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Posted December 11, 2015

Is Cloud Accounting Right for My Business?

More and more companies are using cloud based software to manage their finances. But is it right for your business?

The main concern with using cloud based software is, is it secure?

You are posting significant amounts of sensitive data to a server that is owned, maintained and secured by someone else. But providing your business has an internet connection the security issues are exactly the same as a locally hosted system.  Any system can be hacked.  PWC’s 2015 Information Security Breaches Survey shows that although 90% of large organisations and 74% of small organisations experienced a security breach in 2015, only 7% had a security or data breach relating to their cloud computing services (no details are given on what proportion of this relates to cloud accounting software).

At Whitesides, we consider that using a cloud based system is as secure as using a locally hosted system.

The next biggest risk is that the provider stops providing. Following the dot-com bubble, significant numbers of software providers went bust leaving their customers in the lurch.  The concern with using a cloud system is that the same could happen again.  It is therefore important to undertake proper due diligence on your provider and ensure that you have a contingency plan.

There are many advantages of using cloud accounting software, we have considered a few below:

 

Anytime, anywhere access

Providing you have an internet connection you can access your records on the go – some even allow you to connect via your Apple Watch! You can use a range of platforms as it is delivered via a web browser.

No start-up costs or long term commitments

The majority of cloud accounting packages charge a monthly fee (typically around £10 a month for a small business). There is no upfront charge and you can usually cancel your subscription by giving 30 days’ notice.

Automatic backups

All backups are taken care of in the cloud by the provider so you don’t have to purchase the latest edition, data is often secured in multiple data centres that are in different locations to prevent outages.

Direct link to your bookkeeper or accountant

You can have multiple users logged in at the same time. If you use a bookkeeper to update your records, you can access reports in real time.  If you use the software yourself your accountant can log in to check your progress and provide assistance with more complicated area such as VAT returns.

Like everything, cloud accounting has its strengths and weaknesses, it is not right for every business and you should consider all of the options before you make a decision.

 

If you would like to discuss whether cloud accounting is right for your business, please contact us.

 

The information contained above is provided for information purposes only and is not intended to amount to advice on which reliance should be placed. We therefore disclaim all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on such information. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the above contents.