What is Cloud Accounting? How Cloud Accounting Benefits Small Businesses?

What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud accounting or cloud-based accounting or web-based accounting is the application of accounting as software as a service using the internet and cloud. Earlier accounting was usually spreadsheet or manual-based. But today accounting is widely used on mobile and internet devices and this transformation gave rise to cloud accounting.

Online accounting, Web-Based accounting, or Cloud-based Accounting is no longer the future. It is the present and it shall remain so for the foreseeable future. Therefore we can define cloud accounting as the application of accounting using tools to manage accounts online.

Online adoption of accounting includes the use of the internet, cloud databases and apps, and other third-party software to support accounting on the cloud.

For example, the GST accounting software such as RealBooks is truly cloud accounting.

The future of Cloud Accounting Software in India

I think during the lockdown, it has become amply clear to all businesses – big and small – that moving online is the only way forward. The fact that it’s taken a life-changing event such as COVID-19 for small businesses to realize the benefits of online and cloud-based accounting is very surprising.

As per a study conducted by, from a cost standpoint, the cost of data in India is the cheapest in the world.

The cost of 1GB of data in India is $0.09 compared to some African countries where it goes as high as more than $25 per GB. This has meant that despite India having a relatively low per capita income compared to developed countries. The fact that the internet is so cheap, means that internet accessibility is certainly not beyond the average Indian.

Throughout the pandemic, online businesses continued to thrive and grow while brick and mortar businesses struggled. Businesses have been reinventing themselves so that they can survive if not thrive during these trying times.

We at RealBooks have been blessed that business has grown rapidly during these times and we have expanded our team size and client base.  Some companies did make some stop-gap arrangements. And some host their accounting software on servers or move it to a laptop which they would carry to work and home, to manage accessibility-related issues.

It solved some problems, a tad inefficiently, but made them realize the benefits of cloud and online accounting.

Top 10 Benefits of Cloud Accounting Software – RealBooks:

Cloud accounting software has become more crucial today than ever and its benefits are immense if you look at today’s scenario.  Some of the benefits of using cloud accounting software are as follows:

1. Accessibility:

This one is an obvious benefit that every online accounting has – you can access it anywhere, anytime. But with RealBooks cloud accounting, you can restrict IP based and mobile-based access such that not everyone can access the data anywhere they wish.  It adds a certain degree of comfort and flexibility in making sure data is not being accessed in an unauthorized manner.

2. Cloud Accounting Security:

This is one aspect in which I feel small businesses are most misguided. They feel that by moving to the cloud your data is at risk and may be hacked or attacked with some virus, etc. Nothing can be further from the truth!

If that were true, Net Banking would have failed, GST and Income Tax filing would be prone to hacking. Apple and Microsoft would not have become the two most valuable companies in the world with market caps bigger than the size of economies of European countries!!

RealBooks is hosted on Amazon Web Services, with multiple levels of back-ups, replications, and data protection measures that have been undertaken.

In the last 9 years, we have continuously upgraded ourselves to ensure we are taking all measures with respect to data security and confidentiality.

3. Collaboration:

Most companies have more than one location in the business. In fact, today, most companies have employees working from each of their homes. And therefore they probably have many locations from where they need to collaborate.

Think of an excel file – if you have multiple colleagues working on the same file to input data.

Would you work on a Google Sheet or use an offline version of Microsoft Excel?

That’s the power of collaboration. You do not need to keep sending back-ups to your head office or to your auditors or consultants. Just give restricted access to each user and they can see the data that they are required to see without the inefficient file transfers.

RealBooks is a highly collaborative software with some clients using 100+ users across 50+ branches of theirs very smoothly. And such that for them generating location-wise P&L, branch-wise reconciliations, consolidation of books of accounts is just a click away.

4. Hardware Costs:

Having a cloud-based setup means you can do away with all the hardware costs, server set-up, IT team, infrastructure, etc. It makes life simpler and makes your organization more cost-effective. Being online allows you to reduce fixed costs and makes the software much more scalable. RealBooks can handle clients with 2 million+ records and 2,000 records with equal ease.

5. Document Attachment:

One of the most unique features of RealBooks is the fact that you can attach documents to every single entry – therefore you are virtually paperless.  The document attachment is not simply an attachment that needs to be downloaded each time you want to view it. Rather it converts the file to an image such that it opens next to the entry each time you open the voucher.

This makes the approval process, audit process, and referring to historical data an absolute breeze – not to mention environment-friendly as well

6. No Installation:

Being browser-based means that online accounting software requires no installation and therefore no restriction in accessing it. You are up and running when you want without requiring any help. So if it’s the middle of the night or you are in some foreign country, there are no boundaries and no limitations. Just go online, create a company and you can start using real books just like that!

7. Real-Time Cloud Accounting:

Ever faced situations where you ask for a report from an accountant and he says he is ‘just bringing it’. But by the time he sends it to you – your purpose and use for that report is long gone!

Sounds familiar – it will because that is exactly what happens. You may not even remember why you needed the report in the first place! By being online, you can actually access data yourself without depending on the accountant. If anything, it shall keep your accounting team on its toes.

Because they know you can full access the data and therefore will know exactly if there any pendency. Hence you can rest assured your data will always be live and real-time.

8. Branch Accounting:

One of the best features of RealBooks is its branch–accounting feature. With growing and expanding businesses, inter-branch transactions shall inevitably happen. And that is where companies find it a nightmare trying to reconcile the balances for each of the branches. This is one feature that is truly world-class in RealBooks.

You create an entry in one branch, transfer goods from one branch to another, and the opposite entries in the other branches post automatically. Say bye-bye to the cumbersome process of branch reconciliation.

I have seen a number of online accounting software and can truly say with pride that there is no accounting software in India that matches up to RealBooks in this aspect.

9. Low Upfront Costs:

Since online software work on a SaaS model. The upfront costs involved with cloud accounting are significantly lower and the renewal costs are also pocket-friendly. RealBooks starts @ only Rs. 5,000 per year allowing unlimited companies and you can scale up as and when you grow and add users.

10. Cloud Accounting Speed & Efficiency:

Web-based accounting truly deserves the speed and efficiency to process transactions seamlessly. However, I have seen most of the accounting systems are not able to provide the speed and efficiency that a business requires in an online environment.

But with Reabooks you get the high speed, high quality, and high efficiency running your software online even in a distributed environment. So with a large number of concurrent users, you can work seamlessly and simultaneously.

Over to you:

In conclusion, I feel that moving your accounting is a very natural progression that every growing business should undertake. It will give you a better sense of control, transparency, and shall give you the ability to plan better. So you can get access to your accounting data just a click away ensuring when you want it and how you want it!

Get a free 14 day trial of Realbooks today and enjoy working like a pro.

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