Cloud computing is being deployed on a grand scale at some of the world’s biggest companies and, in many cases, changing the way they operate and do business. But beyond the headline-grabbing investments of enterprise giants, cloud computing is steadily bringing about a revolution too in the way that small companies go about their work and plan for the future. A key part of the equation for these small-to-medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is the effective use of cloud-based accounting software. Here we’ll take a closer look at why it is making such a difference.
1. Cost Effectiveness
Every innovation is required to illustrate its cost effectiveness before being pounced upon in earnest by small businesses and cloud-based accounting software has been no exception. But once installed and readied for action, the systems are soon found to be cost savers in the short, medium and longer term.
Part of the reason why is simply that the technology tends to result in greater efficiency within the whole of the accounting process. So invoices are sent out in a reliably timely fashion and payments can be chased up routinely and without delay. Another reason is that cloud systems relieve small businesses of the need to concern themselves with buying heavy-duty data storage hardware, which can be expensive to buy, maintain and replace.
2. Ease Of Use
Any new system of operating can take a little time for users to become accustomed to but cloud-based accounting systems are designed with usability very much in mind. So, whether an SME’s financial picture is super simple or incredibly complex, there are software solutions available that offer clarity and huge potential.
The underlying beauty of cloud computing for all enterprise users of the technology is its accessibility. The fact that companies can equip their workforces with the means to access data and platforms from anywhere via mobile devices or virtual machines means productivity can be ramped up and processes can be radically streamlined.
From the perspective of smaller companies and in the context of accounting software, the cloud revolution has meant that financial details can be made ready in moments and at the touch of a few buttons. For key figures at SMEs, this has resulted in a very valuable degree of flexibility and meant that accounting matters can be addressed much more easily on the move or outside a main office.
4. Collaboration & Speed
The accessibility of data and the platforms that make it possible have had a huge impact on the way that colleagues and teams collaborate. Cloud-based accounting platforms are naturally centralised and designed to be inherently collaborative.
A salesperson can chalk up a sales quote and that information is immediately rendered visible, available and understood by all relevant parties. If we assume the old adage that ‘time is money’ still holds true, it is easy to see why real-time cloud-based platforms are becoming so popular with ambitious small businesses across all industry sectors.
Question marks remain around just how secure cloud-based storage systems are but their reliability in this regard is impressive if not quite 100 per cent flawless. Generally, it is much safer to store data in the cloud than to have it stored on in-house computers. This notion seems counter-intuitive to some but service providers are well on the way to winning the argument, aware that security has to be central to every element of their offerings.
The evolution of cloud computing is likely to remain an essential topic of conversation in the context of enterprise technology for many years to come, even as it becomes increasingly commonplace and integral to the modern world. The impact of the cloud though is already being felt by small firms worldwide and the latest accounting software is helping many thousands of SMEs thrive and find new ways to do more with less.