Continuing on from our previous post on using technology to be more productive, there are many examples in the marketplace today that apply to the accounting world. In the last few years, both established software vendors and new players have developed tools to help businesses to take advantage of web based accounting. With such tools you can easily handle your invoices, produce financial statements or receive up-to-date reports by means of an online platform. Depending on your needs, you can choose:
- General Ledger tools such as NetSuite
- A/R tools, such as FreshBooks, Zoho
- A/P solutions, such as Beanworks
- Time tracking and billing tools: MyHours, FreshBooks, Actitime
- Personal financial tracking tools: ClearCheckbook, Mint
* Some only allow for US accounts.
The advantages are clear, both in terms of quality and cost effectiveness: Much lower cost of entry and lower total cost of ownership as a result of the elimination of capital expenditures and reduction in IT salaries:
- Much lower risk
- World class back end infrastructure without the capital expenditures
- A more powerful and secure IT infrastructure
- No extended implementation time frames and no IT bottleneck when software modifications are needed
Despite these significant upsides, these tools may not fit any business and do not provide the same benefits to all users. For example, some organizations find it very difficult to relinquish control or trust third parties to manage their applications and data. In this case, a web based accounting tools face challenges because of corporate culture reasons. Alternatively, some organizations rely heavily industry specific applications desktop applications, for which web based tools are not yet available. Ultimately, business without clear objectives and defined business processes will be no better off with a web based solution than with the on-premise solution that they are currently using.
Not sure if your company could really benefit from web based accounting? Over the next posts we will provide you with some more information about how these different tools can fit into your business.