Companies are steadily shifting towards cloud computing for a variety of business operations. Business Cloud News recently reported data from Gartner estimating that by 2020, the shift towards cloud computing will impact, in one way or another, one trillion dollars of IT spending.

Accounting is one of the key business operations that’s increasingly shifting to the cloud. Companies can choose from a variety of cloud-based software to handle budgeting for different projects and departments, performing financial forecasting, tracking accounts payable and receivable, managing cash flow, and generating financial reports.

When considering your options for cloud accounting services, here are five qualities to look for:

1) State-of-the-art security

Given the sensitivity of financial information, and how attractive cyber criminals find it, security is a top priority for cloud accounting. Security includes powerful encryption, firewalls, anti-malware programs, and reliable methods of preventing unauthorized log-ins. Round-the-clock monitoring is another protective measure used to detect suspicious activities and block intrusions. Only employees who have received the appropriate privileges should access the data.

2) Ease of transition and data migration

If your company currently uses a different kind of accounting solution, will you have a relatively easy time switching to the cloud accounting service you’ve chosen? Transitioning to a new service includes moving the data to it as seamlessly as possible and learning how to use the new program.

3) Reliability

Minimal downtime is an important proof of a program’s reliability. No matter what device you’re using to access your cloud accounting solution, and no matter what time of day it is, it’s available.

Furthermore, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your data is backed up, and that you can recover it quickly should you experience an IT disruption. Backups of your data should exist in more than one location, and should capture your data regularly throughout the day. Should you need to restore your data, you won’t have to rely on outdated backups.

4) Clarity

Cloud accounting is potentially dynamic, giving you a real-time picture of your company’s finances at different levels and for different projects and operations. The cloud accounting service you use should allow you to perform analyses in a straightforward way and develop meaningful predictions. It should help you easily create reports showing both the current state of your finances and projections for the coming months and years.

A recent article from discusses the ways companies use data to make critical decisions; though “gut feeling” or instinct can still play an important role in decision-making, companies need data to inform their decisions and illuminate new insights they hadn’t considered. Your cloud accounting service should put comprehensive data at your fingertips, and organize and integrate it in ways that help you make better decisions.

5) Productivity

A high-quality cloud accounting service will increase productivity in a number of ways. It will automate and streamline a variety of processes, improving efficiency and reducing the likelihood of human error. The program will still give you oversight, but will allow you to focus more on the big picture and complete tasks more quickly rather than getting bogged down in minutiae. Furthermore, with the scalability of the cloud, you won’t have to worry about quickly running out of space, if you need to accommodate larger volumes of data. You can focus on the most important aspects of your work: growing your company, innovating, anticipating and meeting challenges, and cultivating strong customer relationships.

CompuData offers a variety of Cloud accounting options. Please contact us for assistance with choosing the best cloud accounting system for your company. Working with dedicated IT professionals will help you optimize the use of your cloud accounting solution, ensuring that it meets your needs and propels you toward your business goals.