I’m a big fan of cloud software and have a core set that I use to help make things as easy as possible for the businesses I work with, as well as freeing up my time to give them the attention they deserve. If you’re still using desktop accounts software, or no software at all (don’t worry, there’s no judgement here), join me as I take a look at the main benefits of moving to the cloud.
How does invoicing your clients from a beach in the Bahamas, cocktail in hand, sound? For many freelancers, one of the main benefits of being freelance is the ability to work from anywhere and not being tied to one base. Being able to keep on top of your accounts anywhere you can access the Internet is a huge plus for those who want to travel as they work. Even for those of us who don’t stray too far from home, being able to invoice a client whilst on the bus or train home from delivering the final piece of work is a big bonus and reduces the likelihood of you forgetting to invoice at the end of the month.
Rightly or wrongly, the majority of people want access to things immediately and it’s no longer acceptable to most business owners to have to wait until the end of the year, or even the quarter, before seeing how their business is doing. With cloud software you can quickly and easily access reports, identifying and reacting to things like a drop in sales before it’s too late.
Not only can you share access to your accounts with your team (often for no additional fee, unlike with traditional desktop solutions), you can also invite your bookkeeper and accountant into your organisation so that they can make updates throughout the year. Gone are the days of needing to send back-up files to your accountant at the end of the year so that they can prepare your accounts. Having access to your data throughout the year also means your advisors can provide more value to your business.
The majority of cloud accounts software providers are working constantly on improving their systems. Unlike desktop software, these updates are pushed out frequently and happen in the background, no more taking down the system for a day while you install the new version of a desktop system. These updates are also included in the monthly subscription, so no need to pay for an expensive update in order to be able to use the new features.
Many of the major cloud providers work with a range of partners to offer add-ons that will make running your business a whole lot easier. Want an easy way of dealing with your receipts? Simply use AutoEntry to take a photo and they’ll extract the relevant information and automatically enter this in Xero (this is very possibly done by magic, I love finding new receipt types to try to test them, but they haven’t failed me yet!) See which of your contacts in Capsule CRM have outstanding invoices, or take payments through Stripe and have these fed directly into Xero. Take a look at the Xero marketplace to see what’s available for your industry. Even if the software you use doesn’t have an integration with Xero there’s a good chance that you can achieve it with Zapier (which I love, as I am all about concentrating effort where it really needs to be and automating everything else).
If you’re interested in learning more about how cloud accounts software could help your business, or how to get more out of what you already use, get in touch for a free online demonstration.