IT experts have been talking about the concept of ‘cloud computing’ for a few years now and finally its time has come. Peterboroughbusiness.co.uk has been taking a close look at one of the latest services to find a home in the cloud – accounting software – and how it can make the numbers game easier for Peterborough businesses
EARLIEST examples of cloud computing include web-based email such as Hotmail, where messages are stored on a remote server and users can log-in to their accounts from anywhere in the world, as long as the machine they use has internet access.
Many other applications have since moved off desktop machines and into ‘the cloud’, which is how the network of remote servers hosting the services and data is described. The benefits of using cloud-based services is the ease of access from virtually any computer and a range of portable devices, to the protection of data from hazards such as theft, disc failure, fires and natural disasters. All data is stored off-site and backed-up on secure servers.
Applications in the cloud are also updated automatically, so users can always enjoy the very latest versions. Accounting software installed on a desktop machine or company network can be difficult and time-consuming to update, which is another way of saying ‘expensive’. Cloud-based computing offers huge benefits to companies of all sizes, from sole traders and SMEs through to multi-national corporations.
Accounting software is a great example. Companies such as E-conomic.co.uk have created entire accounting and book-keeping services online. The E-conomic.co.uk system also issues invoices and helps you to prepare budgets. It issues every kind of report, based on your company accounts and the criteria you set, and you can give your accountant access to prepare your annual and quarterly returns. You can even work with your accountant simultaneously, accessing data and reports at the same time.
E-conomic services start at £12.99 a month, which seems good value for the convenience and peace of mind on offer.
Unwieldy spreadsheets with their incompatibility problems and the risks of having different versions, often with the same name, disappear with systems like E-conomic. Everything is simple, quick and user-friendly (and remember this is accounting we’re talking about!).
Jacob Wandt, chartered accountant and founder of E-conomic, explains how his idea came about: “I realised at an early stage of my career that nearly all the work passing through my hands had already been ‘done’ by somebody else. This simply didn’t make sense, so the idea of a co-operation platform was born.”
Now the establishment of cloud computing has taken that co-operation to new levels and combines all the advantages outlined earlier: convenience, efficiency, security and cost-effectiveness. E-conomic is so confident of its ability to make life easier for all businesses, it offers a free ‘no obligation’ download of its system so interested companies can give it a try, risk-free.