Cloud accounting is still a small arena, and service providers commonly bank on the same features like integration, hosting, document management, and accounts receivable and payable. But if you want to grow your business faster and keep hours you spend on accounting to a minimum, look for additional features or services that facilitate easy accounting for small business.
Packed core offerings
A cloud accounting program possesses a dependable backbone for its services and features. Aside from being securely hosted, it must offer the basic elements for doing comprehensive accounting, such as quotes and invoices, financial reporting, payroll, and inventory. It is from these four fundamental features that a small business can completely switch to online accounting.
Complimentary to these four is the ability to integrate the existing accounting program to the online version. Hence, integration must be supported. Data migration is also essential during the transition; this feature must allow flawless migration of current accounting data from any existing platform without any data loss or alteration.
Additional features and services
A small business does not stay in that state for long if good management is maintained. Therefore, accounting needs will be complex. Several cloud accounting services have to be available once expansion happens. Some of these additional features and services include banking, automatic scheduling of invoices, timesheets, BAS and GST, and divisional reporting.
As the business grows, the number of employees also grows, in which case an employee portal is necessary. This will allow the employees to manage their own professional data online. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will be an important feature in order to keep track of return clients and observe selling trends in the business. To manage costs of individual and multiple projects, a project costing feature will be beneficial. Of course, communication with clients will sometimes require the provision of documents; for this, the ability to attach documents of common file formats will be an invaluable feature.
On the get-go, any online accounting program is difficult to grasp, so it must offer tutorial to the business owner or the designated accounting staff. Moreover, aside from offering a free trial for the first month, a good cloud accounting program allows the client to consult some services, which may include web solutions, billing systems design, business performance health checks, and other essential reporting. Furthermore, given that business owners seek to save time and money, the cloud accounting provider must offer outsource services of less crucial tasks, such as bookkeeping and payroll.
As businesses tend to do more operations online, business owners must consider doing the laborious accounting task on the cloud. This decision is beneficial in the long run, but features and services must be scrutinised well in order to get the full benefits of the modern accounting method.