Cloud Accounting clarified
Before we consider Cloud Accounting packages, let’s cover a few bases.
The cloud, quite simply, is the internet. Your data is stored online and accessed via the internet. Typically this access is via a web browser or cloud enabled software installed on your computer. This is different to a software application that is installed on your computer and powered by a server on your premises.
The cloud accounting package is accessed by monthly subscription which means you always have the latest version of the accounting package and there are no large upfront licensing fees.
Your data can be accessed by authorised users who you grant an appropriate level of permission to including internal staff, bookkeepers and of course your Accountant. Any data stored on devices that connect to the internet, including data stored on personal computers, is at risk of suffering a security breach, so continuous maintenance of security practices is essential. The Hanrick Curran recommended Cloud Accounting packages have the highest level of security infrastructure. All data transferred between users and cloud accounting services Hanrick Curran recommend are encrypted to the same standard applied to internet banking.
Reduced cost to the business to maintain access to the latest accounting software. One monthly subscription replaces upfront license costs, version upgrades, maintenance and system administration costs associated with installed software – these are all managed by the cloud accounting service provider.
Ease of access to your financial data from anywhere, at any time, all you need is an internet connection.
Informed business decisions can be made because you have access to up to date financial data. The data is kept up to date with pre-configured bank reconciliations and clear internal finance procedures.
All business owners should at least consider cloud accounting because the vast majority of businesses will reap the benefits, however there are some exceptions and also some pre-requisites to be aware of.
- You require computer hardware that has been purchased in recent (less than 3) years. Different Cloud Accounting providers have different minimum computer specifications. It’s best to check with us first regarding your computers specifications
- You need regular access to a quality internet connection (i.e Broadband not Dial Up or Satellite)
- You need to be prepared set up the data feeds and adopt best practice internal finance procedures that your Hanrick Curran Accountant will guide you through.
A few industries, agribusiness to name one, have non-standard accounting inventory which is currently not catered for in any cloud accounting products. A change to cloud accounting software for these businesses is currently not recommended. Phoenix Live is Primary Production accounting software in the cloud, available now. The others will not be far behind (I.e. less than 2 years)
There is a number of cloud accounting products available in the Australian market. They include, MYOB Live, Xero, Saasu, Intuit Quickbooks and Reckon One to name the dominant players. Vendors of these products have varying levels of suitability based on a number metrics, including quality and accessibility of customer support, security framework and financial viability.
Hanrick Curran performs a thorough due diligence on providers and only recommended vendors that meet our strict performance criteria.