How Start-Ups and SMEs can benefit from the Cloud
Bigger used to mean better. In the past, the kind of technology and processing power now offered by cloud computing was only available to large corporations. This put start-ups and SMEs at a disadvantage. Smaller companies rarely had the capital to invest in the necessary hardware, software, security, maintenance, and space within which to house it all. That’s all changed with the rise of cloud computing, which has been a game-changer for businesses, especially for start-ups and SMEs.
One of the ways cloud computing has revolutionised business is with the advent of cloud accounting. No business can survive if it fails to keep track of its finances. It is especially crucial for new and small businesses to be aware of their financial health, since running out of money is the second most common reason start-ups and SMEs fail. Even more concerning is that only 1 in every 10 start-ups succeeds, so anything that can minimise the risk of failure could be invaluable.
Before cloud accounting, new and small business owners often lacked the resource and time to dedicate to keeping their accounts up to date, with the main prompt being the annual tax return. In this scenario, business owners could be making crucial decisions based on out-of-date figures. Wading through piles of invoices and receipts, spending hours reconciling the bank and trying to figure out if last month was profitable is both time-consuming and takes attention away from other far more important aspects of new and small businesses.
Cloud accounting offers an up-to-date insight into a business' finances, and removes the need for laborious data entry by, for example, allowing clients to upload pictures of their receipts using their smart phones. Invoicing and then credit control is also automated, eliminating time spent both preparing invoices and then chasing those that have gone unpaid.
As accountants, we also spend less time collecting and inputting our clients' data, which enables us to provide timely advice and insights that help business owners make important decisions and supports business growth.
The scalability of cloud accounting software means businesses only pay for what they need. This is great news for start-ups, as their cloud accounting package can grow with their business. It is also an affordable option, accessed by a small monthly subscription. Unlike traditional desktop accounting software, the user benefits from this model because the subscription acts as an incentive for the provider to continue to deliver excellent value through improvements and innovations to the software.
Cloud computing is levelling the playing field, enabling start-ups and small businesses to compete with larger rivals, by removing much of the up-front costs associated with efficient technology and solutions, and providing much needed insight into cashflow. Add to that the flexibility afforded by being able to access their accounts from any device connected to the internet, plus automatic regular back-ups, and simplicity of use, and it's easy to see how start-ups and SMEs can benefit from cloud accounting.
Talk to us about your cloud accounting needs: