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Cloud accounting

You may have heard of cloud accounting but what is it?

In very basic terms it is an accounting system that is hosted and therefore accessible on an internet browser.  This means all the processes you perform and the information you access in your accounting system is now available anywhere and anytime.   

I could carry on about cloud accounting all day but to spare you all the details and tamper my enthusiasm for the subject here are top four benefits and possibilities of cloud accounting:

Access and controlling others access
Bank feeds
Receipts handling
Solutions

Access and controlling others access


With cloud accounting you can access your data anywhere you can locate a computer with an internet connection and browser. This can be expanded so that access can be granted to your employees and accountant. The days where you had to download your accounting system data on a USB stick and then arrange for it to get to your accountant are over. You and your accountant will be accessing the same information at the same time providing the benefits of efficiency, saving time and accuracy. It may also mean you don’t even have to see your accountant – now that’s progress!!!!

Bank feeds

After going through some approvals processes through your bank it is possible to establish a direct bank feed link between your bank account and your cloud accounting software. This means that any transactions on your bank account are automatically “fed” into your accounting software. These transactions remain as “unreconciled” until you do something with them. With a few clicks of the mouse you determine the “who” and the “what” of the transactions. Rather than having to perform data entry which can often be done months after the fact, bank feeds arrive into your accounting software every day prompting you to process them. From a personal perspective I was never up to date with my credit card transactions and would wait until my BAS was due to actually process them. By this stage I may have forgotten what the transaction was for or struggled to find the receipt. Now with bank feeds the transactions are waiting for me every morning and I am always up to date. 


Receipts handling

Do you dread being asked by your accountant “can I receive a copy of that invoice?”. Well now it is possible to attach a receipt or invoice to your transactions in your cloud accounting system. Again going back to my personal situation whenever I spend anything on my credit card I use the Xero app on my phone to take a photo of the invoice or receipt and enter a few details. Next day when I log in the software has already matched the bank feed with the photo I took the previous day and all I need to do is click the “ok” button”. It is also possible to attach PDF or Word documents to transactions. Now when your accountant asks you that question tell him “get it yourself ….……..”.

Solutions

There is no shortage of cloud accounting providers in the marketplace. A google search will return many options, far too many that any reasonable person could decipher. Some of the more popular systems in Australia include Xero, Saasu, MYOB Essentials and Quickbooks Online.

 
Conclusion

I hope the above provides a concise overview of some of the benefits of cloud accounting and that it can save you a lot of time and allow you to work anywhere and anytime. Please use this time saving wisely and focus on what’s important. Rest, spend time your family and friends, drink plenty of water, have a laugh, exercise and be nice to each other.

Robert Spralja

Accountant & Business Advisor

Inform Business Accounting