Every day we turn on the TV or

Every day we turn on the TV or read an article and hear about the benefits of working in the cloud. How the IT industry is using it to make a bigger mark in the world. How the medical industry is using it to become more innovative. But what about YOUR industry?

Yes there are tons of other industries that can benefit from working in the cloud. And there are a plethora of advantages why someone in those industries should use the cloud more. Even for accounting. Yep accounting.

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Accounting is one of those conservative industries. Not too much risk-taking going on. Well, ?f ??u h?v?n’t f?gur?d it out by now, I am not your traditional ????unt?nt. I l?k? to call myself and The Tech Savvy Accountant™. I like numbers but I also like t??hn?l?g? but I could never find the time to play with the latest and greatest gadgets. That is until I d????v?r?d cloud accounting.

Cloud accounting is the process of managing ??ur bu??n??? finances over the internet. You can say “in the cloud” or you can also call it ” v?rtu?l ????unt?ng”. It ????nt??ll? means the same. And today I am going to share 6 key advantages of using cloud accounting.

1. Saves you time

Cloud accounting saves you a ton of time with your day to day processing. By connecting your accounting system to your bank account, your transactions are automatically downloaded for you. This saves you hours from inputting each… and every… transaction. (say it slow)

2. Reduces your costs (code for saves you money)

There is no initial or upfront fees, no installation costs and now expensive software to purchase. Simply sign up and subscribe to the low monthly fee. And in most cases you get to try before you buy. If you don’t like it, simply cancel the program. You don’t have to worry about trying to package it back in the box like you never opened it. (Don’t act like you haven’t tried that before).

3. Accessible anywhere and anytime

Are you always on the go traveling for work or for play? Well now you can check in and see how business is going while your away without picking up the phone. Simply connect to the internet and login. Easy as pie!

4. Real time financial data

Take that access anywhere feature a bit further. With cloud accounting, you have access to real-time data. You can know what money is being spent at any given moment. Need up to date financials for a meeting? Just a few clicks and you will have those reports right at your fingertips.

5. Go Green

You are doing something good for the planet. Once you start using cloud accounting, you also start to using other cloud services, such as cloud storage. The end result equal less tress killed for you to print out all those reams of reports every month.

6. Up to date technology & systems (code for no maintenance)

Technology changes every minute. Have you heard the saying that as soon as you take a car off the lot it depreciates? Well I think the same thing is true for technology and software. As soon as you leave the store there is an update. When using cloud accounting, you have access to these updates 24/7 and they occur without you doing anything. And they are at no additional cost to you. Those IT worker bees are constantly at work to make your life a better place. (smile)

Everything has its pros and cons. Similarly, cloud accounting too along with the wide host of advantages, has a number of shortcomings. Some of them have been discussed below and will help you determine the extent to which cloud accounting suits your needs.

1. Privacy

Cloud accounting makes all of your personal data present on servers. Not just emails, or social networking records but everything will be present on a server that belongs to a third party. The issue of privacy is the first one that pops up. What guarantee does the third party give users that their information will not be trespassed?

2. Security

Powerful servers such as those of Hotmail, Yahoo and Picasa have ample security that protects not only their own information but also that of their users. However, cloud service vendors are relatively small and less immune to external attacks. This puts a question mark on the safety of the clients from malware such as viruses, worms, spyware and trojans as well as deliberate human attacks.

3. Control

Don’t you perform different maintenance routines such as Check Disk and Disk Defragmentation on your PC to keep it running efficiently? Such routines maintain your PC’s health and give you a better user experience. Cloud computing on the other hand, doesn’t permit you to run any such checks, making you heavily dependent on Cloud Service Providers (CPS). Moreover, a common user has very little insight of the contingency procedures that SCPs use such as those related to backup, recovery and restoration.

4. Transferability

Once, a user begins cloud computing on a certain server, and finds that the Cloud Service Providers aren’t good enough, he or she lands in a tight spot. It is very difficult to switch on to a different CSP. Hence, all one can do is bear with the flaws of the current CSP.