As the world navigates the fourth industrial revolution, entrepreneurs and small businesses in South Africa cannot afford to be left behind. In a case of “adapt or die”, cloud and AI accounting are offering businesses and accountants the competitive edge and the opportunity to be at the forefront of the digital revolution.
From project management to social media, everything happens in the cloud. If you're a small business, you're probably already using the cloud in many ways without even realising it. In the past few years, cloud accounting has exploded in popularity. There has never been a more important time for businesses to review their accounting operations and embrace cloud and AI technologies.
What is cloud accounting?
The main difference between cloud and desktop accounting software is that cloud software runs on the internet and can be accessed off-site, on any device with an internet connection. Desktop accounting software, on the other hand, can also be used on computers where it has been installed. Cloud accounting can update financial information in real time, giving business owners immediate access to their reports. Back-ups and updates take place automatically, making maintenance with cloud accounting software minimal.
What are the benefits of cloud accounting?
Cloud and AI accounting have opened doors like never before and have revolutionised the accounting and small business industries, offering countless benefits to improve profitability, efficiency and add value to business owners. The benefits of cloud accounting, AI and machine learning are endless. They have become buzz words in the tech industry, and, while it can be daunting at first, the benefits can be explained simply.
Here are some benefits of cloud and AI accounting for entrepreneurs:
- Cloud and AI accounting is secure. When you are cloud-based, your accounts and records are all saved and backed up securely.
- It is accessible. Because of new technologies, accounting clients can access information in real-time, anywhere and on almost any device.
- It is affordable. Online accounting is carried out entirely from the cloud. There is no costly IT infrastructure for you to maintain.
- It is effective. At any given time, business owners have a clear view of their financial situation and can make informed decisions using accurate and relevant information. This is critically important in an ever-changing business environment where decisions have to be made quickly and correctly.
- The integration possibilities are endless. Payment systems, sales systems and stock management systems can easily integrate with platforms such as Xero and Osidon, offering added value to clients that they may not have had access to otherwise. When these systems work together, clients have access to a one-stop shop to run their business more cost-effectively, productively and efficiently. Osidon has integrated with Xero and also added numerous other functionalities, such as banking services, access to website platforms and legal advice to their accounting, tax and payroll services.
If tech solutions take over the bulk of the work, completing time and energy consuming tasks automatically, accountants and business owners are free to focus on their core business tasks. They will have more time to focus on their clients, developing their business and growing the economy, leading to job creation and improved employment figures.