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Cloud accounting

We’re in the cloud and we wouldn’t have it any other way!

We help businesses make effective use of the cloud accounting solutions out there and collaborate with them to ensure their entire financial environment is working properly.

There’s a lot of hype about the cloud and cloud accounting and several different ways of enabling cloud technology in your business.

We explore two of them here.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

This is our chosen route. You rent server space with a PaaS provider such as Microsoft, Amazon, Google or IBM – your cloud platform. Then you copy and paste all of your programs and all of your data from the server in your office to the cloud platform and off you go.

You access your cloud platform over the web using Remote Desktop Connection in Windows or an app for your phone or tablet.

It couldn’t be easier – your desktop is available pretty much anywhere, all the programs and data you need are ready to use, just as they were when they were on your office-based server.

 

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Xero, QuickBooks Online, SageOne – these are some of the cloud accounting services that have burst on to the accounting stage in recent years.

You access them from any web browser on a phone, tablet or PC and off you go. Couldn’t be simpler.

But be careful. We help many companies using the likes of Xero and QuickBooks Online and we see advantages and drawbacks with them both.

On the plus side:

  • You can download bank and credit card transactions straight into the software
  • You can use invoice import technology such as Receiptbank to upload invoices from suppliers
  • Accessibility is universal

On the minus side:

  • Too many users don’t invest in training at the start and, often unknowingly, create and rely on the wrong numbers!
  • For each new task you need to open a new web page which can be slow and it’s all too easy to close by mistake a page you were working on
  • Reports available in these packages are not as powerful and as easy to use and modify as the reporting in the best of the desktop software

Our view at the moment is that getting data into cloud accounting software can be much easier than the desktop equivalent but getting information out is more powerful in the best of the desktop packages.

Globally, millions of pounds are being invested in cloud accounting software and it will continue to improve but my sense at the moment is that larger businesses might get very frustrated with a cloud accounting offering.

Working in the cloud with an accountant

Many firms of accountants hitch their wagon to a specific cloud accounting service. This can leave the client with either a rubbish accountant or rubbish software or both. Moving away can then be difficult.

We support any business whatever software they’re using. If we can see improvements through changing software we’ll point them out but essentially we want to help every business to be successful and to make the best of the software and the cloud solution that works for them.

 

We see and use the cloud from many viewpoints and we wouldn’t go back to how it used to be. But we’ve also seen businesses implement cloud accounting software very badly and, often, not realise it.

So, if you want to embrace cloud technology – we’ll help you lift off and won’t tie you down.

 

Michael – @diaryofanomb

 

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