For large corporations with offices located around the globe, cloud-based software systems offer obvious advantages. One benefit is having a central location for data storage that is accessible simultaneously by all offices, no longer tethered to geography. For your small business, though, the advantages of cloud accounting might not be as apparent. Read on for reasons to consider migrating to the cloud and potential pitfalls to avoid.
One of the key benefits to cloud accounting is accessibility. With a cloud-based system, your data is not anchored to one physical location. With this freedom, your data becomes accessible away from the office, via laptop, tablet and smartphone.
Another key advantage to small businesses migrating to cloud accounting is security. Your financial data is likely to be more secure when managed by a cloud provider that must take extra steps to secure your data than when controlled by your IT staff. Cloud accounting also lessens your need for developing in-house infrastructure.
Immediate access to upgrades is another benefit to your small business. In cloud accounting, any software upgrades are instantaneous. You no longer need to go through the process of purchasing software upgrades and then installing the software on individual machines. A related advantage to cloud accounting is in the quicker bug fixes and the more robust back-up systems found in software-as-a-service models.
Though cloud accounting certainly seems the way of the future, your small business still should assess its own needs and readiness for a migration to the cloud. If your business requires a high degree of customization, whether in implementing advanced work flow processes or in developing specific custom reports, then you might wait until cloud accounting matures more and a wider range of software applications are available.
If your business does not have access to a reliable Internet connection, then a cloud-based system would not work for you. If your business does not have a corporate culture that embraces technology or is comfortable in letting go of some control over your data, then migrating to cloud accounting might not be best at this time.
You also should research any potential vendors thoroughly to verify each company's security measures, including those measures in place in the event of that company's dissolution. Though one of the benefits of cloud accounting is more robust security protecting your data, you should still do due diligence in vetting possible cloud accounting software services to be sure the company is reputable and has appropriate checks in place.
Cloud computing has become the standard in many industries, and many believe that cloud accounting soon will become the norm. Consider the many benefits and decide whether a migration into the cloud makes sense for your small business now or later.
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