What is “The Cloud”?

KARINA NINNESS

 Senior Accountant - Taxation and Business Services

man on a ladder reaching for the clouds

The Cloud

‘The Cloud’ is a concept that has come to the forefront of all businesses in recent years, but for those who are not tech savvy it can be difficult to understand both the need to move to the cloud and the right products to choose.

What is it and why do I need it?

Moving your business to the cloud is essentially moving the fundamental tools of your business onto an internet based platform that can be accessed from a computer or device anywhere in the world. For many businesses, this simply means their accounting software moves from a desktop version to an online version. This in itself provides two key benefits to the business:

  • Time savings – once online, you are able to link your software to your bank to automatically import transactions, set up rules for allocating transactions, use bulk allocations and many systems even have predicting technology that make suggestions based on previous transactions. The value of these time savings to your business should not be underestimated.
  • Flexibility – you no longer need to be at a computer that has the software downloaded on to it to be able to manage your business, this can be done anytime, anywhere, on any device.
Cloud computing on any device

The cloud can be accessed on any device anywhere

While time and flexibility are significant steps forward in improving the efficiency of running your business, it is just the tip of the iceberg as to what the cloud can offer you. Once you have moved your accounting software to the cloud, you immediately have access to a myriad of add-on products that in the past have only been available to large businesses. For example:

  • Payroll and schedules – when running a variety of staff at different pay rates you can access software to manage the scheduling and automate the whole process from communicating about shifts to submitting timesheets and posting the actual pay run. We have seen clients go from a whole day spent on the pay run to completing it within an hour.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) – there are a variety of simple to use CRM add-ons available to manage your sales leads, generate marketing campaigns and automate workflows from lead generation to finalising the sale.
  • Workflow and Job Scheduling – The cloud can give you the ability to manage a large amount of jobs without anything falling through the cracks. This may be jobs you assign to employees, or jobs being completed by subcontractors. There are powerful tools available to automate the process and provide everyone the information they needs while allowing you to oversee the business.

How to make the move

So once you make the decision to move to the cloud, there are a few steps to take.

  1. Determine what software you are going to use. If you are looking at add-on software, it is important to choose the right accounting software to ensure that any integration works seamlessly.
  2. Determine the date you want to transition. You might choose a year end, however you can move online at any time throughout the year and import year to date transactions.
  3. Moving online is a big step. Depending on the size of your business you may need to consider how the move impacts all aspects of your business and make the move in stages to minimise any disruptions.

It may seem like a daunting prospect, but with the right guidance making the move to the cloud is very rewarding.

We have experience in moving clients from small family run businesses through to larger corporate entities. We offer tailored packages to meet your needs which can include training and follow up so once the move has been made you always have support available while you are still learning.

With government legislation such as single touch payroll being rolled out, moving to the cloud is inevitable. But it is also extremely rewarding and valuable and will open up a whole new dimension to the management of your business.

For help in moving your business to the cloud, our Business Services team are experts. Call our office on 4352 2333 to get started.

Watch our short explainer video

We have created a short explainer video to highlight what Cloud Accounting is. If you are not already using Cloud Accounting software and you would like to be in control of your business accounts and payroll, call us on (02) 4353 2333 or you can email any of our experts at mail@bishopcollins.com.au, where we will direct you to the best person to help you with your query.

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