9 Advantages of The Cloud
Many people are familiar with using the Cloud in a personal capacity, whether it is for saving their favorite music to YouTube or doing a bit of online banking. It’s incredibly easy and it’s always there, on any computer, unlike having to carry your iPod around or visit your local bank branch to use their services.
But what about your business’ day to day admin? The stuff that requires you to be in the office, or go to your bank branch? Wouldn’t it be more efficient, both in terms of time and money, to be able to do it at home, or in another country, while away for business or pleasure.
HSBC Bank now employs an open desk rotation and work-from-home scheme where employees work at home every one-in-five days. It saves them operation costs and in effect boosts their employment percentage to 120%. At no extra cost. The Cloud is still there whether their staff uses it or not.
How can this translate to a small-to-medium business owner? How much can you do remotely? Pretty much everything, actually. Financial software is in fact blind to the scale of your business; it provides the same power for SMEs as it would for corporate giants.
Pay invoices? Check. File receipts? Check. Discuss areas of uncertainty with your accountant over the Cloud? Check. Accounting software packages now allow you to fully manage your accounting requirements virtually. Xero is an excellent example of this. It is simpler than you think and at the same time more complex than you imagine. Complex in design and simple in execution. But learning a new software package can be daunting so there would want to be some good payoffs. Here are nine reasons why you’ll be wishing you switched sooner.
1. Money – Having More of It!
As a software package, think of Xero as the best thing that has happened to your accountant since the calculator. The software can run many bookkeeping practices independently; it requires an accountant to sign off on the work without requiring the tedious calculations. As the accountant’s workload in minimized, so is their fee.
2 Increased Working Capital.
A second advantage is that they invoice you monthly, rather than annually, giving you a more fluid working capital and saving you from a lump sum payment at the end of the year.
3 Data Protection.
For those of you who haven’t seen Leo DiCaprio in Catch Me If You Can, it is based on the life of Frank Abignale, who forged millions of dollars worth of checks before being caught at 19. He served four years in prison before the US government cut him a deal to consult on other forgery cases. He now runs one of the most successful security consultancies in the world, far more profitable than his previous forgeries.The moral of the story is that the best hackers in the world get into ethical hacking. Not out of the kindness of their hearts; they do so because it is most profitable. Cloud interfacing software companies allocate huge budgets to hire these guys. Try finding room in your SME budget for one. In effect, the Cloud has vastly superior data protection to any PC or office server.
4 Instantaneous Access. Opening Hours are a Thing of the Past.
As it says on the tin. Anywhere, anytime, all you need is internet access. Do your shopping. Pay bills. Scan invoices. Tax returns. The list is endless.
You can schedule future announcements, transactions and invoices for any potential time. You don’t even need to be at your computer, let alone your desk.
6 No IT Outsourcing, Installation or Maintenance.
You do not need an IT department; the software providers themselves are responsible for everything. Highly organized and efficient support teams operate through their website. They do live web-chat to guide you through issues. They offer Oscar-worthy video tutorials.
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7 No Paperwork (Environmentally Friendly).
Online accounting software allows you to keep records of transactions online. By scanning and uploading documentation, the Cloud acts as a permanent storage facility for your records, meaning no paperwork cluttering up your workplace.
8 Energy Efficient.
There is no server running cost, the only energy cost is the internet connection, which in most cases would probably be running regardless of whether a company was using cloud software. As such, there are no additional running costs.
9 Agility – Tailored to Your Needs.
The software can integrate with other popular applications such as CRM packages and payment applications like PayPal. It allows connectivity between some of your most used applications.
With all the benefits of cloud computing it is only a matter of time before it becomes the default for small to medium sized businesses. For more information on Xero accounting software go to http://www.xero.com/?type=partner&pid=XXKKX7 and www.gahan.ie.