If you’re pretty old-school when it comes to managing your money, credit cards, and finances in general, you probably still keep paper ledgers to balance your checkbook, record bill payments, and so on. Or perhaps you’ve leapt into the modern era by purchasing and installing a program like QuickBooks that helps you to do the same basic tasks on your computer. In truth, if you run a home-based business and you’re filing two sets of taxes (business and personal), it’s probably time to hop aboard the digital bandwagon, if for no other reasons than making your life and your tax accountant’s job a lot easier. But there is one final option you might want to consider, especially if your business finances are somewhat complex, and that is cloud accounting. By hiring a company to virtually manage all of your business accounts, you can place your focus solely on running your business and leave the accounting hassles to the pros. Here are just a few good reasons to consider signing up for cloud accounting services.
- Bookkeeping and accounting in one. While you will still have to do some data entry on your end, that is basically the extent of your involvement in the accounting process when you hire a cloud accounting firm to manage your finances. This online service is designed to do the heavy lifting for you. And with the right hosting service, you can even integrate with programs like QuickBooks so that you don’t have to learn a new system. The beauty is that everything will be compiled and ready to hand off to your tax accountant on a quarterly basis, saving you time and money.
- Professional service. Generally speaking, these cloud services follow the same rules and regulations as any professional accountant, which is to say, those prescribed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board and/or the Securities and Exchange Commission. As a home-based company you’ll need to look for the former (since your company is probably not publically traded), but a cloud accounting firm that offers both is sure to have all its bases covered, which can only be beneficial to the businesses it services.
- Reporting. There are two ways in which the reporting practices of a cloud accounting service may benefit you. On the one hand, these professionals report to the government as required, potentially saving you some trouble. But they also have software in place to compile all manner of reports for your benefit, which you can access, print, and share as needed for your business purposes.
- Open access. Whereas your regular accountant has business hours that dictate when you may contact him or make appointments, cloud accounting services, like online banking, are available day and night. The internet never sleeps, so you can access your information at any time that is convenient for you. When it comes to accounting freedom, it doesn’t get much easier.
- Set costs. Any time you do accounting for business, chances are you’re going to face associated expenses. And you don’t always know what they’re going to be – it could depend on the work you’re having done, the amount of paperwork involved, or how long the job takes, just for example. With a cloud accounting service, however, the cost for your subscription is set, so you know exactly what you’ll pay from month to month.