1. Major players are officially in the cloud. Companies including Quickbooks, Xero, Intacct, FreeAgent, Sage and Zoho Books have all entered the cloud accounting. Some platforms, such as Xero and Wave, have been entirely cloud-based from inception. Others, most notably QuickBooks, created cloud versions of their established accounting software to enter the market. This is important because of competition for features, integrations, and usability helps ensure that providers are scaling to meet the needs of customers.
At the beginning of cloud accounting, most of the programs were infamous for a notable lack of sophisticated features, especially those already existing in their desktop counterparts. While there is still some variance between cloud and desktop versions, especially between programs such as QuickBooks Online and QuickBooks Enterprise, the cloud accounting set has stepped up tremendously to develop better and more advanced features to suit a growing audience of small businesses.
2. 3rd Party integration. Most small businesses require more than just basic application to run their daily operations. they require integration with the various application, such as time sheets, expense tracking. While 3rd party application typically integrates with the desktop version and online versions, they are often built to integrate seamlessly with their online counterparts.
3. Accessibility and Mobility. A top reason often cited for using the cloud is ease of access from anywhere. Most online, cloud-based accounting software includes robust features that allow users to access information, upload data or complete reporting metrics from anywhere and on any device. This includes third party applications, whose mobile feature sets are often some of the most compelling selling points for their use. For example, TSheets.com, a time tracking application, allows users, managers, and business owners to track time from mobile phones, via text messaging and while in the field. This integration brings tracked time directly into a cloud-based accounting platform while actually reducing the burden on user-generated information. It reduces errors and improves information management and accountability. Paper time cards just can’t compete with that cloud-based feature.
4. Gradual Transition. You can choose to migrate to the cloud one application at a time.
5. Outsource other functions. Cloud-based accounting makes a lot of other things possible, such as outsourcing bookkeeping services or engaging with an outside business consultant. By freeing your accounting data from physical location constraints, you open up opportunities that would not otherwise be possible. You could expand your accounting department, leverage outside experts or reduce management costs simply by expanding the geographical area you can consider for your accounting services needs.