Few of us in Kuala Lumpur have used Cloud Accounting, fewer still have heard about it. Yet, its here and its the next big thing that accounting solutions firms are rolling out. It has become the buzzword of budding entrepreneurs and accountants.
This coincides with the upcoming Sage Customer Connect 2016, where the leading accounting services provider in Malaysia plans to officially introduce Malaysian businesses to its powerful and affordable Cloud Accounting Solution, Sage One, at the KL Convention Centre on the 11th April.
I first got to know about cloud accounting when I read a report about the growing diversification of Finance Technology or FinTech for short. It is evolving so rapidly that cloud accounting solutions have become a sort of disruptive technology to replace existing traditional accounting solutions. Therefore, it is the subject for my article today as this is one of, if not the most vital developments in the Internet of Things revolution.
Sadly, we hear about it so often from overseas but have so little local resource and articles about cloud accounting. In fact, a quick search on Google will show little or no Cloud computing articles with regards to the Malaysian Market.
So, without much delay, this article will summarise cloud accounting, its use, reliability and comparison between the various cloud accounting providers available to the SMB’s or SME’s today.
What is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud accounting software is similar to traditional, on-premises, or self-install accounting software, only the accounting software is hosted on remote servers, similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent into “the cloud,” where it is processed and returned to the user. All application functions are performed off-site, not on the user’s desktop.
You can click here for the full write-up.
Cloud Accounting Software is in short, your traditional standalone accounting system on the go. Cloud accounting differs from the standalone desktop softwares by its ability to give the owner real-time reporting and visibility of transactions throughout the whole organisation, with greater mobile capabilities and collaboration, i.e, you can even do your accounting from the comfort of your smartphone screen.
This is a plus point especially in the era of the smartphone. Accountants and business owners can transact, process and issue payments and invoices be it in the hassle of travelling or from the comfort of your home or office. Thus, cloud accounting gives peace of mind especially due to the fact that business owners can track their payments more accurately via a live feed of their transactions.
Most cloud accounting providers follow Subscription-based models and in most cases these subscriptions are usage-based. Companies that pay a cloud accounting subscription receive updates to the software as soon as they arrive, with no additional software purchases required. This saves a lot of cost of getting a new software all over again especially if the government comes up with new legislation. A case in point would be the sudden announcement by the Malaysian Government to reduce EPF contribution and revise income tax rates in January 2016.
Most standalone accounting softwares used by Malaysians at that time did not wait for long for the updates from their accounting software provider(which is okay). But the unlucky others whose providers weren’t rolling out any updates had to either pay a hefty upgrade price or switch their accounting software altogether. This has caused inconvenience to some to the point where salaries and payroll calculation have been delayed.
This leads to a pressing question. Is cloud accounting reliable?
Reliability of a cloud accounting service really depends on the company itself. For example, we have Sage One Accounting, provided by the world’s leading accounting solutions provider with a flawless track record and an easy to use Cloud Accounting Solution.
From most of the reviews so far on the website and by its track record, this is the obvious choice by far for any business. With 30 days free support to get you going through the basics and 1 month free trial. Customers have an opportunity to get a feel of the software and assess its suitability for their business before purchasing it. With this, Sage really puts its product quality on the line to its customers by giving them a ‘try and see’ option, which kinda shows how much they believe in their quality.
It is important for a company in this industry to have a flawless track record with little or no disruption in the system. However, if the service itself is flawed, we would have situations where blackout can happen, with terrible consequences. A case in point would be the blackout of the Xero Accounting Systems servers, preventing its customers from accessing their accounting services and bringing all accounting activity to a halt. Therefore, choosing a flexible, versatile and durable service provider is important and thats where Sage’s advantage really comes into play.
But wait a minute! Earlier on I mentioned about the subscription model? Is Cloud Accounting services affordable?
The primary question and the last I chose to deal with because I would like to elaborate more here. This is because competitive pricing would really show the understanding of a service provider to their target market.
For new accounting softwares like Xero, the subscription fee starts off at MYR 679 per month and thats only bookkeeping to start with. Quickbooks starts at USD 12 per month and that even with limited features. If you notice on their websites, you will quickly notice that they go with the USD rate. With the fluctuating dollar rate in this country, it is highly unlikely that users will flock to these two accounting solutions as the subscription rate will vary each month according to the exchange rate and the low conversion rate of Malaysian Ringgit to USD will be a major factor in users shunning the prospect of purchase altogether.
Sage One Accounting however, goes on a RM 29.00 per month subscription rate and a RM 313.20 per year subscription rate. With that, you get the full package of features that you pay your nose through to get in other service providers such as Unlimited transactions, reports with drill downs, managing customers, suppliers and items, a 1GB storage with 2 users, 1 company profile, Automatic backups, Bank and credit card processing, Pay by Master Card or Visa, Accountants area and Free mobile integration. You also get unlimited email and telephone support when you’re in knotted up in calculations or GST submissions. In comparison to the other offers, Sage One is the best deal for anyone starting a business and the Small Medium Businesses as well. By charging in Malaysian Ringgit at an affordable price, users have predictability in paying for subscription at a reasonable price for the full package of features needed for their business.
Cloud Accounting is the next generation of accounting and is part of the IoT revolution. Businesses must grasp the opportunity to make use of this new solution to increase productivity, effectiveness and efficiency.
If you need to see it to believe it, you can find out more about Cloud Accounting at the Sage Customer Connect 2016 held on 11th April at the KL Convention Centre. Sage will be showcasing the latest of their services and customers can get a feel of Sage One which will be exhibited at this exciting and insightful event. You may click on the link here to register for free.