Remember the old days of financial reporting, when everything was done by hand, time-consuming and laborious? Neither do we. The technology we use today makes everything we used to do seem like a distant memory. It can only get easier when companies embrace Cloud Technology. Known to save time, money and resources, Cloud Technology is specifically designed for the 24/7 mobile culture that we live in today. The "stay at your desk" work world of the past is old news, and the associated software is highly outdated. It's time to make sure all of your business processes are up to date and ready to keep up with new technologies in the Cloud.

What tools can you use?

An example of a great cloud accounting software for SME’s is Xero. It's an online accounting software that allows you to take control of your finances by providing a daily, up-to-date dashboard of your cash flow. It does this by integrating directly with your bank balances and credit card transactions. The dashboard shows you how much money you have, where your money is going, who you owe and who owes you. Daily knowledge of your "true cash flow" can give you the confidence to make smart and timely business decisions such as hiring another employee, expanding your office retail space or buying more inventory. One of its greatest benefits is that it is accessible anywhere on any device.

Google Apps for Work eliminate the need for many computer programs. You can create and save text documents, spreadsheets, slide shows on Google Docs, and several users can work on one file simultaneously. Google Calendar makes it easier to create and share calendars, and event reminders can be emailed to invitees. Gmail provides companies with custom email accounts. They are easy to set up and amend, flexible and come standard with online storage.

Lastly, Zoho is a cloud-based CRM system that assists small businesses with their sales cycle and pipeline. It allows you to track your sales activity, connect with your customers and sell smarter. Ideal for small companies looking to get ahead of their sales forecast, Zoho is the perfect CRM app to provide access to your customer info and sales activity whilst on the move.  

Why use these tools?  

There are many reasons why cloud computing is beneficial for SMB’s. One of the most important reasons is that it drastically reduces the turnaround time for payment. By simply automating your invoicing, you can help improve your cash flow and save time, by eliminating the need to follow up on overdue invoices.  

Who has benefited from cloud computing?

A great example of efficiency gained from the Cloud is Pizza Pasta Bar & Grill. This family of restaurants decided to automate existing paper processes used for rostering and payroll through a cloud-based service. To date, this has enabled Pizza Pasta to:

  • Realise annualised savings of $50,000 due to a reduction in workforce
  • Develop end-to-end automation of its payroll process
  • Allowed staff to interact with the business via a mobile device
  • Easy integration of accounting software
  • The business had access to real-time information to make informed decisions

There is no doubt that cloud computing is the future.  You can get more work done, in less time, with fewer people. If you haven't made the switch, your competitor probably has. So make it your 2015 resolution to take the first step. Move your accounting to the Cloud or at the very least gives it a test run by using a free trial. More now than ever before, cloud accounting apps give you the timely insights you need to make informed business decisions while giving you precious time to focus on serving your customers and growing your business.