Likely every business owner who has gone online in the past 3 years has taken notice of an ad for an online accounting services. Here in Canada, the decision often comes down to QuickBooks Online, Xero, Wave, Freshbooks, or Kashoo.
There are pros and cons to taking your accounting system online, but the pros outweigh the cons like a beluga whale outweighs a sea otter. Let’s get the cons out of the way.
Cons of a cloud accounting system
- Updates and user interface changes are outside of your control. Have you ever showed up to work one morning with a lot to do and found someone moved your desk and rearranged it to boot? QuickBooks online did this to me at least twice, but cloud systems are getting better with notifications and early opt-ins. This isn’t the harsh con it once was.
- Data security is a mystery to many. This is a sticking point for Canadian business owners of two things:
- Where do systems store data? Canadians are often concerned about storing data on American servers because of the authority afforded to the US government to snoop as well as contracted restrictions on data storage with some companies.
- Is the data secure? It’s as secure as your password, but there’s always the chance of hacking. Is encrypted data in the cloud less secure than your office hard drive? Regardless of backups, many companies are one break-in away from data loss.
- Function. Figuring out which cloud accounting system is right for you is so important. Every single system has its shortcomings and so there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these systems. I prefer Xero and I am a Xero partner and have very harsh things to say about QuickBooks Online, but sometimes, QBO really is the right answer.
- Fees. One downside of moving to the cloud is a monthly subscription fee. This is why my clients get their accounting system included in their fixed fee.
Pros of a cloud accounting system
There are many so we will focus on some of the big ones to dramatically offset those cons.
- Data at your fingertips. Cloud systems give you the opportunity to access your data when you want it. You can’t sleep because you don’t know last quarter’s revenue numbers? Get up, check it out, then get back to bed.
- Unlimited Users Wherever They Are. Desktop systems need an internal network setup and enough licenses to run your operation. You find it crippling when you aren’t at the right computer, or you’re the 4th one into a 3-license system, or you’d like to work from home one day. Cloud systems inherently address all these issues .
- Customization. It is not likely that one software solution will be exactly what you need. Every business relies on a collection of specific tools for payments, order management, time tracking, reporting, inventory, payroll, etc. and with cloud software, you can integrate the tools you need to be effective.
Take Control of Your Accounting
Cloud accounting software packages offer immense operational and strategic value to your organization. Rather than being at the mercy of your accounting system, you are taking control.
While the cons are not without weight, the outcomes for virtually any business are so great that they shouldn’t get in the way of a good business decision.
To find out more about cloud accounting and cloud accounting, systems, drop us a line line at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-877-748-1698!