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I often get asked by clients “why should I move my accounting to the cloud?”  In most cases, these clients are quite happy restricting their bookkeeping activities to the office, and the last thing they want to hear is that they can send their customer an invoice while lying on the beach!  Accessibility is usually the first advantage listed for any type of cloud application, but for many traditional businesses, this is simply not a compelling selling point when it comes to accounting.  For almost any small to medium sized business however, there are many other reasons that are even more important:

Data Security

I did a separate post on this last week which you can find at the link below.  Security is often one of the biggest concerns people have in moving to the cloud, but if you take an objective look at your existing data security, it is likely one of the most compelling reasons to switch.

Maintenance

Even if you are doing a good job at keeping your hardware and software up to date (which in my experience most entrepreneurs are not), by moving your critical applications to the cloud, this is one less area that you have to think of, leaving you more time to focus on growing your business.  All reputable cloud based accounting systems will be using the latest hardware, and updates will always be performed as soon as they are available.

Integration

When it comes to availability, choice and cost of add-on applications, the cloud has surpassed desktop accounting software in virtually all areas.  This will only become more pronounced in the future as by far the majority of new applications being developed are cloud based.

Accessibility

So I agree – sending invoices out from the beach is not my idea of a vacation.  There are many other reasons why remote access to your accounting systems can be useful however – perhaps you are with a client and they want to pay all of their outstanding invoices but aren’t sure what their balance is!  Most cloud accounting software have mobile apps that allow you to perform tasks such as this from your smartphone, providing even more flexibility in terms of data access.