Ask the Experts

PwC Partner Scott McLiver РDecember 2015

What does it mean to have a cloud accounting package and why would I need one for my business?

Having a cloud accounting package means that your accounting software is no longer located on your desktop machine. It is instead accessed through a web browser on the internet which opens up a number of immediate benefits.

Some of the typical advantages include:

– Access to your accounting package and financial general ledger anytime, anywhere via web browser login, from your iPad at the beach to an internet cafe in France. You have your business at your fingertips.

– Automatic bank feeds can be synced to your businesses’ online bank accounts.

This means that your accounting package will receive a daily import of bank transactions ready to be coded.

Cloud systems are able to learn how repeating transactions are being coded and can begin to reconcile your bank movements for you, identifying cash coming in and matching it to invoices raised, identifying cash outgoings and matching this to details of expenses entered into payables. This automation means much less time keeping your books up to date.

– You and your accountant can access the same information at the same time.

This promotes more collaboration with your adviser and enables accountants and advisers to provide valuable insights to your business, in a timely and proactive manner.

Instead of receiving annual reports typically compiled 6 months or even a year down the track, you can expect to have weekly or monthly contact about your business and receive monthly, two-monthly or quarterly reports.

– You no longer need to purchase the latest version of the software, install it and transfer your data to the latest version.

Software is now updated automatically and updates and new versions are more regular as providers strive to improve their platform with increased features and functionality.

– Just like on a smartphone, third- party apps can be plugged into your cloud accounting system allowing them to share information. This helps eliminate the problem of multiple systems not talking to each other.

Your business will benefit from automation, reduced processing needs, less time needed for manual data entry, and most importantly, gain valuable insights from more timely data.

Cloud packages are improving every day, getting smarter with even more automation and making information more timely and relevant. It’s easier now, more than ever, to manage and understand your business’ performance.

As published by Fairfax in December 2015.

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