Software as a Service (SaaS) has paved the way for businesses and consumers to test early cloud services. With SaaS being both flexible and financially attractive, businesses continue to take advantage of the simplicity and high performance the cloud offers.
Cloud-based accounting software is becoming the norm. It offers easy access to your accounting system wherever you are. It also allows you to give other people access to your accounts as well, such as a bookkeeper or your accountant. The drawback of cloud-based software is that you need internet access. So, no internet access, no access to your accounts. That’s worth bearing in mind if your internet connection is unreliable.
Choosing a good cloud-based accounting service is not a simple job. You put a lot of trust and your company’s financial future in the hands of some other company. For that, you have to take care when choosing the online accounting service.
The cloud is part of the internet. For example, cloud storage simply means storing your files on a company’s server, with a secure connection over the internet to your computer, smartphone or other devices.
Cloud providers are similar, but they let you run applications instead of just storing files. The advantage with cloud providers is that you don’t need to keep everything on your own machine. You can log in from any device using a browser or an app, and have instant access to your software and business data.
But the industry of cloud services is a relatively new business. Most of the smaller cloud service companies, and the cloud departments of larger organisations, are just a few years old. This can make it hard to judge which cloud service provider is right for you.
So to help you make that decision we’ve come up with 10 factors that your cloud service provider should be willing to share with you. We’re concentrating on cloud-based accounting providers in this guide, but the points covered can be applied to other types of cloud service provider too.
To choose the best online accounting service you have to evaluate the following factors.
Major Factors are:
Factor 1: The Level of Online Accounting Services You Need
Factor 2: Local Online Accounting Firm
Factor 3: Software Technology and Security
Level of Online Accounting Services You Need
First, you have to decide which type of accounting services you need for your business. Based on the business requirement you have to choose the right accounting software to reduce the extra cost. EZ Accounting software is the best accounting software in Singapore.
User basic software helps you to meet your business needs and budget.
Accountants who are looking for suitable cloud software for their clients should be aware of these trends.
Cloud services are becoming the norm for businesses and it is expected that data storage will grow exponentially to meet this increase in demand. A Cisco survey estimates that in 2018, we will have a total global storage capacity of 1.1 ZB – twice that of 2017!
For future-ready businesses who are ready to take advantage of the space, they will be able to store large data sets, perform analysis, harvest in-depth insights to customer behaviour and more. Smaller businesses can also take advantage of increased cloud storage capacity. An increase in the storage means that software providers will offer customised storage options at lower prices.
Businesses need to realise the importance of linking data sets from one software to another. Even though the cloud software might come from two different providers, the data they share between them is important to the users of both systems.
For example, if a business handles its inventory management in Unleashed Software and their accounting in Xero, the shared data sets will be important to them. It will allow them to track their stock movement, stock value, cost of sale and more within Xero.
You will want to be able to compare one cloud accounting provider with another, which means you’ll need to know exactly what services each one offers. Most of these providers will include that information on their website, but if not they should be able to supply it in document form for you.
But the big advantage of cloud services is that the list of features doesn’t have to stop there. Most providers will have deals with partner companies and some will also allow third-party providers to create third-party applications or ‘apps.’
This works a bit like the apps stores for smartphones, or plug-ins for web browsers. It means you can get much more out of your software. So ask for a list of third-party suppliers, partners and add-ons. In some cases, there may be hundreds to choose from.
Effortlessly sharing data from one cloud software to another combines the workflow across both systems will make work processes more efficient. This also empowers small business owners to manage their own software instead of having to hire software developers. They can implement SaaS software without too many costs or complications.
A broad range of features is of no use if the system keeps going offline or crashing. The amount of time a cloud service stays running and accessible is called its uptime.
The uptime percentage should be over 99.95% in the best cases: that’s less than an hour of downtime per year.
Achieving good uptime depends on various factors. These include having the right staff with the right skills, providing investment for new servers and infrastructure, and understanding the business need for reliability.
Unlike artificial intelligence, machine learning refers to a software system’s ability to improve its own internal algorithms to improve performance. As you continue to use the software, the machine keeps learning and becomes more intelligent.
Machine learning helps businesses do things such as automatically sorting billing statements, recommend account codes, and forecast trends. As the machine learns, it will result in better decision making. This allows your business to increase productivity and provide more data insights to understand trends and forecast future performance.
Many large corporations are currently using software with machine learning. While software with machine learning might not be common among small businesses now due to its hefty price tag, it will not be long before it becomes commonplace for SMEs.
Unleashed Software will be at the Accounting Business Expo in Sydney this week so head over to our booth to find out more on how accountants can maintain their competitive advantage in the digital era.
Unleashed Software relies on our great network of partners to spread the word about our great inventory management software. Find out how you can be a Referral Partner or an Implementation Partner today!
As your business grows, you need your accounting software to be able to grow with you. Your chosen accounting product should:
Be able to scale
When it comes to processing power and data storage, the infrastructure needs to scale to meet your and their growing needs.
Preferably have their own data centre
Otherwise, you’ll be dependent on another company that you don’t directly interact with.
Be open about updates and upgrades
An upgrade and update timetable can be useful, especially if it involves downtime. You won’t want to lose a connection during an important client meeting.
If you’re going to trust your financial data to someone else’s software and servers, you need to know they’re going to look after it. They will need to have the following systems in place:
Your data should be encrypted so that if it should fall into the hands of hackers, they won’t be able to make any use of it.
Access to the service should only be possible through password authentication or other secure means.
Hardware inevitably fails from time to time, and so does software. With a sensible backup strategy that doesn’t have to be a big problem.
Disaster recovery planning
Disaster recovery (DR) is a vital part of running a cloud business. If the unforeseen happens, such as an earthquake, tornado or other disasters, whether natural or otherwise, the business should be able to continue with minimal interruption as servers in another location take over.
These are the basics of good cloud service delivery. If you find yourself talking to an organisation who doesn’t have all these systems in place, walk away.
When hiring the online accounting service, business people look for advanced technology. For these, you have to consider whether they handling the high tech software and they can secure the financial data. Ensure whether they having SSL encryption for data protection.
While choosing the online accounting software you have to ensure the above factors. Do you want to know about the accounting software? You can reach our accounting software support team who will guide you to choose the best accounting software for your business.
There are many advantages to working with a cloud accounting service, such as having access to the service anytime and anywhere. But it’s important to take your time and pick the right one.
When you’ve made your choice, use the ten factors we’ve listed in this guide, so you can start working on your financial data right away – day or night, from wherever you happen to be.
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