4 questions you need to know about the ‘cloud’
The term ‘cloud computing’ simply means that you are accessing and storing data online, rather than on your computer.
- What is cloud computing used for?
A lot of people use the cloud every day, sometimes without even realising it. For example, some email providers store your emails account on the cloud, which is why you can access them from any computer or device online. You can also store music on the cloud, so if your device isn’t large enough to hold all your music, it is still possible to access the music that isn’t stored on your device from the cloud. The cloud is increasingly being used in the world of business. It saves space and money storing physical files, as well as having the ability to access data from anywhere. One major use of the cloud in business is cloud accounting.
- What is cloud accounting?
Cloud accounting is very similar to other cloud based usages. It simply means your accounts are stored online instead of on your computer or as paper files.
How can cloud accounting help me?
As your accounts are stored online it is possible to access them from anywhere in the world with an internet connection. Why do I need access from anywhere in the world? Well… maybe you aren’t multinational, but how many times have you been at home and thought “I wish I hadn’t left that file in the office?” How many times have you wished you didn’t have to drop a hard copy off to your partners, advisors or accountants? Having access to your accounts online provides you with the ability to check your data whenever you think about it, giving you piece of mind and saving you time as there is no need to transport physical data.
Another plus side to cloud accounting is connectivity to your bank accounts. Having your accounts connected to your bank accounts means that you can see an up-to-date view of your cash-flow. You can keep track of both personal and businesses accounts and easily see where you are spending money and also where your money is coming from. Having live information about your business helps with the answers you need when making important decisions. You can make the changes when they need to be made, instead of waiting for your end of year accounts to tell you where your money has gone.
There are many businesses moving their accounts to the cloud. Storing data online also enables you to feed this data to other useful business software. Our preferred cloud accounting software provider, Xero, have a growing list of hundreds of add-ons. The applications either make inputting data into your accounts easier or use the data in your accounts to provide information of how your business is performing. For example, there are time keeping add-ons, which make logging chargeable time simple and there are also budgeting add-ons, which provide budget reports. Add-ons can be generic or tailored to a specific sector. It is how you read and understand the information which is the important part.
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