Cloud accounting software is similar to traditional, desktop based solutions, with the difference being that it is hosted on remote servers. Data is sent into the “cloud” where it is processed and stored. The benefits to the end user include access to real time data from anywhere with an Internet connection, and from any device–including laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Employees have greater visibility within an organization and can collaborate more effectively. And for business owners, peace of mind comes from knowing that routine maintenance and updates to the software are managed by the SaaS (Software as a Service) provider.
Cloud accounting solutions are often subscription based, and customers can upgrade their monthly or annual plans to meet the growing needs of a business. This pricing model is similar to popular consumer SaaS providers such as Netflix, Google Apps, and Dropbox. Not requiring a long term commitment is another strong reason to consider cloud solutions. There are no contracts to lock you in with a specific vendor or cloud accounting technology.
According to Intuit’s e-book “The Appification of Small Business”, it is estimated that 78 percent of small businesses will rely on cloud technology by 2020. This makes sense when you consider that under the SaaS business model, providers are incentivized to innovate and provide great customer service–all at a competitive price.