Some small businesses were already up to speed on remote working and technology solutions when the coronavirus pandemic struck. But too many were unprepared, did not have a business continuity plan in place, and were not using available technology solutions when their employees were suddenly forced to work from home.
The challenges you face will depend largely on the sector you’re in, but all businesses need to ensure continuity of access to accurate financial information. Put simply, unless you choose to use an outsourced function, employees must be able to see the same data and complete the same tasks from home that they would in the office.
Adopting a cloud accounting solution gives you efficient access to real time financial data anytime, anywhere. This brings greater flexibility to your working practices and enhances your ability to make calculated and timely business decisions.
Here are the three big benefits of cloud-based accounting.
Whether you access your accounting software on a computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile app, all you need is a reliable internet connection and compatible browser. This means you can take care of important financial admin and perform key accounting tasks when working remotely, whether you’re at home or on the road.
Specific features may vary, but most cloud accounting software allows you to:
- capture expenses;
- raise and send invoices electronically;
- manage invoices to see what you’re owed, chase payments and reconcile accounts;
- track what payments are due;
- reconcile your bank accounts and categorise bank transactions on the go; and
- view up to date bank account balances and key reports on a dashboard.
Linking to other apps in a product suite, brings the flexibility to streamline multiple business operations by enabling you to:
- photograph and upload documents enabling automatic data entry;
- make personal expense claims remotely; and
- manage reporting, workflow approval and job tracking requirements.
Cloud accounting allows users to work together on the same financial data regardless of their different locations, working hours, or devices, so you can continue to operate with the same team and workflows as before.
Cloud solutions allow you to annotate a transaction or flag that an action is required by another user. Comments can be added for other users to see, so that questions can be raised and answered before payment or reconciliation.
You can work collaboratively with your stakeholders and advisors, providing them with direct access to your real time financial data instead of having to email or post it to them.
Keeping your financial data in the cloud, rather than on-premise software, means peace of mind when it comes to stability and robustness.
Data is encrypted and access is only possible through password authentication and other secure means. Individual user accounts can be set up to ensure the correct level of access for you, your staff, and your adviser.
Disaster recovery plans and data backup strategies put in place by providers also ensure your business can continue with minimal interruption as servers in another location take over – you may not even notice any downtime as a number of these providers have 24 hour global support teams.
We can help
Real time data, processed and accessed using cloud accounting software and associated technologies, will provide you with up to date and accurate information. This can be shared with all your stakeholders including your accountant or adviser, enabling you to make accurate, timely and well-informed business decisions.
Contact us to find out how we can help you introduce cloud accounting into your business.