Online (‘cloud’) accounting software has evolved so much in recent years – business owners can now have convenient access to their key financial information at any stage across a myriad of devices (PC, Phone, Tablet). Your accountant is also able to login to assist you in real-time and provide valuable, timely advice.
A few major benefits you could find in cloud accounting include:
- Secure access with the comfort of online backups
- Efficient storing, sending and tracking of your financial information
- Integrated bank transaction feeds to reduce data entry
- Easy-to-read financial statements and reporting
- Integrations with other cloud software and add-ons
- Improved collaboration with staff, advisers, even customers!
- Ability to view/work with your accounts via Phone and Tablet apps (depending on product)
Here’s a brief summary of three popular cloud accounting offerings for small-medium sized enterprises below (in no particular order).
Reckon Accounts Hosted (formerly Quickbooks Hosted) is hard to fault for those who have multiple files or need more advanced features. Perhaps the most fully featured offering “out of the box”, the software offers flexible reporting, multi-window functionality, bank feed capability, integrated payroll and inventory. It is a very simple upgrade for those on traditional desktop versions of Reckon/Quickbooks as it is essentially the same program, just running in the cloud!
MYOB’s AccountRight is an evolution of their traditional software and could be considered a hybrid cloud offering (you can switch between working online & offline quickly and easily). Offering powerful payroll with the ability to make employee Superannuation payments quickly and easily, MYOB have recently acquired BankLink and are using this technology to constantly improve their bank feeds. MYOB’s mobile app also allows for customer invoices to be issued from anywhere – and even take credit card payments with its additional PayDirect service.
Perhaps the company that could be viewed as the disruptive influence in the accounting software market, Xero provides a truly web-based experience and is both powerful and easy to use for the experienced and newcomers alike. You can choose the monthly subscription that best suits your requirements and budget – and not only this, Xero have opened their interface to a wide range of third party developers which means there are thousands of add-ons available that are tailored to a wide variety of industries to enhance the way that your business is managed.
Getting the right accounting software in place for your business can be crucial in ensuring you have the information available to manage your business, finances and compliance obligations. It is important to discuss this decision with your accountant to ensure you choose the right software for you and your business needs.