What is meant by Cloud Accounting Services?

by | Jul 21, 2020 | Accounting Firm Services

While accounting will always involve the same mathematical principles and goals, how we do the math, why and when for the math, and for whom we do the math, changes. Accounting needs to keep up with the rapid evolution of technology, how we make and use money and the increasing and changing needs of businesses.

Cloud accounting and the Xero accounting software used by TAT to offer cloud accounting services is a response to this.

Innovation in Accounting Technology to Innovative Cloud Accounting Services:

The development of accounting software (and now cloud accounting software, systems and services) has been driven by the following:

Complexity: Accounting – from software, packages, processes and reports, to accounting services must serve the needs of increasing complexity in an increasingly complex world.

Compliance: Accounting services – and therefore the software and packages they use – need be to compliant with international accounting regulations. The reports they generate must also show compliance with the array of regional, national and international statutes and regulations governing business, financial affairs and taxation.

Diversity and Globalisation: Accounting packages need to be increasingly adaptable and capable of meeting the needs of operations of all types and sizes, and the way they do business – including working seamlessly with multiple currencies and exchanges.

Client Needs: Accounting processes need to be faster, more efficient, more accessible, and the software easier to use – all at the same time. They also need to work with changes in how we work, do business, move and handle money.

Technological Innovation: The best accounting package must work seamlessly with innovative apps and plug-ins, advancing operating systems, servers, networks, sharing-technology, security and other IT innovations. Xero works with several third-party apps, including Spotlight Reporting. Xero also works with Receipt Bank: an innovative book-keeping service and other Workflow automation capabilities.

Cyber Security: Accounting software, systems and networks need to offer continually updated and, sophisticated and failsafe data security as the world goes more and more ‘online’.

The Cloud: Cloud Computing is the latest, and easily the greatest, of these IT innovations – spurring the development of cloud accounting software, packages and cloud accounting services. 

Why TAT uses Xero accounting software for TAT Cloud Services:

Xero is an award-winning cloud accounting software package that ticks all the above boxes – including the one for the need to be at the forefront of adaptation to ‘what comes next’ in technology. Workflow automation is one of those things, and Xero works with various IT tools and processes to automate data entry and other labour intensive and time-consuming book-keeping and accounting process.

Forbes Magazine has named Xero as the ‘World’s Most Innovative Growth Company’ on two occasions since the development of the Xero accounting software in 2006.

  • Ideal for SMME’s in all industries, Xero integrates with several accounting systems and apps making it ideal for tailor-made accounting services, and extended functionality.
  • Xero is easy to use, understand and manage – giving clients’ full control. No expensive training required.
  • Xero is fully customisable to your company’s operations and financial goals.
  • Xero is easy to set up, and optimises your business’s accounting – from data entry through to ‘deep accounting’ processes. Xero accounting faster, simpler and more accurate from the bottom-up.
  • Importantly, Xero creates an error-free data foundation for the easy generation of complex financial reports.
  • Xero also offers a vastly simplified but full, and customisable, inventory management systems that will transform management of otherwise complex inventory financials.

Xero works on the cloud to offer the best cloud accounting service – adding the benefits of vanguard accounting software technology and innovation, to the huge benefits of cloud computing. This enables us, TAT Accounting Services, to offer superior cloud accounting services.

Xero and Receipt Bank

Cloud Accounting

Cloud accounting offers numerous benefits for accountants with respect cloud accounting services they can offer (lower costs, unlimited capacity, ease of access, report generation, extra services such as workflow automation, etc.) and the businesses they serve – but they are greatest for the clients.

The benefits of cloud accounting for your business:
The benefits are of cloud accounting are considerable – irrespective of the size of your business, the industry or sector that your business is in, your organisational structure (including the complexity of your organisational structure, or whether your business operates across borders with multiple currencies – as many businesses do these days – especially with the boom online businesses, service and retail.

With cloud accounting you get:

Real time data updates:
Your account and financial can be accessed from anywhere by any authorised person. Data uploaded by you, or your bookkeeper, is instantly accessible to your accountant. If there are errors or queries, updated data can be supplied to your accountant in real-time and corrected balances and financial reports become available to you just as quickly and easily.

  • It’s fast and efficient- and that can save huge amounts of time, not to mention billable hours and other potentially costly consequences such as late tax return submissions.
  • Your accountant will no longer need to rely on the financial information you give them. With cloud accounting they can have access to data you enter for them. Forgot to add that sale or that expense? You don’t need to email, get hold of the accountant, or wait in line. Just add the updated data and you are done.

Instant, real time software system updates:
System updates are automatic and instantly available to everyone with access to your account. Your accountant or business advisor will enjoy the same system updates as you, and vice versa, at precisely the same time.

  • These instant updates mean that your accounting software is always up to date with the latest, most advanced accounting system processes and requirements, and incorporates general IT advances in processing, functionality and cyber security.
  • They also ensure that the software is compliant with accounting regulations, – without you ever having to worry about it or pay for the updates functionality.

Vastly reduced costs – and overheads for small businesses:
Before the advent of cloud computing, rapid advances in IT systems, including accounting systems, came with a great many advantages, but they cost a fortune. The cost started with installation – including the setting up dedicated servers, replacing old hardware with new hardware, getting more hardware, new operating systems licences and security software and staff training. then they became ongoing costs (renewal of licences, upgraded security, software support and ongoing training with major functionality updates.

