Cloud accounting is coming of age with more and more of the software companies providing online solutions. The original cloud providers, like Xero, listed many benefits which differentiated the cloud solutions from the mainstream desktop accounting software.
The benefits included daily bank data feeds, the ability to invoice from a tablet or phone whilst on the job, availability anywhere, anytime on any device, multiple users in different locations along with no up-front costs or need for expensive IT installation.
All these benefits are great and they have revolutionised the way the financial data entry is performed and is saving time and money for every business who has either switched to cloud systems or started their new business with cloud systems.
Over the years, the benefits have changed.
The first step with cloud accounting was the efficiencies associated with time-saving data entry processing and the availability of the system from any device, anytime, anywhere.
The second step was improved collaboration between the business owner, their bookkeeper/data entry person and their accountant and advisors.
This has lead to what I believe is the No. 1 benefit of cloud accounting – improved decision-making.
The business owner now has information at their fingertips from which to make decisions about the business. However, having the information available does not mean better decisions will be made. The challenge is to understand what those numbers really mean and how to interpret them.