American technology research and development advisor, Gartner, Inc. recently predicted that in 2020 a ‘no-cloud’ policy in the workplace will be as rare as a ‘no-internet’ policy is today.

Indeed, as Forbes put it, cloud-based accounting has “completely transformed … the entire accounting and bookkeeping industry”, and businesses all over the world are already switching  to online cloud-based accounting software instead of the paper-based alternative.

Here is why your business should switch to cloud based accounting now.

Cloud-based software is safer

You might assume with so many public hacking scandals, often of celebrities, that cloud based software isn’t as secure as having a physical record in a locked safe. But this isn’t true.

Not only are financial documents stored on the cloud virtually impossible to misplace (unlike physical documents), but contractor accountants 3 Wise Bears have also pointed out that, owing to the various password protection and safeguard options available, storing files in the cloud is actually a safer solution than using physical accounting methods.

And if you’re worried about hacking, Daniel Rissen from chartered accountants put it best when he said that, “the security issues (of cloud-based accounting) are the same as with locally hosted systems – unless your business doesn’t have an internet connection.”

You’ll be able to identify accounting problems sooner

Cloud-based accounting offers you and your business access to real-time accounting and keeps the lines of communication between you and your accountant constantly open. This means you’ll be able to stay on top of any financial issues which might arise as and when they occur.

According to Rob Nixon, co-founder and CEO of Panalitix, “If you are relying on ‘desktop’ accounting software, you are looking at redundant data.” He also says that people need to switch their accounting software to the cloud, if they want to “access richer, more accurate data on any device.”

It’s cost effective …

Getting consistent, real-time updates on your finances with just a traditional accountant will likely cost far more money than the real-time updates you can have with cloud-based software. Indeed, even the time it takes to sift through all the physical documents involved in traditional accounting can be tallied in billable hours.

In addition to this, the average office worker goes through roughly 10,000 sheets of paper a year, which equates to $80 (£52) a year per person in your office. Not only is that a huge cost to your business, but it’s a huge cost to the environment at well.

So by reducing the amount of paper your office uses by switching to cloud based accounting, your business could be saving 100’s if not 1,000’s of pounds every year, in addition to being greener.

… And convenient

Forbes argues that the use of cloud based accounting software allows “small business owners to accurately enter and edit financial information on their own, and make better decisions in a much more efficient manner.”

According to Accounting Today, by switching to the cloud, “your firm eliminates the need for software updates, manual backups and server maintenance.” They also add that your data and your applications will always be updated and kept secure.

Not only that, but with a paperless accounting system in place, retrieving your business’s data with a search tool becomes much easier than searching manually for physical documents. Navigating your data trail also becomes a much simpler process, since you’ll be able to locate everything from receipts to invoices in a matter of seconds as opposed to hours.