The online world has transformed many aspects of our lives, including accounting for small businesses.
No matter the size of your venture, whether you’re a limited company, sole trader or contractor, or what sector you work in, you can now manage your money faster and more efficiently thanks to the speed afforded by digital.
As technology becomes slicker and our society more connected by powerful web-based networks, using an online accounting system seems an increasingly sensible and popular option.
What is Online Accounting
Online accounting can be a great choice for today’s modern businesses. This is the practice of managing your finances by utilising cloud technology. Just as the cloud helps us plug into social media, checking our personal banking online or using our smartphones to keep updated via email, we can utilise the same tech to help us stay on top of our business affairs and manage our money to maximise profits.
Using the cloud means today’s business owners, contractors and freelancers can access data and software from any (compatible) device, at any time.
Here are some of the key benefits of utilising an online accounting system.
Check Your Finances On The Move
If you work in commercial construction and spend a lot of time on building sites, in the past you’d need to head back to the office to access your accounting software. Or if you’re in sales and your working week is spent driving between locations, then you might not be able to file any expenses or receipts until you’ve finished travelling.
Thanks to the cloud, businesses, entrepreneurs and contractors are free to check their finances and upload important documents wherever they may be.
Forget the old office-based, desk-top accounting methods. And don’t worry about security. Your data and records can all be safely encrypted and stored on a cloud server.
In 2020, sustainability is a massive issue for many businesses. We all know we’re at a tipping point when it comes to tackling the climate crisis and companies need to do their bit to help start valuing the planet as much as profits. Cloud accounting can go a long way to achieving any goals around becoming more environmentally-friendly.
Rather than relying on filling physical receipts and invoices, everything can be mailed electronically and stored via the cloud. There’s no longer any need to print or post anything or keep any paper copies. When storing financial information in the cloud, you don’t even have to rely on your own servers or invest in IT systems to retain this kind of financial information.
Collaborate More Effectively
With staff now working increasingly remotely in part due to the impact of Covid-19, collaborating effectively can be seen by some as a challenge.
But with accounting, the old way of working meant accessing financial information was tricky. Only certain staff would have the information, so specific details would need to be shared or printed and physically posted to another location or office.
Utilising cloud technology means companies can provide multi-access to various stakeholders within a business without having to go through any arduous administrative work. This access can be granted regardless of location so accounts can be checked wherever staff may be.
As online accounting systems are all based in the cloud, there’s no need for businesses to invest in expensive IT hardware or systems.
In the past, businesses might need a server to look after any data as well as employ tech support to help maintain the storage and security of this financial information.
With the cloud, these costs can be avoided as there’s no IT infrastructure to be paid for or looked after. It means this money can be invested elsewhere, perhaps in improving products or services to customers.
Streamline The Accounting Process
Cloud accounting software allows employees or business owners to set up a dashboard on their smartphones or tablets showing important financial information. It means entrepreneurs and their staff can work out the best ways to manage their money easier and more effectively. You can set reminders, approve invoices, make payments and view cash flow, so your financial position can be assessed in real-time.
This easy access to financial information gives you greater control of your business and allows you to view your accounting priorities and set financial goals to keep you focused on achieving your objectives.
Using online software also means there’s nothing to update or install while data flows seamlessly from your bank to books and vice versa. This saves you and your venture time.
Now with internet connections and technology increasingly powerful and many businesses requiring staff to work from any location, cloud technology can be a great choice for any business looking to get the edge on its competition. Not only does it speed up the accounting process, but it can help limited companies, self-employed contractors and freelancers make their money work much harder than ever before.