It’s been a long time since Kathy in the back office used a green ledger to keep track of expenses and income. SMBs increasingly use technology for their accounting needs, and they’re moving to the cloud for flexibility and affordability. According to the 2013 Cbeyond Business Leader Snapshot Survey, 82 percent of small business owners say cloud services are “very” or “somewhat” important, and 21 percent say that it would be a “major challenge” to run their businesses without cloud services. Meanwhile, 29 percent are planning to expand their use of cloud services to accounting.
The cloud is the “it” technology for accounting and it’s changing the way SMBs do business. Kathy isn’t tethered to her desk anymore; she’s able to securely log in to the accounting software from anywhere to create statements and reports. She can electronically pay suppliers and invoice customers, all without using a single sheet of paper. She can create audit trails automatically and even collaborate with the owner of the company.
But the other component of accounting technology, particularly in the cloud, is emerging in the shape of third-party add-ons. These products allow you to add features that don’t come standard with the software, such as integrating into other systems. Software companies are now improving their resources for developers who want to create better add-ons. For example, Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, is providing a new database backend for developers who want to create those third-party add-ons, which will help the add-ons perform better and provide a more unified user interface.
The cloud offers a host of advantages for SMBs, and it’s no surprise that software companies are improving access to their platforms for third-party developers and increasing functionality. If you’re not already using a cloud accounting solution, it might be time to start exploring your options to stay competitive and improve efficiency.
Are you currently using cloud-based accounting technology or considering using it? What advantages or benefits have you gained from using cloud services in your business? If you’re not using this type of technology, what’s stopping you?
Steve Leavitt, GM of U.S. Cloud Solutions for Exact