Cloud accounting sounds intimidating to less geeky people, but it’s not so complicated to use. The learning curve of cloud accounting apps is pretty similar to that of traditional accounting apps. However, cloud accounting comes with some game-changing benefits. Thanks to these advantages, it’s not a matter of if you switch to cloud accounting, but when you do it!
Aren’t you interested in the new technology of keeping your business accounting? Well, you’d better pay attention to it. It gives your business a competitive edge over your competitors. So roll up your sleeves and learn about cloud accounting and its main benefits. I will also introduce you to five reliable cloud accounting software apps as a bonus.
What Is Cloud Accounting
Cloud and cloud computing can seem like technologies unsuitable for solopreneurs, startups, or small businesses. Many believe that switching to cloud solutions is not feasible as long as traditional accounting tools do their job. However, you will change your mind once you understand the basics of cloud accounting. Cloud accounting and cloud services, generally speaking, are huge aids to businesses lacking capital. People have adopted cloud apps on a large scale, which are less and less expensive. Moreover, instead of paying a severe amount of money upfront for an accounting tool, you pay just a monthly subscription.
The subtle but significant difference of cloud accounting is data management. It’s sent to the cloud, processed there, and sent back to the user. On-premises accounting software processes data locally. You don’t have to install any software on your computer by choosing a cloud accounting app. Indeed, it doesn’t matter where the data is processed for a manager or accounting expert. Cloud accounting is mostly a fad from this perspective. Yet, it has so many massive advantages that everyone will adopt cloud accounting sooner or later.
Benefits of Cloud Accounting
Moving your processing data environment from the computer to the cloud isn’t complicated at all. Of course, it depends on your team’s size and skills, but on average, a few hours to read the documentation and a few tutorials are enough to learn the basics of any cloud accounting tool. Below are the main benefits of cloud accounting.
Let’s suppose that you need an accounting report at a business meeting. You use traditional accounting software. In this scenario, you need your accountant to open up that software app, generate the report, and send it to you by mail. On top of that, the accountant might not answer your phone call or may not be at the office. Pretty uncomfortable and annoying. You won’t have these issues with cloud accounting. You can open the app on your smartphone and generate the needed report at your convenience.
Gone are the days where your accountant needed a dedicated computer to keep track of all incomes and outcomes. Thanks to cloud computing, your accountant can work on your financial reports from the comfort of home on any computer. The major cloud accounting companies have also developed mobile apps, so accountants and managers can check the economic situation on smartphones. Do you prefer desktop apps? No problem, many cloud accounting companies offer desktop applications in addition to the web and mobile ones.
By adopting cloud accounting, you won’t need to install more software on your computers. Instead, you only have to install the mobile app on your handheld device, and that’s entirely optional.
Cloud accounting software works similarly to other cloud apps, like Google Sheets and Docs. Your team can be distributed remotely, work on any device, and have access to real-time information.
As long as the data is processed in the cloud, you have complete control over the business’s financial real-time situation. This ability does miracles for remote teams.
Secure Working Environment
Exchanging information doesn’t require memory sticks or similar cloud accounting solutions tools. A new account with the proper rights is enough to access the data. This aspect considerably reduces the security vulnerabilities. Besides, you are no longer dependent on a computer installed with the on-premise accounting program, which may be stolen or lost. Cloud accounting eliminates this risk, as users need the proper credentials to log in from any device.
We strive to reduce human impact on climate and the environment. Therefore, it’s our moral duty to reduce or eliminate papers in managing our business. Cloud apps fully suit this challenge.
Cloud Accounting Tools
The market of cloud accounting applications satisfies the demands of all types of businesses. There are tools for solopreneurs as well as for medium and enterprise companies. Some are simple services to keep track of elementary accounting, while others have grown into complex products to run a business year after year. Here are the most appreciated cloud accounting tools.
First impressions matter a lot, and FreshBooks nailed it with style. On the homepage, you are immediately presented with a free trial;
No credit card is required.
In addition, there are no strings attached so that you can evaluate this cloud account software stress-free.
FreshBooks started back in 2003 in Toronto as an invoice tool and has expanded to a genuine behemoth. It’s a tool suitable for freelancers, self-employed professionals, businesses with contractors, and businesses with employees. The user-friendly interface makes even technologically inexperienced people feel confident to use the app. FreshBooks’ success relies on their multitude of services integrated into a single app, including:
- Managing projects;
- Keeping track of expenses and receipts;
- Generating invoices;
- Creating intuitive reports (profit and loss, sales tax summary);
- Keeping double-entry accounting;
- Calculating taxes.
All lists featuring cloud accounting software include QuickBooks, and that’s for a good reason. Its versatility, amongst other features, makes QuickBooks the favorite of all users. This tool fulfills the needs of solopreneurs and small businesses alike. QuickBooks has dedicated mobile apps for iOS and Android, and all operations are synced in the cloud. Regardless of the pricing plan chosen, you benefit from free support and an account for your accountant. The app tracks all incomes, expenses, and VAT; sends invoices; connects to your bank account; manages employees; and generates reports and insights. The superior plan includes project and location tracking, budget management, and recurring transactions.
First-time users benefit from a 30-day trial and a 50% discount for three months. Register and test QuickBooks to see if it is suitable for your business.
Unlike the other tools on this list, Sage 50Cloud is a desktop application. Despite this drawback, this tool is an invaluable aid for your business. The Cashflow Manager is a built-in system that provides a business financial situation in real-time. This app allows you to generate reports and insights always to make educated decisions. Use the many report templates, or build customized reports for your business. The advanced inventory system helps managers always to have granular control over the stocks. Saga 50Cloud tracks all the ins/outs and instantly updates the stocks.
The pricing plans are higher than the competitors, but the real value for every buck invested in this software. Register for a life demo and start a 30-day trial to decide if this app is what you need for your business.
Xero distinguishes itself from competitors with its user-friendly interface suitable for non-technical users and a wide range of features. It does the usual activities of accounting software, including expenses and income tracking, tax sales generation, invoicing, and quota creation. In addition, Xero offers multi-currency accounting, in-depth reports, and document management. Use Xero to track your projects, too. This integration makes Xero attractive for both solopreneurs and small businesses. In addition, it saves time and money by replacing accounting and time-tracking apps.
The Xero app store includes 1000+ modules to extend the app’s functionality. The store consists of accountant tools, CRMs integrations, inventory, payments, and reporting apps.
Often, new businesses struggle to get traction, and each saved dollar is capital. Therefore, a free cloud accounting tool is always attractive for these businesses. Wave Accounting is free of charge and user-friendly. Although it lacks the complex features of other suggestions, it is an effective way to keep track of your business’ finance.
Wave Accounting comes with income and expense tracking, a powerful invoicing system, and unlimited accounts for team members. Use this app to manage multiple businesses from the same account- a rare and valuable feature. The set of invoice templates is impressive, and you can customize as many templates as you need for your business.
Like every business, Wave should generate income. While the app is free, Wave Accounting charges the payments and the payroll. Bear in mind this aspect because it might cost more in some instances than using a paid service. It depends on your location, business needs, and completed payments.
Over to You
The benefits of cloud accounting are huge, and you will use it for your business sooner or later. Get ahead of your competitors and streamline your accounting with a cloud accounting app. We recommend five reliable tools, but the market of cloud accounting apps is full of many good alternatives. Hence, you have all the reasons to upgrade your business using a cloud accounting app.