What is Cloud Accounting and how does it help family businesses?

Cloud accounting is definitely the buzzword for Australian small and middle sized businesses.  And while cloud accounting is often talked about many Perth business owners are not completely sure about what is cloud accounting and what it means for their business.

Cloud accounting is still accounting

The primary reason why businesses do accounting is to understand the flow of money within their business.  Accounting is the universal language of finance and money and is the only way your business can communicate its performance, stress points and solvency. 

So importantly cloud accounting systems are an accounting system that has the accounting data based away from the business location.

What are the advantages of cloud accounting?

1. Work anywhere

The primary benefit of cloud accounting is that your data is mobile.  So if you are operating a business in Perth and you are on a work trip in Karratha you can access your cloud accounting data in either location.  Historically you needed to be physically sitting next to your data to begin to access it.

2. Use multiple platforms

Further, most cloud accounting programs are not reliant on a certain technology platform.  So if you use an iPad at home you can still access your cloud accounting data.  This can potentially be the case even if your business accounting is done in Perth through a Microsoft Office platform.

 3. Reduced IT infrastructure 

For many small and middle sized businesses the investment into a computer server has added a significant cost to the accounting and IT infrastructure needed.  With cloud accounting the need to invest in server technology is no longer present – and likewise the cost of employing IT staff to monitor upgrade and troubleshoot the server is no longer part of the business. 

If a family business had around say, 20 computers in the business, often the cost of getting IT support for the business was difficult.  Many quality IT service providers were not interested in smaller server support services and other providers might not have been equipped to manage the server properly – so the use of cloud accounting has reduced the investment into business IT.

4. Secure back-ups

Cloud accounting also takes away the difficult and time consuming tasks of taking back-ups of your data.  As business accountants we have seen many instances where the business accounting data becomes “corrupt” and the business becomes stuck with trying to reconstruct (or retype) old data again.  We have even seen clients approach small business accountants and engage their bookkeepers to assist with this expensive process. As a cloud accounting firm we are 100% cloud based.  This is critical to ensure our services to our clients are ongoing and secure.

5. Water-tight security 

If you are engaging cloud accounting services the data is protected by massive companies with deep budgets to spend on data security.  If you compare the difficulty with breaking these systems compared to say, throwing a brick throw a window and grabbing your files, you can see how much more secure cloud accounting is – both for businesses and for business accountants.

 6. Collaboration 

With cloud accounting the ability to engage with you could accounting firm is significantly easier as location is no longer relevant.  If you have a concern your business accountant can investigate, from their office, the issue and correct whatever is necessary.

 7. Reduces paperwork

If you use cloud accounting solutions you can achieve the dream of a paperless office.  The cloud accounting solution of storing your data (including pdf’s) into the cloud can reduce your paper consumption and paper waste. If you look at the fact that the average US office worker produces 10,000 sheets of paper a year the move to cloud accounting solutions can make a long term sustainable benefit.

 8. Faster data entry

If you engage with cloud accounting you can apply smart technology that will communicate to banks and suppliers to automate data entry and recording of transactions.  The tax and accounting automation of mundane tasks allows for business accounting resources to be invested into analysis, forecasting and insight.

 9. Upto date software

If you use cloud based accounting your software is always the most up-to date version.  The days of being posted a CD, needing to upload the new software version and then seeing the program crash are a thing of the past.

 10. Open software platforms

Many software programs like Xero are “open” software programs.  This allows for specialist niche industry programs to use the cloud accounting program for general ledger work and tailored specialist reports and tracking mechanisms to be done for that particular industry.

 So if you are a farmer, real estate agent or lawyer there are specialist programs that are focused only on your business.

Whether your family business is a global business across currencies or a local Perth based business with only a few employees – cloud accounting can make a huge difference to your business.  Like anything however the set-up and installation of your cloud accounting solutions can create an incredible outcome or a disastrous outcome – engaging a smart cloud accounting firm is critical to the outcome.

At Westcourt we are committed to one sole market – family businesses.  Our commitment to have a single focus rather than “everything” has given us an insight into the special needs of family businesses and their family accounting needs that other firms do not have.  And coupled with our collaborative approach to software options (rather than 100% Xero) has allowed us to gain a depth of knowledge across multiple platforms so that you can be assured that you are getting the best cloud accounting services for your business (not the accountants).

Given our focus, knowledge, experience and independent approach to cloud accounting solutions Westcourt are the natural choice when it comes to installing your business cloud accounting system – so why not give us a call?

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