Cloud accounting is the new buzz word – but which package should I use?
Accounting software has moved beyond spreadsheets into the world of cloud-based computing. Cloud technology is so much more accessible nowadays and gives you access to your data from anywhere, providing a real time view of your financial position whenever you need it. Your data can now not only be accessed on your computer, but also from any mobile device, providing there is internet access. As you upload and create more data on your mobile/tablet, it will be viewable immediately on any other device or computer, and vice versa.
Keeping up to date bookkeeping records for your business can be time consuming – especially if they are not updated on a regular basis. However, many accounting packages can now speed up the process and offer electronic invoicing, as well as automated bank reconciliations and reporting.
Thinking outside the box: cloud computing
Picking the right cloud based software solution for your business depends on your needs and how easy you find each application to navigate. There are many more cloud-based accounting solutions on the market, and it could be advisable to have someone with strong accounting skills to help you pick which is best.
To know which is right for your business, you need a clear picture of what you’re wanting: are you tracking direct and staff costs, or time on projects? Do you have stock or inventory that needs managing, and are there operational costs that can be built in?
Here are some examples of the best cloud accounting packages on the market:
- Xero hails from New Zealand, and kindly offers a free trial with price plans starting from £9/month. Unique amongst the accounting solutions investigated, Xero doesn’t additionally charge you for new users. It has a similar feel to QuickBooks, and also has an import feature for businesses wanting to give it a trial.
- Clearbooks – Make bookkeeping a quick and easy task. Create and edit customers, suppliers, invoices and quotes; use multicurrency functions; support for CIS; save data offline and sync with your account later.
- Quickbooks – Enjoy the ability to work anywhere. Create and email professional invoices; record sales; create and manage expenses by attaching receipt photos; receive overdue invoice notifications; produce Profit & Loss reports. It’s a crisp and minimalist looking software package, with intuitive designs and professional-looking document templates.
- Saasu – Create professional invoices and quotes. Create, view and update business contacts; send quotes and invoices; keep up to date with inventory items; view your data offline; encrypted data keeps your records secure.
Quick switch over
What’s changed from previous software incarnations is the time and financial commitment it takes to switch. Switching to cloud accounting can be pretty much instantaneous and with the help of a reputable accounting practice to help smooth out any blips, you will be up and running in no time.
Apps for ‘on the move’ accounting
There are also more than 1.2 billion apps are available on both Apple and Android devices amongst which there are some star apps for businesses. Using a mobile-friendly design and layout, apps developed for a range of bookkeeping software now make it easy to manage your finances on the go. Here’s an example:
Xero Touch – Track your finances and easily manage your cash flow on the go with this easy to use App. View bank & credit card accounts, outstanding invoices & expense claims; reconcile bank statements; create & send invoices; upload receipts from photos; use multicurrency support; integrate with other popular apps; set up a pin for quick access.
Cloud accounting is here to stay so seriously think about getting your own systems updated and see the benefits almost immediately.