Cloud systems have seen a huge rise in demand recently due to the enormous benefits businesses are able to achieve. Cloud systems are powerful and innovative pieces of software that provide great value for a reasonable price.
We take a look at what it means to be ‘in the cloud’, how your business can reap the benefits and some of our recommended systems.
What does it mean to be ‘in the cloud’?
Cloud providers manage infrastructure and platforms that store the systems/data. These systems/data can then be accessed externally by users over the internet usually via a web browser (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc.) or an App.
A common example of being ‘in the cloud’ that people don’t often recognise is internet banking. We refer to the ‘cloud’ as the Software asa Service (SaaS) business model as opposed to Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or Platform as a Service (PaaS).
What are the benefits of cloud systems?
Anytime, anywhere access
Cloud systems allow users to access the service from any device at any time. You can access the same data from a phone, tablet or PC anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.
Safe and secure
Security measures in place for cloud systems are more secure than those hosted on servers stored locally at your business. Providers of cloud systems have the scale to implement world-class security measures that aren’t feasible for your everyday business owner.
Cloud systems are generally built on an application programing interface (API) that allows integrations between various other systems. The API defines the operations, rules, inputs, outputs and underlying types of the software and is made available to software developers. Software developers then use this information to build other software which allows the two systems to communicate and share data.
Cloud systems have the ability to reduce your use of paper as well as your internal IT hardware and electricity costs.
Save time & money
Reducing costs related to hardware is a major advantage of using cloud based systems. Most cloud systems are designed to address specific issues (accounting/bookkeeping, inventory management, payroll, etc.) by providing more efficient and cost effective solutions compared to what has been traditionally available.
Recommended Cloud Systems
What for? File Storage
Who for? Businesses/individuals currently hosting files on local servers and/or hard drives
Cloud storage systems like Google Drive allow you to store all your documents remotely. You can then access all your important files from anywhere, any device, any time. As it’s stored in the cloud, there’s no need for routine backups.
What for? Bookkeeping/ Accounting
Who for? Businesses using desktop based systems such as MYOB or Quickbooks
Cloud accounting systems enable your bookkeeping/accounting software to receive daily bank feeds from all your business bank accounts and credit cards which means no more manual data entry. Create rules to enable fast reconciliations of recurring transactions. Payroll can be processed directly from Xero and will provide access to your employees via the employee portal as well as your accountant for business advice and guidance.
What for? Accounts Payable
Who for? Any business currently processing accounts payable manually
Receive suppliers invoices via email directly to Invitbox where the key data (supplier, date, products, GST, invoice total, etc.) is extracted. Once invoices are approved they are exported to your accounting/bookkeeping system for payment processing. Invitbox even has the ability to export a PDF copy of the invoice.
What for? Timesheets & Rosters
Who for? Businesses with predominantly employees paid at an hourly rate
Allows employers to create and communicate with staff shift rosters. Once published rosters can be communicated to staff via email, SMS or the Deputy App. Staff time is tracked accurately by employees checking-in and checking-out of their shifts using either the Deputy App or Deputy website. When setup correctly with your accounting/bookkeeping systems, Deputy will interpret timesheets based on the applicable award payments to determine the appropriate rate of pay (overtime, Saturday, Sunday, public holiday, etc.).
What for? Point of Sale
Who for? Retail outlets
A cloud based point of sale that operates similarly to a traditional point of sale but allows your daily sales to be exported to your accounting/bookkeeping system, which allows for easy reconciliation of EFTPOS and cash takings. Vend will typically be able to work with already existing point of sale hardware.
What for? Receipt/Invoice Management
Who for? Businesses who received lots of receipts/invoices
Invoices and receipts are submitted to Shoeboxed via the Shoeboxed App, email, online upload or via post using a Magic Envelope. All documents are scanned & uploaded then key invoice data is extracted from the document for verification and exporting to your accounting/bookkeeping system.