A Guide to Cloud Based Accounting

computer with spreadsheet

Looking after your accounts can be very time consuming, that’s where cloud based accounting comes in. Access your records from anywhere, constantly be up to date and enjoy better security – here’s everything you need to know about accounting in the cloud.

What is cloud based accounting?

Cloud based accounting is similar, in terms of the technical side of things, to online banking. Everything you do is performed and recorded online, so there is no actual data or software on your PC, mobile or tablet.

What are the benefits of cloud based accounting?

The most notable benefit of cloud based accounting is its accessibility. You can access the cloud from any PC, laptop, tablet or mobile, so you’ll never be tethered to a single computer where your software is locally installed. View your accounts remotely while out and about, organise them at home or analyse them at work, all without any installations or any sensitive data needing to be placed on your device.

As well as giving you the freedom to access your accounts from anywhere, the cloud also updates automatically. That means, unlike traditional software where you’d have to manually schedule in an update, you’ll never be left using out-of-date programs or locked out of your software and records while they update.

These online updates also mean they are better suited to multi-currency transactions, with rates automatically updated and able to be far more accurate than traditional software.

Is cloud accounting secure?

Simply put: yes. Cloud accounting enjoys several security measures that traditional accounting software does not. For one, cloud accounting software is never based on your device, so if a company laptop or tablet is stolen, there will be no sensitive data on the device itself. Cloud solutions will also have a back-up system in place so you’ll never have to worry about a computer crash wiping out your accounting data.

Your account is encrypted and protected by a password, you can share access with employees but you will have full control of their level of access – so if you only want them to have permission to upload expenses and nothing more, you can.

How much does cloud based accounting cost?1

For Xero’s cloud accounting solutions, prices start at $25 a month for a starter account, $50 a month for a standard account and $60 a month for a premium account that automates superannuation and enables multi-currency transactions.

Intuit Quickbooks offers online cloud accounting packages starting at $10.50 a month for a simple starter account, $21 a month for essential accounts and $24.50 a month for a plus account.

Zoho books offers cloud accounting packages starting at $9 a month for basic accounts, $19 a month for standard accounts and $29 a month for a professional account.

Square accounting integrations

An integration between Square’s Point of Sale and cloud accounting software – such as Xero, Intuit Quickbooks or Zoho – means Square transactions can flow automatically into your accounts, improving accuracy and reducing the need for manual data entry. A great time-saver for getting business data together, especially at tax-time.

1 Prices correct as of March 2018.

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