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Cloud technology: The perfect solution to accounting software

By Beth Casey, TrustRadius

Technology is always changing. Software packages and infrastructures require frequent updates or upgrades to avoid becoming outdated. That includes accounting software. Now, software capabilities are evolving again and, this time, they are going global. To keep up, you must adapt when it makes sense to do so and cloud technology can help pave the way.

Challenges with traditional accounting software

Traditional accounting software has its advantages. It's easy to use, can calculate quickly and the information is easily backed up. However, despite your best efforts, there are always drawbacks. Computers crash. Files corrupt. Bugs and viruses occur. The power goes out unexpectedly. All of this translates to downtime leaving you with little or no access to your accounting software and maybe even your computer when you need them most. 

Even when all else is going well, you still have the constant concern of keeping your data secure. Regardless of how much security is in place, it seems like you are still at risk for potential fraud and embezzlement scenarios. That's because traditional accounting software still makes it easy -- despite your security -- for a motivated individual to alter the data in their favor. Cloud accounting offers another solution to these common problems.

Introducing cloud accounting

Cloud computing born during the 1960s has only recently taken the world of technology by storm. With globalization at the forefront of technological advancements, the need to share and access information from nearly anywhere has become a priority. The cloud, then, is a way to mobilize your accounting software and financial data.

Today's world is a busy place and people are always on the go. Cloud accounting allows you to access your financial data in real time from virtually anywhere and with any mobile, web-compatible device. Just as online banking provides you with personal transaction details from nearly anywhere, so, too, can the cloud deliver your business financial data when and where you need it while helping you stay in touch with your accountant. In essence, it provides your business with an overall improved accounting experience for today's digital world.

Cloud improves your accounting experience

The ability to go mobile has many advantages, including a variety of top-rated, web-friendly accounting software like Xero, Sage Intacct and Abila MIP, to name a few. With mobile readiness in mind, real-time measurement is another huge bonus to consider. When you need access to data, you need the data in real time and cloud accounting can deliver. One disadvantage to this, however, is the need for mobile internet hotspot availability. As with anything else online, you must have access to the internet to also have access the cloud. Yet, this isn't a problem in most places.

One final benefit of cloud accounting is its cost-effectiveness. You no longer have the added cost of maintenance, upgrades, updates and more. Unlike traditional software, many of these options come automated when you transfer over to cloud technology.

Cloud security has options

There is no such thing as perfect security for any accounting practice whether it is manual, traditional or cloud. The more digitized we've become, the more security we must now consider and include. Security breaches can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time. IT specialists advise the thing to remember when considering a cloud service is to also consider what information you'll put on the cloud and what level of security that particular service provider offers.

Remember, the cloud is not a one-size-fits-all option for everything or every business. Likewise, not all cloud-service providers offer the same features and security levels. The key is knowing what your needs are and what cloud service providers offer. Then, consider advice from IT professionals and your accountant to point you in the right direction.

Beth Casey is a researcher and a regular contributor to TrustRadius where she shares her knowledge on the latest business trends and B2B news and technologies.