Startups are challenging and that’s a fact. There are quite a few things that have to be thoroughly considered and one of them is definitely keeping the finance at bay. Accounting is usually the elephant in the room as there are just so many things to be concerned with. The majority of entrepreneurs are surely going to steer away from it and hire professionals to do it for them. However, we live on the verge of a technological revolution and with so many innovative solutions popping out on a daily basis, there are quite a few things that you could do to facilitate the tedious accounting endeavor. Luckily for you, cloud accounting (QuickBooks, FreshBooks, Xero etc…) is already here and it’s most certainly kicking.
Managing your startup’s financial situation is surely a crucial thing to do and cloud accounting reveals some significant advantages in this particular regard. While there is some merit to going after a conventional approach, the truth is that the winds are shifting their direction and cloud accounting is quickly becoming the next big thing. Let’s take a look and understand why there is such hype around it.
1. It’s secure
Right off the bat, you should get it through your head – security is amongst the most important things associated with top notch accounting. Storing your financial data and managing it through a cloud platform means that you virtually can’t lose this information. Unlike your conventional HDD that could crash and get all of your data out the window, using cloud accounting allows you to enjoy all of the security in the world.
2. No upfront business costs!
You know how setting up a commercial computer system is going to require a whole bunch of money to set up. Furthermore, you are likely to be aware of the costs that are associated with maintenance, version upgrades, and administration of your system as well as emergency reactions in cases of server failures. Well, guess what – all of these are going to be rendered mute as you turn to cloud accounting as they are managed by the contracted cloud service provider.
3. Multi-user access and tons of mobility
Using a cloud accounting software is going to allow you to access all of that information on the go, shattering the restrictive chains that conventional systems place upon you. Furthermore, it allows multi-user access which is going to make it significantly easier for you to collaborate with your entire team.
4. Clearer and real-time overview of your current financial situation
You’d have instant access to real-time overview of your particular financial situation. This is going to prove to be especially useful if you have to make important fiscal decisions without having access to your conventional system.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not a flawless solution and it has its drawbacks. Certainly the one that should be considered the most is the fact that you are going to be sharing all that information with a third party which is the cloud service provider. However, it’s also worth mentioning that cloud service providers would usually have extensive and comprehensive privacy policies which would forbid them from disclosing any information which you’ve trusted them with. That’s why you should rest assured that your data is safely stored and protected.
Now, I’ve had the chance to run a few different cloud accounting software and I’d have to give certain preference and edge to the solution offered by FreshBooks.
The first thing that struck me, right from the get-go, was how comprehensive and easy to navigate their website was. They didn’t push me into a subscription which is always something that I find very preferable, and they also offered a 30 day trial period which is an offer that’s still active. So, I gave it a go.
The software turned out to be exactly what I was hoping for. I was able to create and manage invoices from within it with ease, which actually decreased the waiting periods on my pending payments. Furthermore, it has a comprehensive time tracking solution as well as an expense planner. I’ve found the last one to be especially helpful mainly because it allows me to fully optimize every single expense line and keep proper track of it. Furthermore, this translated to easier bookkeeping which enabled me to cut down some major expenses. Overall, I’ve had a brilliant run so far and I’ve been able to keep the finances at bay at all times and with convenience like never before. This is probably due to the user-friendly interface of the software.
In any case, there are quite a few different types of cloud accounting software and you could easily give them all a shot and find the one which would most suit your personal preference. This is very important as the overall user experience is likely to differ from one solution to another. However, the truth is that cloud accounting is likely to become practically mandatory and if you want to stay on top of the trends and ahead of your competition, you should most certainly give it a try.
Originally shared on Oleksiy Kuryliak’s blog.