Few aspects of running a business are more important or more confusing than bookkeeping and accounting. But, the fact is, without keeping accurate books your business could suffer great damage – or even go under.
Thankfully, there are many online accounting solutions. In the old days, a business might invest in some expensive accounting software, but never upgrade it due to the cost, thus possibly missing out on an important new feature, or worse – be left with something that didn’t automatically changed when significant tax changes occurred. Thus, the cost of the mistake could far exceed what it would have cost for the upgrade.
There are many ways that cloud-based accounting software can save money, such as:
- Ease of entry – The cost of setting up cloud-based software is substantially less initially than buying software you have to install on your system. Often, full access can be granted for less than it costs you to eat lunch. In addition, continuous support and upgrades are implemented without the need to pay more.
- Accounting automation – Cloud-based accounting software is easier to automate. For instance, in most cases a business owner can set up credit card and other transactions to be booked automatically at the time of the transaction, without doing any data entry.
- Strategic bill paying – By entering invoices into the system or even having your client bill you via your system, you can pay the bills in a strategic manner that will save money. For example, in some instances a vendor will give discounts for early payment; you’ll be alerted about this and be able to save money.
- Collections management – Online accounting software offers more accurate invoice management. The moment someone pays by credit or PayPal, the system will book the payment and send out a thank you note, all without your ever lifting a finger. The only data entry you may need to do is if someone pays by cheque or cash, and then it's simple enough to outsource to a qualified bookkeeper since the books can be accessed from any place at any time, via the cloud.
- Cashflow tracking – Print easy, up-to-the minute reports and track your cashflow. Knowing cash flow is an important aspect of doing business. If a small business owner doesn't know how much cash is coming in and going out, it'll be difficult to make decisions.
- Streamline tasks – As mentioned already, online accounting software automates a lot of tasks, but even the tasks done by hand are made easier because they can be done from anywhere, at any time.
- Inventory control – Good online accounting software enables inventory tracking and will help avoid shrinkage. If employees know that inventory is being tracked accurately, internal theft is less likely. Plus, by keeping track of inventory there will be no need to have too much or too little of anything on hand, thus saving money in the long run.
- Payroll administration – If your small business has employees, keeping track of payroll can be very confusing and difficult. Once the system is set up with the right terms, taxes, and information – which is usually done by just answering a few questions – most of the process is automatic, and this will save both time and money in the long run because there will be less mistakes – and less time correcting mistakes.
- More control over finances – Managing details about money can be difficult, but if you know exactly what your bottom line is, on any given day, you can make better choices because more knowledge equals better decisions.
With all these great benefits, thankfully, today a small business can use cloud-based online accounting applications for a monthly fee, which will always be upgraded to the latest version without any worry or concern. Cloud-based accounting software is accounting software that is available via any computer as long as there is an internet connection. No software is actually downloaded to your computer, so there is no onsite software to deal with or upgrade. It’s all done seamlessly on someone else’s secure server – in “the cloud". What could be better than that?
Elke works as an online marketing manager for www.getapp.com, the #1 Cloud Business Apps Marketplace. Her motto is: "Your life is what your thoughts make it."