Is it time to invest in cloud accounting services?

17th April 2015

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Technology is revolutionising the way everyone is doing business in the 21st century. This is especially true for traditional bricks and mortar industries like accounting, which will always remain essential to running an effective business.

However, accounting is feeling the effects caused by new technologies changing the way accountants do business with their clients.

One such way is through the use of cloud computing, which allows many core accounting features to be handled via the internet and without sending physical documents to local accountants. 

The advantages of cloud accounting

Cloud computing is the use of computer hardware and software to deliver applications and services over the internet. It allows businesses to store files and use applications with many different devices and from any location.

Small businesses using cloud accounting can access their financial information online in real-time. Small companies can avoid the large capital expenditure on infrastructure, service upgrades and on-going maintenance and focus instead on other aspects of their business.

Financial information is available to users of cloud accounting around the clock and is kept off-site in secure databases. Small business cloud accounting means companies don't have to worry about natural disasters or needing information while offsite; everything is available to them with the click of a mouse.

Online access from any location also has the added benefit of encouraging greater collaboration between businesses and their advisors, according to Deloitte Australia. Previously, world class accounting features were not available to small businesses because the software was too expensive, whereas now the entry cost is very low because of cloud technology.

The rise of cloud computing in Australia

Australian businesses are now beginning to seize the opportunity that cloud computing technology can bring to their operations.

According to Gartner Research Director Michael Warrilow at a conference in Sydney this April, cloud computing and the use of more data centres are in the top four technology priorities for new spending by CIOs in Australia in 2015. This is according to information from Gartner's annual CIO survey.

Businesses are looking for more flexibility by moving away from the fixed costs associated with having IT services on site - this is one reason why cloud technology rates so highly. 

Australians are relatively late to adopt cloud computing in small business, with only 44 per cent using it in 2013, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Because of this, they are able to take more of a strategic approach, says Mr Warrilow, and learn from mistakes overseas.

Over the coming years, this type of computing technology is expected to continue changing how small business operates and open the door to more industries offering new services.