These costs presented a massive ‘overheads’ burden to businesses – one which many smaller businesses either struggled to cope with, or simply could not afford at all.

The extent and value of the benefits of advanced accounting packages were greater for the businesses that could absorb the costs more easily. This created an uneven playing field in a time of rapid technological advances – with ripple effects creating often devastating challenges for small businesses.

However, with cloud accounting, the rapid advances in technology, software and systems are affordable for even the smallest one-man operation, accessible to all size business, and equally beneficial to all. Including yours.

  • With cloud accounting, associated IT costs are vastly reduced. No need for dedicated servers and office networks. You also don’t pay for the software, or for the software updates. That leaves you with more to spend on the latest laptop and any other tech you need to stay in the game.
  • Any data entry training is reduced to a minimum and can be done remotely. It may not be needed at all, as the software is so easy to use. The software capacity is extensive , but the processes are simplified. And if you, or your bookkeeper, make a mistake or get stuck – your accountant can assist you or correct the error without you having to pay them by the hour.
  • No support costs. No system crashes, down-time, costs to get things up and running. No data hacking threats and associated costs. That’s a lot of money you won’t need to factor into your cash-flow management!
  • You also have the option of letting your accountants take over some or all your bookkeeping tasks – from data entry to payroll and on up to where they’d normally take over anyway. Thanks to cloud accounting, this is now and streamlined, practical and cost-effective option for many small businesses.
  • The only cost to your company is a monthly fee. You either pay for your access to the software and your account on the software provider server, or you pay your accountants. Not both.

If you pay a monthly retainer fee you pay your accountants, it is scaled to your needs and may well cost you less than you might have once paid for accounting services. This is thanks to the streamlined processes, accuracy and efficiency of advanced cloud accounting software.

Aside from the general advanced cyber security offered by cloud computing, the security offered by cloud accounting software is superior to even the best protected traditional accounting software – especially when it is installed on multiple computers in an office network.

  • Private dedicated servers for office networks are vulnerable to hacking – and your financial information is what hackers are after.
  • Cloud computing offers the greatest level of IT security – not just from hackers but the threat of data loss through system and network crashes. This is simply no longer a concern thanks to cloud computing.
  • The security is even better when the cloud accounting software is the best package out there and made available to you through a cloud accounting service like TAT cloud. Both Xero and firms like TAT who offer services with Xero accounting software are invested in ensuring data security.

Spotlight and Workflow Automation

TAT Cloud Accounting Services – Direct Benefits at the forefront of Accounting Tech:

Spotlight Reporting:
An award-winning application, Spotlight is designed to work seamlessly with Xero and offers full customization for your business – for generation of essential financial reports as well as forecasts and performance reports. Spotlight works with Xero to give you instant access to any information you, your auditor, your accountant, business adviser, managers, etc. need – with real-time data.

Customisable Dashboard – so your Xero and Spotlight interface isn’t full of buttons for things you don’t need, want to can use – but has exactly what you can use, and what your accountant uses – and you can utilise. You can generate 100% accurate reports from wherever you are.

Receipt Bank:
Another one of those incredible IT innovations that enhances the accounting services TAT cloud accounting offers! Receipt Bank process captures your invoice data for you – while Xero’s other automation and data record functionalities create error free, real-time records – with workflow automation processes.

Workflow Automation:
Easily the most impactful benefit offered by cloud accounting (with a superior package offered by Xero) is workflow automation software.

TAT Cloud Accounting services are expanding, and will continue to expand, as Xero integrates new technology. Workflow automation is the backbone of this expansion, because workflow automation software in accounting is limited only by the current leading edge of accounting software technology.

Workflow automation replaces the need for manual data entry – as much or as little as required, customizable to your business needs. This:

  • Saves time – up to 5 x faster data ‘capture’
  • Increases accuracy – data is not subject to human error
  • Does away with the need for cumbersome paper records
  • No need to double entry data!
  • Makes information available instantly to whoever needs it – including online records showing accuracy, compliance and sources. This will massively decrease admin and audit costs!

– The way data can be analysed and used for business management and forecasting is almost unlimited.
– Real-time data updates, reporting and analytics functions in Xero enable your cloud accounting provider to help you, the business owner or manager, identify trends, manage inventory and make informed and innovative business decisions better than ever.

Xero + Receipt Bank + Spotlight Reporting + Workflow automation = TAT CLOUD ACCOUNTING – providing the best of cloud accounting services for your business – no matter the size, what industry you are in, how you do business, or where you do business.

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Erasmus Pretorius

With over 23 years of unwavering expertise, I am a seasoned Chartered Accountant committed to financial excellence. My journey in the realm of finance has been marked by astute strategic insights, meticulous attention to detail, and an unyielding dedication to precision. Over the years, I’ve navigated the complexities of financial landscapes, providing invaluable counsel to diverse clients. My proficiency extends across auditing, taxation, and financial management, coupled with a profound understanding of regulatory frameworks. As a registered professional, I have consistently upheld the highest standards of integrity and ethics, earning a reputation as a trusted advisor in the dynamic world of finance.