Online accounting software packages are taking on the old players that had the market share for decades. Maybe the idea of changing your systems is not a priority but are you considering online bookkeeping?

Xero is becoming a very popular system for bookkeepers. We get regular requests from our clients to make the switch from computer based options. There are a lot of reasons and advantages, the main thing being accessibility. You can access you accounting data from any computer, phone or tablet with an Internet connection. Just have having this instant connection is a game changer with keeping instant knowledge of your financials. Managing your day to day cash flow is quicker for different levels of access that can be given. The sales staff can invoice and check to see if sales have been paid to staff entering there own hours, this is just a few of the unique features that emerging in this space. The service is charged on a monthly basis and is quite easy to use. With this ease of use has seen the rise of even better add ons that make the collection and reporting of data amazing.

Accounting Anywhere 

The convenience of these online applications make it possible to bookkeep anywhere and at anytime. You don’t need to purchase software, install it and setup the software to suit your requirements. As long as you have an Internet connection you are ready to go. This makes it easier for businesses with multiple locations and departments. Being online – You, your bookkeeper, accountant, and staff can have access to the file at any time. As already explained you have the ability to control the access each user has.

The bookkeeping tasks can done in real time. You can invoice on the go and not have to enter it in later. You can check how much owe a supplier and pay it immediately. This makes for a more efficient and streamlined business. With the ability to connect to your bank account you have up to date financials.

Monthly subscription

The switch to software as a service model for accounting applications is usually a lot less than traditional up front accounting packages. Paying a monthly subscription is manageable keeping new business from spending to much of there start up capital. Online subscriptions vary in cost for a range of options depending on the need and size of the business.

Traditional software have upgrades from time to time and new versions which can be expensive. This can mean backing up, upgrading making sure there is no loss of data. Online systems get upgraded on a regular basis with low to no effect to the user. The hassle is a lot less that the traditional computer accounting packages.

Data safety and security

One major concern with online applications is the security of the financial data . This concern from businesses is natural, and the safety of the financial records is paramount. A breach in the system can mean loss, theft or destruction of the data.

The online applications boast greater data protection measures than computer based software. A lot of the time the computer based systems don’t have passwords or back ups of the software. The biggest threat is not usually being hacked but the loss of data. The hours of work that took to input all the data can be a mammoth task. As a bookkeeper this is all to real to get called to start over putting together all the data again. A computers hard drive can have meltdown, a server crash, the computer an be stolen and hacked, or it could just fail. This threat to data loss has devastating effects. Online accounting systems have a high level of security with often two stage access, the data is backed up in multiple locations in real time. The online application invest heavily in encryption, firewalls and anti-virus systems to protect their data which is far better than household systems.

Final assessment

Some of the functionality from desktop software is still easier to use but the online versions but with third party add ons and major development to online and phone application this gap is closing quickly. The demand for the online option is getting greater by the day.

The rise of online bookkeeping has allowed us to bookkeep for business all over Australia. From day to day data entry, payroll to processing BAS’s and paying bills the online accounting application has allowed us to be more efficient and more cost effective.