Switching from desktop to cloud based accounting software isn’t something you decide overnight. The main reason why businesses switch is for increased efficiency and flexibility, but choosing the right solution isn’t as easy as you think.
There are many solutions out there, so how do you decide which one is right? There are a lot of things to consider, things you won’t be able to check during that 30-day trial the vendors usually offer.
Benefits of online accounting software
First of all, let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of using online accounting software:
- You’re not location bound. Log in at any location where internet is available
- Multiple users can work on the same data
- Never again worry about backups. Your data is safely stored in the cloud
- Reporting tools give you real-time insights
- Cloud software is scalable - the ideal solution for independents and SMB’s
- You’re always working with the latest version. SaaS companies roll out features on a regular basis, and they’re constantly improving their product by adding new features
Switching to online accounting software
Here are some tips to get you started when choosing online accounting software. Use this checklist to make sure the software is the right fit for you.
1. Setup of the account and support
When moving from desktop to cloud based accounting software, you need to move your existing data to the online version. This job can be hell, so get informed and read FAQ’s and reviews of other users.Get in touch with the vendor and ask if they give you support during this process. How they provide support is important as well. Popular ways to provide support are live chat, email and phone.
2. Ask your accountant for advice
The first one to talk to when considering making the move from desktop to cloud accounting software is your accountant. His advice is priceless, and will move you in the right direction. He probably has other clients also using cloud based software and knows the benefits as well as the pitfalls of using certain online accounting software tools.
3. Reporting tools
Reporting tools allow the stakeholders to make data driven decisions, and it gives them access to real-time data, even if they’re in different locations.
4. Scalability and add-ons
Check out the different pricing models and see what you get for it! If you know your company is growing year after year, you should make sure your accounting software can grow along with you.Another thing to check is the ecosystem of the online accounting software. Do not only look at what it can do out-of-the-box, but check if they offer the right integrations to improve your productivity. Popular add-ons for online accounting software are expense management tools, payment integrations and CRM and Project Management integrations.
5. Financial data
Integrating your transactional data can be a huge time saver. If your business is using PayPal for example, make sure that your online accounting software can import those transactions with a simple click.
6. Data backups
Don’t worry about backups anymore, but if you’re still nervous about storing data in the cloud, you should be able to download a copy of your account with a few short steps.Another question to ask is how long the data is stored.
Here at Xpenditure we store the scanned receipts and all the other data for over ten years. Even if a user cancels his subscription, he will be able to download all the digitized receipts.
If you have any other tips when choosing online accounting software, feel free to add them in the comments below!