Hooray!! The new breed of accounting software is affordable, secure and in the cloud, giving you access to your financials in real-time.
It boasts automated bank feeds, online invoicing and mobile access. This is all fantastic stuff, don't get me wrong. But I see it's "friction-free scalability" as the break-through benefit for business owners.
What do I mean? What I really mean is that your business systems should grow as your business grows - and the systems should up-scale smoothly, in terms of dollar and time investment, implementation, features, capacity and pain reduction!
Once upon a time...
So a typical story of accounting in the dark ages might look like this:
The Beginning: Business starts in the garage of a suburban home. Accounting system? A shoebox full of receipts and a docket book for sales. It's a large shoebox, so no capacity problems!
1st Step Up: Owner needs to know income and expenditure. Accounting system? Excel spreadsheet. Hours spent building templates, then sorting and entering data from the shoebox into the new system. Excel can store over one million rows of data, so no capacity problems!
Accounting in the Dark Ages - out of step with business growth
2nd Step Up: Owner discovers errors in spreadsheet so goes to the store and buys a cardboard box with a couple of CDs in it. Accounting system? The old MYOB or Quickbooks, for example. Hours spent installing, learning, importing the data from Excel. Owner doesn't use the Purchases Module, so there's excess capacity. Owner backs up the financial data, once in a while...
3rd Step Up: Owner starts employing people, so buys the payroll add-on or upgrade, takes it home and installs it. Time spent installing, learning new system, plus mandatory annual rollovers and upgrades.
4th Step Up: Well, I'm sure you get the picture. And with every step, there's disruption: dollars spent, training, teething troubles, etc.
Fast-forward to today...The Beginning: Business starts in the garage of a suburban home. Accounting system? Owner jumps online and gets Xero Starter or Saasu Extra Small, for example. Gets the first month free.
...and they all lived happily ever-after.
Because features such as Purchases, multi currency and payroll are just a mouse-click away. No more installing, backing up, rolling over, under- or over-capacity. Upgrades are done behind the scenes and are pain-free. In short, no disruption.
We can put the Dark Ages of accounting software (i.e. about 18 months ago) well-and-truly behind us. The new breed of accounting software allows for alignment of systems with the development of the business.
So, as pathetic as it sounds, I'm pretty excited about the new breed of cloud accounting software and what it means for small business.