By Ben Hart, McKinley Plowman, Accountants, Perth

Cloud technology – we’ve all heard of it by now. From software programs like Dropbox and Google Drive, to critical data backup tools, the business world has embraced off-site storage in the cloud in nearly every function possible. That being said, there is still a large proportion of businesses who are yet to move their accounting online. Not only do these businesses miss out on some incredible efficiency improvements and compliance benefits, the introduction of Single Touch Payroll means that SME owners can no longer shy away from the cloud. Let’s have a look at a couple of reasons that every business should be getting the most out of the cloud.

Single Touch Payroll

The introduction of Single Touch Payroll (STP) in businesses with 20 or more staff on 1 July 2018 came with plenty of coverage in the media, and the need for those businesses to ensure that their payroll software is up to scratch. The requirement for payroll software under STP is that it automatically reports payroll activity to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), where they can use the data collected to ensure employers are paying their staff what they should be, withholding the right amount of tax, etc. Traditional desktop-based accounting software packages are fairly limited in this aspect, as the data put into the program stays on the machine it operates on and generally is only accessible in the one place. Cloud accounting packages such as Xero and MYOB AccountRight Live are STP-enabled, and make the reporting process of STP simple and easy.

Time-saving and efficiency

Throughout the years, cloud software has developed to become faster, more secure and more intuitive to use. Part of this improvement has been the integration of different services that can help you run your business. For example, some cloud accounting programs directly integrate with apps for receipt management, point of sale, marketing and other key functions – meaning you’ve got more of what you need in the one place. Data accessibility is also enhanced on the cloud, no longer will you have to struggle with single logins, desktop-based storage and collaboration difficulties. Having your business’ data and software based in the cloud means that you and your team can access what you need from anywhere that has an internet connection, offering the chance to take care of business even on the go!

Security

For many, an early concern with internet storage of critical business data was security. The old-fashioned view that single-location storage on hard drives and in locked filing cabinets was the best way to maintain your data’s integrity has been flipped on its head as technology develops. Having your information securely in the cloud means that if your laptop, hard drive, phone, PC or any other storage device is stolen, would-be thieves have no better chance of gaining access to your data. Cloud storage and software is protected primarily through sophisticated cybersecurity measures, as well as credentials like passwords; PIN numbers; 2-factor authentication; biometrics (e.g. fingerprints); personal security questions and even facial recognition. Therefore not only have original concerns about security been allayed in recent years, the level of protection the cloud offers users exceeds that of traditional storage methods.

If you’re yet to get your business onto the cloud and start reaping the rewards, contact us today. We’ll help you get online with little to no interruption to your business’ operations, making the transition smooth and simple.

Contact the author directly by email or by telephone.

 

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