Accounting systems

Accounting systems in the cloud

Cloud accounting systems, how does it work?

When bookkeeping on the internet started, terms like SaaS and Cloud Computing were relatively unknown. Cloud Computing basically refers to providing IT infrastructure (hardware), software and data storage via the internet. Providing software within the cloud is usually referred to as SaaS (Software as a Service). The advantages of this model are clear: users always have the most up-to-date version of the software, backups are automatically taken care of, system administration is outsourced to the SaaS provider and more and more Cloud solutions can integrate and exchange data. These advantages have contributed to the success of accounting systems in the cloud.

Accountancy firms deploy SaaS accounting systems as an integrated part of their service.

The online nature of this model allows easy access for both the client and the accountant. A clear distribution of the accounting tasks will lead to a tailored service offering, with an accurate view on the current financial status of the organisation. The client can input all daily bookings while the accountancy firm takes care of payrolling, taxes and (annual) reports. Services can be easily upgraded or downgraded. When the client’s bookkeeper is on vacation or becomes ill, the accountancy firm can temporarily take over these tasks. So when you decide to implement an accounting system in the cloud, make sure your accountant supports the accounting software system you’re about to select.

Other issues to consider

  • Security: When using the cloud, you still have to take security issues seriously. Many hazards for on premise solutions also apply for the cloud model. Backups are always necessary to ensure continuity. Secure access is needed to prevent unauthorized use of the software, etc.
  • Access: The most basic security level for access is a password based login. More advanced methods are based on authentication tokens or biometric scans, like retinal and fingerprint scans.
  • Privacy: When personal data in stored in the cloud, you have to make sure no privacy laws are broken.
  • Exit strategy: Organisations are constantly is always changing. So, the accounting software system best fitting your current needs, might be replaced in the future. Ensure all data in the cloud is available in a usable format when your provider ceases to exist or you want to change provider.
  • Mobile computing: Mobile computing refers to software access on smart phones and tablets.