When you set up your small business, why do you do it?
Is it a chance to be your own boss, setting your own work schedule and achieving the goals you want? In all likelihood, that is a part of it.
Do you have a vision that you believe in passionately? That you feel you can deliver to solve problems and provide you with a future, albeit one involving lots of hard work? Again, the answer is probably a resounding ‘Yes!’.
Is your business there to give you a chance to detract from your goals, take you away from what you deliver best, and spend time on accounting?
The answer to the last question should be, for the majority of readers, a distinct negative.
Those questions might seem weighted, but any small business owner who conducts an analysis of how their time is spent will almost certainly be surprised by the amount of energy they give to the non productive elements of their work.
They might also be astonished how much dead time appears in their working calendar.
Unless, that is, they are already making use of cloud based products.
But many businesses are wisely taking advantage of the numerous platforms offering automated services for them to tackle their accounting processes. There are so many of these now out there, from giants like Paypal and Google services to hand crafted providers such as Dubsado, that the main problem is selecting which one of these is best for your business.
And many of these accounting services have the added advantage of being cloud based.
What is Cloud based software?
The cloud is not quite as ephemeral and mystical as it seems. Cloud technology is actually housed in gigantic server centres, designed to hold enormous quantities of information to make it available when and, crucially, where it is needed.
Following on from that, software that uses the cloud is simply something that you can access from any internet linked device, from any location.
The technology is improving all of the time, and whilst there may, with some software applications, be slightly less functionality with a cloud based system, equality is ever closer. And, the flexibility offered makes the appeal of such software is impossible to overlook.
Here are some of the other advantages a cloud based accounting system can offer to the small business.
Maximising Time Efficiency
Commuting by train? Staying at a hotel for a conference? On the road and between meetings? Both a delight and a challenge of running a small business is the variety of work you do have to do. But with a negligible workforce (if any!) time spent away from base can be considerable. All that you need with cloud based software is a mobile device and a data connection. Then, rather than staring out of the window at the railway embankment, you can be preparing and sending emails, or checking on payments into your account.
As niche as your business might be, there are likely to be others out there offering a similar service. With competition like that, keeping customers happy is extremely important. Clients rarely offer more than one second chance. Being able to check quickly on account information, from wherever you are, can be vital in maintaining a positive relationship between you and your customer.
Open up New Opportunities
Providers recognise that they need to meet the needs of their customers, and those offering cloud based technology do so more easily. This is because many tools are integrated with other applications. So, as well as taking advantage of all that is offered by your main provider, a small business owner can identify what other providers are offering, cherry picking the bits that suit them best.
When a concern arises from a client, they want a quick response. Usually, as is explained above, the cloud based software will allow you to correct a mistake quickly, from wherever you are. However, sometimes things are more difficult, and could be the result of a glitch from your side, your customer’s or even, on rare occasions, the software system itself. Access to expert help is always available when you contact the provider from wherever you are.
Helping your Workforce
Small businesses are rarely able to manage much in the way of administrative personnel. After all, these people are enablers, who let others concentrate on the jobs that deliver income to a firm. Administrators do not enhance the balance sheet in their own right. As a business grows, it can become more important to have somebody dedicated to this kind of role, but in the early days, your admin staff team is your software.
Where your business has grown enough to allow you an employee or two, they and you do not want time wasted returning to base to complete administrative tasks. Cloud technology allows them, just like you, to work from where you are at the time you want. For example, a worker can input their sales information when they wish. They can complete their details while they are fresh in the mind.
Changing your mindset
It is true that online usage is an everyday matter for younger people. Over 90% of under 35s are active on social media for example. However, some (but by no means all) older entrepreneurs, they retain the traditional ways of working.
Adopting cloud based software will open up more efficient, better ways of running the accounting of your business, and could even open the doors to more benefits. We know that open mindedness is a key attribute of the most successful entrepreneurs.
Security is strong with Cloud based applications, and there is naturally never a problem with backing up. The flexibility an accounting system that uses this brings is business changing.
It will create more time for company owners to concentrate on their key goals without being distracted by tedious but essential other work.
Without doubt, it is the way forward. Those who do not buy a ticket run the risk of being left far behind.