It’s not that long ago that the word apple would just conjure up images of a piece of fruit and a cloud was a white fluffy mass suspended in the air. Technology has changed all that. Most kids would get excited these days if you told them you were buying them an ‘Apple’ and it wouldn’t be because they loved fruit. Cloud computing has equally brought excitement into the world of accountancy and today we will look at what cloud accounting means for you.

It has now been a few years since cloud technology started to impact accountancy and at Harold Sharp, we have been keen to embrace it. Here are a few pointers for you to consider…

Why is cloud accounting software different?

Cloud based software is not stored on a computer hard drive. Instead the software and data are stored in the ‘cloud’. This means it is accessed through an internet browser. Provided you have access to the internet, you will have access to your accounts, anytime, anywhere and from any device.

Is cloud accounting software expensive?

You normally pay a monthly subscription fee. So, there is no large initial outlay and upgrades are included in the price. All maintenance and updates are managed by the provider which reduces the need to pay for technical support. The software that we support is also Making Tax Digital (MTD) ready.

Is data safe?

With nothing tangible to see when it comes to data storage, it is understandable that those new to cloud accounting may have concerns. However, storing data in the cloud is much safer than storage on a standalone machine. The software providers ensure that data is replicated in multiple data centres and backed up daily.

Is data secure?

Software providers ensure that data is encrypted, and multiple layers of security are in place. These include firewalls, intrusion protection and network segregation. All cloud-based accounting software that we recommend, use industry recognised security safeguards. You can control your own log in credentials and who has access to your software. Two factor authentication will also prevent unauthorised access.

How can it help your business?

Cloud accounting is transforming the way we work. With ease of access, real time information can be accessed by all. At Harold Sharp we have found it particularly useful to talk on the phone to a client whilst looking at the same data. This has enabled us to effectively train our clients to use the software and play a proactive role in supporting their business.

Up to the minute information enables better, more informed decision making and provides greater insight into how your business is performing. With access to your data from anywhere, being out of the office does not mean you are out of touch.

We’re not quite paperless but digital record keeping is certainly reducing the amount of paper that needs to be stored and you will find it is quicker to access data digitally.
Mundane tasks are more automated and bank accounts can be connected to the software so that your bank statements feed in seamlessly.

If you are interested in cloud accounting software, get in touch with us via email, or visit these links for more information on the software we support…

FreeagentQuickbooksXeroSage

If you are already using cloud accounting software but would like a health check to ensure that you are getting the most out of it, please get in touch via email.

Keep a look out for the March edition of Fintech Friday and how fintech can improve your cashflow!

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