Thinking of switching to online accounting software? Keep these questions in mind when shopping around to ensure you get the right product for your needs.
Online accounting software — often referred to as cloud accounting, is the latest industry development that’s helping thousands of Aussie businesses save time and money. It does this by hosting your data online which enables you to run your business anywhere, anytime, while reducing your IT costs.
What most businesses don’t realise is these new online systems come in all shapes and sizes, and choosing a product with the wrong set of features may cause you headaches in the long run. To ensure you get the right cloud accounting software for your business needs, remember to ask these questions before signing up:
1. Where will my financial data be stored?
The great thing about the cloud is you can access it anywhere but the downside is you may not know where your confidential information is stored. When choosing a cloud product, make sure your sensitive data is held at certified data centres to protect your information from prying eyes.
Also, some cloud accounting providers store their customers’ financial data overseas. If you’re concerned about sovereign risk, stick with a software provider that keeps their customer details on Australian shores.
2. What security measures are in place?
If more than one person has access to your books, you must consider how your confidential information is accessed. Good online accounting software will let you have full control over who has access to vital company information to ensure users will only see information needed to complete their job.
3. Will I pay more for certain features by moving to the cloud?
If your business requires advanced accounting features such as payroll and inventory management, shop around to see if these features are included and understand their limitations. Some cloud accounting software providers may charge extra for these nifty features so make sure to do your sums before signing up!
4. Can I use my cloud accounting software both online and offline?
You need to have a stable internet connection when using a cloud accounting system so if your internet connection is temperamental, consider how the program will run when your internet drops out. Check to see if your cloud accounting software lets you continue working offline and then synchronise the data once your internet access becomes available.
5. How steep is the learning curve?
Cloud accounting is designed to save you time so the last thing you’d want to do is spend hours figuring out how to use it. Well-established accounting software providers such as Reckon, tend to offer a wide variety of educational tools such as hands-on classroom training, webinars and video tutorials. These are a great way to see the product in action so you can learn to make full use of the cloud sooner.
For more information on how cloud accounting software can help boost your business, visit the Reckon website.
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