Alan Becker of Price Bailey asks: 'Head in the clouds?'
PUBLISHED: 16:00 05 May 2016
Over the past 18 months, the accounting profession has seen one of the biggest changes in management information systems since the introduction of spreadsheets.
This has arisen as a result of ongoing technological advances across the globe and the increased demand for real time data. The use of online accounting software has increased exponentially and the benefits of using online solutions are numerous.
• Accessibility: The ability to access your data anywhere in the world where you have an Internet connection. This allows quicker management reporting at your finger tips without having to report back to the office. Some providers allow the data to be accessed across a platform of devices including iPhones. Who would have thought you could now reconcile your bank account whilst sitting on the train?
• Automation: Several of the cloud solutions now support bank feeds so that your bank transactions can automatically download directly into your software. This reduces processing time and eliminates data entry errors. The software also has an artificial intelligence and will offer to post the transaction directly for you.
• Online payments: Some cloud solution providers integrate online payment options when you email across invoices, so that the recipient simply clicks on ‘Pay Now’.
• Data storage: Because everything is stored electronically and off-site, you don’t need to keep boxes of records in storage. Sales invoices are automatically retained on the system, and you are also able to scan in copies of purchase invoices.
• Social media: Some cloud solution providers also provide links with social media sites so you can easily promote your business.
• Remote working: Without the need to access the data on a specific PC, we have seen an uptake in remote working, whereby bookkeepers can do their work from their own office, or even at home. With the pace of modern life, we see it as essential that the accounts and management information is accessible • Security. The data is held securely and encrypted on an off-site server, without the need for you to worry about your own in-house data integrity.
For what had remained a fairly static profession for a number of years, the demand for such solutions and flexibility has driven some accountants to look at how they deliver their services.
Price Bailey LLP have expertise in cloud accounting software. We have a Business Systems team who will happily discuss a range of solutions for your business. Please give us a call on 01353 662892 for a chat.