What is cloud accounting software? 

Cloud accounting software lets you work from the web rather than a desktop.
It provides freedom, security and joined-up data. 

It’s generally accessed through a web browser using most internet-enabled devices. That way, you can work from anywhere and employ people who don’t have to be local to your business. Meanwhile, the security of cloud software platforms can frustrate hackers even if they manage to bypass many layers of security. And, done right, cloud-based accounting software can share data with existing solutions (including desktop), so you’re not retyping things and making mistakes. 

blue cloud above computing system

The “cloud-native” difference 

When you’re looking for cloud products, cloud-native software is likely what you’re after. It gets you work-from-anywhere capability. It’s modern, adapts to the demands users place on it, and it keeps financial information ultra-secure. All you need is an internet connection. 

That’s different from desktop-based software repurposed for the web. From our years developing cloud technology, we believe this may work okay but think cloud-native technology is the clear winner. 

Questions to ask when choosing cloud accounting software

Now you know a major difference in cloud accounting software: some has been adapted from traditional accounting software; cloud-native accounting software has been made with the web in mind.  

But what else can help ensure you get all the benefits of cloud accounting? Here’s what to ask your vendor. 

  • Is your software built purely for the web?

    You want them to say yes. Ideally, they should have a range of cloud-based system for other compliance functions, and these need to connect with one another.

  • How easy is it to connect to my existing software?

    You need them to say it’s (at the very least) fairly easy. If you have an app that you love to use for, say, financial reporting, you don’t want to leave it behind just because you have invested in a new platform for other purposes.

  • Is it modular?

    Wait, we hear some of you ask, what is modular cloud-based accounting software? “Native” cloud software platforms are generally separated into modules. This can provide customers with more choice. It also makes it very easy to update for security and new features. However, this structure may or may not be immediately apparent based on how it’s being sold and packaged.

  • What layers of security does your software have?

    Great cloud software is built from day one with security that gives hackers a headache. Its structure means its different functions are secure – they feel like dead ends to bad actors. User traffic is patrolled, modules are locked down, and authentication and firewalls protect your data.

  • How does your solution handle spikes in demand?

    Native cloud software has a system which makes sure it can handle a jump in users. When more users access an app, the software replicates to manage them. This means there is no slowdown.

Get your FREE guide to the cloud 

Why use cloud-based accounting software? This guide holds the answer. It looks at cloud technology, the “cloud-native” difference, how cloud platforms differ from desktop hosting, and much more. 

navigating the cloud: a comprehensive guide to cloud migration - cloud accounting

IRIS Elements: a cloud accountancy and bookkeeping powerhouse  

IRIS Elements is a cloud-native accountancy platform that brings all your software together into one place – and channels all your financial data into a central client list. 

It was built as a cloud-based accounting system from the ground up. And because it’s a platform, IRIS Elements has a selection of accounting solutions you can choose from based on your needs.  

So, when your business grows, so can IRIS Elements. 

accountant using cloud accounting software
logo IRIS Elements | Cloud accounting software 

Additional resources for cloud accounting software

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