According to Forbes.com, 2015 is the year the “cloud bursts,” meaning, businesses are increasingly adopting cloud-based services due to faster innovation, better flexibility, cross-product integration and wider connectivity. Supporting this insight is Gene Markes, a Forbes.com Tech contributor and writer for Inc.com. He says that cloud accounting is one of the technologies that have reached its maturity and will become mainstream.
Expected to grow to a $2.16 billion industry by 2016, cloud accounting is evidently gathering steam —and for four very good reasons:
- Affordability is key
Cloud accounting delivers abundant cost savings that are immediately realised. Instead of paying a significant upfront cost, you only get to pay a low monthly fee once on the cloud. You can even avoid the upfront costs of purchasing, installing and upgrading software applications and hardware systems, including the cost of hiring on-site bookkeepers or accountants. With your books in the cloud, qualified and certified professionals, with a higher level of service, experience and education, will manage your financial data online—at a more reasonable rate.
- Information on demand
On the cloud, you can access your financial details from any location, at any time of day. All you need is an Internet-connected device and you’re good to go. And because your information goes with you, you can always have an accurate and up-to-date snapshot of your business, allowing you to make effective and informed decisions all the time. You can also get in touch with your cloud accountant, controller, CFO, Tax CPA or financial advisor in real time, and air your financial questions whenever and wherever is most convenient for you.
Cloud-based accounting systems update and upgrade regularly and automatically, adding features and add-ons that give you more options than ever to optimise workflow and generate accurate results. A number of routine processes, such as payroll processing and inventory management, can now be automated. This means that you don’t have to manually input information into different systems anymore and risk making mistakes. Automation simply leaves less room for errors.
The cloud security architecture involves a set of policies, technologies and controls that are deployed to protect your precious data from external hacking and security breaches. Secure servers running at a main data centre have automated backup and recovery features, mirroring your data to create backups in offsite locations. This ensures that data loss is, more or less, impossible. Additionally, it is a must for cloud service providers to comply with laws on storage and use of data.
While there are still those that are skeptical about cloud accounting, critical advantages still far outweigh and counter the drawbacks. Even software vendors support this, that’s why more and more are moving away from on-premise solutions and towards developing cloud environments.