If want to jump on the road that helps you run your business more effectively in the marketplace, that road will lead to cloud based solutions! Embrace the cloud now and you will find your business working smarter, faster, and giving better value to your customers.
Why Cloud Accounting?
Because tools created in the cloud are focused not only on functionality, but design and ease of use are top priorities in their development. With cutting edge web technologies, companies such as Xero and Wave Accounting have created very easy to use cloud accounting platforms that run completely in a web browser such Google Chrome, and handle nearly any type of small and midsized businesses bookkeeping needs.
Do note most features mentioned here relate to Xero, but Wave offers many similar feature sets, and is an excellent alternative if you want a cloud accounting solution that is completely free.
You probably say, “I love running my business! But I dread looking at the books…”
If you have attempted to handle your own bookkeeping using desktop applications (we won’t name any names), you probably went through a stressful period of acquainting yourself with the process. If you muscled through the gauntlet of daunting ledgers, accounts, and reports; you made it further than most. With cloud tools, I can honestly say bookkeeping becomes enjoyable. No longer must you fear the three month backlog of expense receipts piled up in your business file, because you can now use your mobile device to take a picture of the receipt and shoot the data to your books in the cloud instantly. Throw the receipt away and never look back. I can hear the shouts of praise and excitement already!
Cloud accounting allows you to automate many processes and these are always improving. Excellent efficiency features include:
- Automatically load your bank transaction data for creating a bookkeeping transaction and/or reconciling the transaction.
- Mastering tax time and have digital copies of your transaction docs attached to every transaction. This is especially useful for expenses.
- Run your business from your mobile device. You can track expenses, create invoices, pay bills, reconcile your accounts, and view your contacts with ease.
- Powerful integration with other cloud applications. This is HUGE! Cloud applications develop interfaces called API’s (Application Programming Interface) that allow other cloud apps to share data (pending your approval of course). Add-ons give you extensive feature sets without the hassle of typing in data twice. And it all syncs together! Many add-ons offer solutions to cover:
- inventory management
- time tracking
- advanced payables and receivables
- customer resource management
- debtor tracking
- unbelievably advanced reporting tools
- and so much more
No more end of year catch-up bookkeeping. The clouds simplicity motivates you to keep everything up-to-date.
Which would you trust more: your computer at the office that has a consumer grade firewall installed and a small deadbolt on the front door preventing robbers from getting in? Or a professional server facility that is monitored 24/7 by network security specialists and has high-end surveillance to prevent physical break-ins? Personally, I trust the professionals over myself to secure my data.
But then you ask, “How in the world can data be secure in the cloud when we are always hearing reports about big corporations and governments getting hacked?” The truth is, no matter how much security we put in place, there is a very tiny chance someone finds a way to break in. However, those tiny odds sound significantly better than me trying to manage the constant security updates and redundant backup responsibilities myself.
Cloud applications use professional server farms operated from trusted companies such as Google and Rackspace. The companies are obsessed with providing top tier security that is super encrypted, have multiple redundant backups, and are locked down from electronic and physical threats.
In reality the biggest threat to your data getting hacked is the password you use to secure it. It is imperative that you use a strong password that isn’t the same password you use everywhere else.
There are many methods to creating strong passwords that you can remember: http://bit.ly/GHMKv
A tool called LastPass, is an excellent solution to solving the weak password dilemma. LastPass is a free tool that gives you the ability to remember one master password that then gives you access to all your passwords used on the internet. This is safe thanks to LastPass only sending password data that is encrypted before it ever leaves your computer. That means LastPass is only storing strongly encrypted data on its servers and only you have that master password locally to decrypt it. Therefore, if you forget your password, no one, including LastPass, is able to retrieve it for you.
Go checkout LastPass.com to learn more about this great tool for boosting security and efficiency.
The Cloud is the Future
Get your business involved in running cloud applications now because they let you compete against the big guys at fractions of the typical cost.
Here are links to further resources to learn about efficiency and security features in Xero, Wave and LastPass.
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