There are many advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Accounting? So is it right for you? The answer depends on your circumstances.
Here is a summary of the major points to consider:
Cloud accounting, also referred to as “online accounting”, serves the same function as accounting software that you would install on your computer, except it runs on our servers and you access it using your web browser, over the Internet. Your data is securely stored and processed on our servers—or “in the cloud”. Saasu FAQ
Advantages of Cloud Accounting:
- The ability to have live cloud accounting data is fantastic for business owners as they can make faster decisions on more accurate and up to date information;
- The cloud allows data to be easily integrated with other programs such as email and scheduling, providing much more versatility and reducing data entry requirements;
- Reduces the need to have a server in the office, and reduced IT costs;
- Providers have established secure hosts and provide disaster recovery and back ups,
- Faster and seamless bank integration;
- Accountants can update live data;
- Better support, as consultants have access to live data;
- Reducing paper consumption and helping the environment.
Disadvantages of Cloud Accounting:
- The obvious disadvantage of using cloud accounting is security and there are no guarantees. In the 10+ years that I have been working in the industry, I have only experienced one small business having its data compromised and none on the cloud, but it does happen to big businesses such as Sony and small ones.
- Ongoing monthly fees and dependence on third party,
- Once your subscription ceases – in many cases the data is no longer available,
- Ownership and control of the data,
- The ability to access data any time is generally not good for your work life balance,
- In addition there is the speed issue. In a high speed retail environment cloud accounting may not be appropriate. MYOB assure me that they are working on the speed of Accounting right when hosted online. I can suggest you make sure your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is providing you a good upload speed;
- Cloud accounting is generally best suited to smaller businesses. Businesses with a larger the number of users, create more data traffic and cloud accounting may become unfeasible. In addition, the software requirements become more complex and these larger packages are not yet available on the cloud.
Feel free to email me your thoughts and experiences and I will add them to this blog.