September 1, 2023 by Shannon McIntosh, Manager

The evolving state of cloud accounting

Welcome back to The Bright Side! This month’s blog post explores the evolving state of cloud accounting and all the positive ways businesses that migrate to the cloud can benefit from this shift, including new access to efficiencies and savings. All the time and money you devote to data entry could be eliminated almost overnight with a shift toward automation, and significant new possibilities are emerging with each passing month. Cloud accounting ultimately frees business owners to focus more on what they do best. If you’re not sure cloud accounting is right for you, allow me to explore The Bright Side.

First steps

For those considering a change, the best place to start is inquiring with your advisor about shifting from desktop accounting to a cloud‑based software with some discussion of any reservations you may have. Once you’re up and running in the cloud, you will be able to see all your relevant numbers as soon as they’re available, which puts you on an instant path to cost savings and new efficiencies. This also puts your advisor in a better position to understand your business, anticipate problems and make suggestions for the months ahead. For example, if your business is planning a major purchase, your advisor can guide you to the most advantageous purchase date, as they can instantly access your recent transaction records. Plus, if you ever need to check an old transaction, this system ensures everything you need is right there at your fingertips.

The evolution of software

Another cloud accounting benefit is the ability for third‑party applications like Plooto or Wagepoint to integrate with QuickBooks Online for greater efficiency. From the perspective of data and forecasting, cloud accounting software is valuable because it can now be connected to software with built‑in cash flow projection modules, which gives you a better sense of what to expect from your business in the months ahead. While some of these tools are available even if you use a desktop accounting software, the cloud provides more real‑time data, as your bank statements download right into the software, making it easier for you to keep up to date, so your plans for the future are based on more reliable data.

Embracing change

With the recent evolution of automation, cloud accounting software has become more predictive, anticipating the activity and transactions of your business, which provides valuable time savings. In the past, more manual data entry and review of information was needed, but the power of artificial intelligence to extract information from documents is constantly growing in sophistication, greatly adding to the value of cloud accounting.

The human factor

As processes have become more automated, we’ve seen a reduced need for humans to enter and sort through numbers, but the human element is not completely lost when businesses switch to cloud accounting. Individuals still need to retain their receipts, submit numbers to the software and review data before it’s processed.

Staying secure

Although concerns with cybersecurity may arise, nearly every platform in this space has adopted encryption and authentication technologies to ensure your data is securely protected.

All in all, a transition to cloud accounting will free up your time, so you can do what you love and make better business decisions based on real‑time data. By reducing manual labour and increasing automation, this will make your life a whole lot easier. Although it may not be right for everyone, for some businesses, this evolving technology has been a game‑changer.

Manager, Client Advisory at Baker Tilly Catalyst, Shannon McIntosh has overcome anxiety, insecurity and depression to emerge as a voice of empowerment, helping clients and colleagues exceed expectations and break new ground. In The Bright Side, she taps into her specialized experience working with non‑profit businesses and her passion for helping organizations that support the community to offer enlightening tax, financial and business guidance to help replace self‑doubt with self‑belief.

Meet the Author

Shannon McIntosh Shannon McIntosh
Calgary, Alberta
D 403-750-7683
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