Cloud bookkeeping – the benefits and how it can help you.

Cloud bookkeeping has created a significant change in efficiency for the accounting industry and its clients.  At its core, cloud bookkeeping automates manual tasks, helps to increase your revenue and makes your business smarter and more efficient, so that you can spend more time doing what matters most.

What is the Cloud?

The cloud exists in data centres which can be accessed on any device, via the internet.  One of the central features of the cloud is virtualisation. Virtual machines are created with software that subdivides the computing power, memory and storage of a given machine into multiple smaller units, each running their own operating system. This virtualisation allows computing resources to be shared and allocated efficiently in datacentres around the world. One example of using the cloud is on-line banking.

Automation helps to increase productivity

Cloud bookkeeping and automation go hand-in-hand. Automation is taking manual tasks and having the software do the work.   For example, in cloud accounting solutions, transactions can be created without manual data entry.  In the past, data entry was incredibly laborious.  Accountants and bookkeepers would typically spend hours entering transaction data from original paper documents such as invoices and bank statements.

These types of productivity gains are not exclusive to the accounting software you use.  Many of the larger accounting platforms have a vibrant add-on ecosystem.  These add-ons integrate directly into their software.  There are solutions for automating everything from document workflow to forecasting cash flow.

Real-time financial reporting

The ability to efficiently manage cash-flow is key to the financial success for many business owners.

Entrepreneurs often don’t have real-time insight into their business’ finances.  They have to blindly conduct day-to-day operations and the lack of key timely financial information can make or break a company. Cloud bookkeeping solves this.  It puts business owners back in the driving seat and provides them with auto-updated, real-time information about the financial health of their company.

They no longer have to wait for management reports to be produced before checking their income and expenses.  It is easy for them to see where their money is coming from and where it’s going, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Collaboration made easy

With the cloud, business owners and their accountants have the information they need, when they need it.  This makes collaboration a cinch, whether on the go, at home or in the office.

Today, any business that is not accessing the cloud can incur higher professional fees, due to the time spent chasing down documents and answers from clients which can take up to 35 percent of their accountant’s time.

Cloud advisors and business owners can leverage solutions like Hubdoc in Xero to automatically centralise key documents.  This reduces the burden of audit-proofing a business’ books and simplifies collaboration.  Documents are held securely in the cloud and are accessible from anywhere.  This means accountants and bookkeepers have the documents they need, when they need them.  It also gives them greater control of their time.

Cloud software is always improving

Cloud software will be maintained and updated by the providers.  This is different from desktop software where the version you buy is the version you’re stuck with and where upgrades only occur when you purchase an updated version.  Cloud software updates are provided as and when they are needed, without manual intervention and at no extra cost to the user.

Backup made easy

When most of us think of backing up our data, we often delay it because something “more important” came up.  Manually backing up data is a pain.

Thanks to the cloud and the deep integration between bookkeeping software platforms and their add-ons, backup is automatic.  In the best of cases, it happens as part of your workflow.

Remember – doing manual work is time that could be better spent on your business. Software is here to help. Cloud bookkeeping in the cloud is a great way to automate and save time, whether you’re a bookkeeper, accountant or small business owner.

For more help and advice about cloud software please call Simon Hall or Steph Smith at Nicholsons on 01522 815100.