Virtual Accountant – A good idea or not?
The internet is becoming so smart that it is creating an alternative to almost all of the traditional options that used to be available in different situations. The launch of industry-specific, non-human virtual assistants to cater is just one of them.
Cloud accounting is an example of this. It is a smart software that functions like a real accountant, although all transactions are done over the internet or other network via a cloud application service provider. The company that sells such accounting services grants you access to remote servers and applications which you can use to maintain your financial records.
Cloud Accounting –Why Should You Use It
The use of cloud accounting in Australia is becoming more popular. The fact that it can be used anytime and anywhere via the internet has made it a preferred solution by most small and startup businesses.
Cloud accounting can save you frrom the strenuous process of hiring an accountant or bookkeeper. Providers of such service will already povide you with a computer program for you to generate your own financial reports. The Internet will be your virtual finance manager that categorizes your financial transactions that will still strictly comply with generally accepted accounting practices.
This software has provided much convenience to business owners as it frees them from needing to install and maintain a software on each computers in their offices. This is because all tasks are performed off-site or remotely and not on the user’s computer.
Cloud Accounting or Traditional Accounting Software?
There key distinctions between cloud accounting and traditional accounting. Although cloud accounting follows the same financial standards and policies as traditional accountants, the tools used by each are quite different.
The most obvious one is accessibility of accounting files. As mentioned, cloud accounting makes it easy to access data from anywhere and on any device over the internet. On the other hand, data can be accessed only on a few select on-premises computers in traditional accounting. This males account balances more accurate in cloud accounting. Also, fewer mistakes happen because of careless data entry. Furthermore, cloud accounting is also better able at handling multi-currency and multi-company transactions more efficiently.
Is it Affordable?
Cloud accounting firms set fees for their services. But their annual services are definitely much more affordable than hiring an accountant and paying fees for on-premise computer software. Furthermore, cloud accounting doesn’t require a regular monthly maintenance. The cloud provider is responsible for the completion of backups and takes on the tasks of updating the system and data automatically. All these don’t need any software to be downloaded or installed on a company computer.
Is it Secured?
Cloud accounting can be as secure as traditional accounting software. At times, the security level can be higher. Company computers with critical financial information can be destroyed or stolen. Consequently, this leads to breach of information. In contrast, cloud accounting leaves no trace of financial data on company computers. Access to important files in the cloud is encrypted and password protected hence, making it more difficult to hack.
Sharing data shouldn’t be a problem too since both parties need access rights to the same system with their unique passwords. Data in traditional methods, however, can be threatened as information sharing is done by using flash drives, which could be lost or stolen.
Finally, data loss is far from happening with cloud accounting. Providers usually have backup servers which you can use to access your data when one of their servers go down. Servers in traditional accounting might experience damages from fire or natural disaster causing all data to be lost forever.
Of course, there are risks to using cloud accounting too and it lies on the server.
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