Cloud computing is starting to take a hold in Irish workplaces as business owners begin to embrace the concept of moving their information systems online. Think about when you use internet banking. Every time you access this data, you’re using the cloud. The cloud is a platform to make data and software accessible online anytime, anywhere, from any device. Your hard drive is no longer the central hub.
Some businesses however are still reluctant to move to the cloud for many reasons:
- Lack of information
- Lack of understanding
- Concerns about of security
One of the biggest issues can simply be in understanding precisely what “The Cloud” is and who it is for. Our advice is to think of it as a hard drive online that stores your data.
You can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection such as your phone or tablet . Online accounting means business owners stay connected to their data and their accounts. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons or apps. It’s scalable, cost-effective and easy to use. Mountains of data can be loaded in minutes. In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription and updates are automatic, essentially this means no more back up’s.
The technology can be an exciting world of creativity and innovation. But while it’s great to embrace technology, you also need that valued time to concentrate on other key areas of the business, such as growth. The time saved by automation will allow you to do exactly this. Another key benefit of cloud computing is reducing costs.
By using a cloud based software, a business can cut out the following expenses:
- Hardware capital costs
- Hardware maintenance contract costs
- Electricity reduced
- Software upgrading costs
- Backup management costs
Even though many cloud solutions will promote themselves using cost saving as their main selling point, in many cases the biggest advantage is actually that of time saving. The implementation of a new cloud facility offers many opportunities for companies to become more efficient in work practices due to collaboration, accessibility of information remotely and speed, all of which fuel competitive advantage in business.
Think of the small business that has a sales team on the road. If there are 5 members of the team, they can create invoices on an iPad, to be approved back at head office. This is a powerful tool, which can contribute in giving a small business competitive advantage. It’s all done on one system, and managed in the cloud. Online collaboration is a huge advantage to a team of people with similar goals. Sales teams need to work together to achieve monthly goals and online collaboration in the cloud is a very powerful tool to manage growth.
Ways to time save using the cloud are:
- Automated and recurring invoices,
- Bank reconciliation - time saved entering data,
- Reporting –up to date reports can be printed in seconds rather than waiting for month end,
- Updating records is more efficient and on a single ledger so you and your accountant and your staff can be viewing the same information,
- Remote access 24-7 for any device,
- Multiple users can be invited to view your information.
The ability to collaborate and share data via the cloud is not to be underestimated. A secure online accounting software system using cloud based technology that manages accounts in a simple, fast and effective manner, can allow all stakeholders in a business to view information at the one time.
The fact is technology and cloud computing is now available to help you significantly reduce your paperwork and administration workload. It automates those mundane tasks, saves you loads of time and gives you up to date information on the performance of your business when you need it.
If you would like to understand more about cloud accounting, why not register for one of our upcoming FREE webinars or visit our website and log onto www.rda.ie/events/ or log onto our website www.rda.ie/xero to view information on how cloud accounting can save you time and money.