Adoption of cloud accounting a wise move for small businesses
Business owners can send quotes, turn them into invoices, reconcile accounts and more on their smartphones, says Bridget du Toit, head of Sales and Services at EasyBiz Technologies.
Small business owners who want to keep abreast of technological disruptions should make the move to cloud accounting. Not only will they save money and office space, they will be able to turn spare moments into productive minutes.
This is according to EasyBiz Technologies Head of Sales and Services, Bridget du Toit, who says cloud accounting is ideal for small businesses, because it allows business owners to work from anywhere, at any time, as long as they have an Internet connection.
"Small business owners often play a hands-on role in the organisation and struggle to find time for administrative and accounting tasks. This is where advances such as cloud accounting can help, allowing them to run their businesses from the palms of their hands and stay on top of their finances 24/7," she adds.
With cloud accounting, business owners can send quotes, turn them into invoices, reconcile accounts and more on their smartphones. In addition, cloud accounting allows them to collaborate with their colleagues and accountants in real-time, meaning they can log in simultaneously and work directly with their data online.
Another plus is that cloud-based software is more affordable when it comes to hardware and IT services. "For example, consider a desktop accounting solution that can cost up to R500 per month, a comparable cloud accounting solution could cost as little as R140 per month," says Du Toit.
The adoption of cloud accounting also means less data entry because online solutions automatically download and categorise bank and credit card transactions.
Notably, many cloud-based accounting software providers have created apps that allow users to upload or check information. This means receipts can be photographed and attached to any transactions, in a snap.
Du Toit says cloud accounting is empowering because business owners can keep tabs on what is happening at all times. "They can literally keep tabs on their businesses, access customers' information and chase a late invoice from their pockets.
"Also, their accountants can access their books remotely to answer questions, fix problems and prepare for tax season; these all add up to good reasons for adopting cloud accounting."
And, the reduction in tedious manual processing means less chance of making errors and a reduction in compliance risks. Cloud accounting allows for the easy detection of discrepancies such as duplicated entries or fraud.
Du Toit notes many small business owners worry about the safety of their data when it comes to cloud accounting. "Cloud-based accounting software uses encryption to send and store data. Basically, this means the information is rewritten into a secret unbreakable code. This is the same type of security used to make online banking safe. Cloud accounting providers understand that data is one of their clients' most important assets and they go to great lengths to protect it.
"Most solutions have more than one data centre, with 24/7 physical security, full-time security guards, video surveillance, and alarms to prevent hi-tech breaches. All of these data centres have uninterruptable power supplies and backup generators for use in case of a power outage, and complex smoke and flood detection and fire suppression systems," explains Du Toit.
She says small business owners who are ready to make the shift to cloud accounting simply need to contact an accredited and trustworthy service provider. "Many service providers offer a migration service that allows for a seamless move from desktop to cloud. It couldn't be easier."