Put your hand up if you like "doing the books". Come on - there has to be someone. If you're anything like me, I like to be working on stuff that makes money, grows the business and keeps me doing what I like doing. Administrative tasks, while important, get in the way of "proper work".
The good news is that managing your business's books has never been easier. You no longer need to install software on your computer and keep it up to date. Accounting software that runs from the cloud, as SaaS
, is here and it's good.
So, why bother with online accounts software? There are three reasons; updates, access and functionality.
The software updates automatically
Chances are that every year you need to update your accounts software as the ATO changes the tax rules. If you're not technically inclined this can be a pain. Online software is updated by the provider automatically without you needing to do anything.
You can look at your accounts anywhere
As online accounts software is accessed from a web browser and it's running on the web you can get to it from any computer or other device. That means you can get to your invoicing, sales, customer information and other business information form just about any device with an Internet connection.
It's easier to use if you're not an accountant
One thing that has always struck me about traditional, computer-based accounts software is that it feels like it was designed by accountants, for accountants. The online options are designed to put important business information in front of you in plain language. And, you can create a user account for your accountant so they can get to the data they need.
There are few things to consider before you choose an online accounts package. Find out what it will take to get your data out should you decide to go to a different provider. Also, keep in mind that you are moving from a software ownership/licensing model to subscription. If you stop paying the subscription fee you may lose all or partial access to your data.
Anthony Caruana is a small business operator with experience in enterprise IT management as well as a journalist. He works with businesses on realising their business needs through the smart application of technology.