The cloud accounting landscape is a vast space; it can be a playground of possibility or, without proper guidance, a huge waste of time and resources. Without knowing how to navigate the ever-changing cloud accounting ecosystem, your accountant might not even dip a toe into its waters. However, we’re here to put their mind (and yours!) at ease. Don’t let cloud accounting leave your accountant scratching his head. Today, we’re answering your top cloud accounting questions.
Why is cloud accounting vital to stay ahead in the tech world?
We’re going to be totally upfront here – most software today is being developed in the cloud, so your accounting system obviously should be too. Think about it like this: if your accounting system is going to be a repository where much of your business data flows and is captured, you’re going to want one that can integrate with other systems you’re already using. Chances are that between your CRM system, your employee time system, and your point of sale system, one or all of those tools are cloud based. Plus, a cloud accounting service is going to connect with APIs much easier than older desktop versions.
How is cloud accounting different from my desktop accounting software?
The biggest complaint we typically hear from business owners is that their CPA (or bookkeeper or accountant) prefers an older desktop system. While these legacy systems served their purpose, there’s a reason so many cloud accounting service platforms are moving to the cloud. Maybe your CPA is stuck on their old system because they’re afraid of updates or new features. Or, maybe they’re worried that they won’t be able to learn a new accounting software. Whatever the reason, business owners might find that the people manning the records are the ones scared of making the switch. We get it: change is hard, and change can be scary, but if an accountant says that there aren’t enough features in a cloud-based system, they haven’t taken a chance to truly evaluate it.
How will cloud accounting improve my daily grind?
Cloud accounting improves the amount of data and types of data you can put into your accounting system. As a result, it also improves the speed at which data moves in and through your system. Before cloud based software existed, accountants were manually uploading large amounts of data. By using cloud technology, you’re able to eliminate manual entry, allowing you to save time and make smarter business decisions at a faster pace. The sheer speed at which data comes to your system is a huge benefit. Acuity clients often comment about how much quicker information comes their way after implementing a cloud accounting service.
Cloud accounting also makes your accounting system much more collaborative. An accountant can use the tools at the same time as another team member, with full visibility into real-time updates. No more moving files back and forth. Instead, users can log-on quickly and access accounting from almost anywhere – mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or desktops. Some accounting systems even integrate with tools like the Apple iWatch – talk about a competitive advantage.
What are the top cloud accounting tools out there?
There are a lot of cloud accounting tools. A lot. However, two of the top in our books are Xero and Quickbooks Online. Of course, our favorites don’t stop there. For payments, we love bill.com. Gusto is a top-notch payroll platform, and Zenefits does a great job with HR management. Expensify is useful for expenses and employee reimbursement, and we also have great things to say about Harvest, a time-capture system that many professional services firms use. There are thousands of cloud-accounting tools out there. As such, there are some that will make your life easier, and of course, there are some to be cautious of. Either way, it’s an exciting time to start implementing some cloud accounting changes.
If you’re a business owner looking to discover what tools are right for you, we’d love for you to reach out to us and ask us our thoughts. We’re always happy to share insights whether that’s through our blog, Twitter, or even our chat bot on our website.