial advisor, you can not only cut the amount of time you have to spend on just getting your accounts done, your business can also benefit from having a more thorough and up-to-date picture of its finances.