Exploring the Benefits of SaaS Accounting Software vs. Traditional Options

Exploring the Benefits of SaaS Accounting Software vs. Traditional Options

1 September

Jordan Reader

The modern world of business continues to evolve, following the advent of technology that has completely reshaped the way it operates.   As part of this, accounting too has undergone a remarkable transformation, shifting from embodying labour intensive and time-consuming tasks, towards cloud-based, automated and streamlined processes. Traditional methods that relied on locally installed, cumbersome software were replaced by the era of ‘the cloud’, paving the way for internet access and utilisation.  Software as a Service (SaaS) accounting software is most commonly known as cloud-based accounting.  As its very name denotes, it is there to provide your company with an accounting service that supports and enhances your business.  The abundance of benefits of SaaS accounting software will become clear as we delve deeper into them today and compare them to traditional options.  If you are seeking improved efficiency, scalability and accessibility in your financial management processes, SaaS accounting software will be a crucial component to achieving this and as an accounting consultancy, 4pointzero will be there to bring these benefits to your business.   

SaaS moves away from the requirement to install software on computers or larger servers and instead leaps towards the ability to access applications hosted in the cloud and accessed over the internet.  Huge cost savings are realised when upfront infrastructure costs and licensing fees for traditional accounting hardware are reduced and the worry of software installation, maintenance and updates are eliminated.  Typically, businesses find that these savings enable them to allocate resources more strategically and redirect funds towards more exciting parts of their business, driving growth and innovation.  4pointzero are keen to outline the various monthly subscriptions on offer, so that you can tailor your application selection to your specific business needs.  Whether you are looking to incorporate project management and/or customer relationship management alongside your accounting processes, 4pointzero will help you get it covered with SaaS accounting software.   

Cloud-based accounting revolutionises traditional financial management with its fundamental principles.  SaaS accounting software can accommodate any business size and has the scalability to flex with you as your business grows and expands. It’s cloud-based delivery model makes its characteristics and advantages particularly distinctive.  Businesses are flocking towards this accounting option as their go-to choice and love it for its convenience.  They relish being able to access SaaS accounting software on any device with an internet connection.  With remote work becoming increasingly prevalent, whether you are on a business trip, working from home or in the office, you will still be able to keep on top of your financial affairs.  Another positive in being able to access online, is that information is produced in real-time and data integrity is optimised. At 4pointzero we frequently receive feedback that this fosters effective decision-making and collaboration, by facilitating stakeholders to stay engaged and informed, no matter where they are located.  Employees also find that these tools facilitate teamwork by enabling multiple users to access and edit financial information simultaneously.  Together, they can collaborate on budgets, invoices, and financial reports, which promotes smooth and efficient financial operations.  The extensive levels of automation that can be achieved with SaaS accounting software are unprecedented and most definitely a main appeal for businesses operating in today’s digital age.  Routine financial tasks including invoicing, expense tracking and reconciliations can be streamlined, which not only saves time and reduces costly errors, but also transforms the way businesses manage their finances.  

Traditionally, security measures surrounding the protection of financial information have always been top priority.  This continues to be the case with SaaS accounting software.  To address any data security concerns and safeguard sensitive financial information, SaaS providers employ robust encryption protocols and issue regular security updates to businesses.  These include state-of-the art methods such as SSL/TLS, which ensure that data transmitted between users and the cloud server remains confidential and secure.   To supplement this, SaaS systems regularly undergo rigorous security audits to ensure that they are compliant and meeting industry standards.  Plus, they conduct regular backups to ensure data is recoverable in the event of a disaster.   With SaaS software you can feel more relaxed, knowing that your systems will be equipped with the latest security features and that the burden of monitoring and managing updates has been taken care of for you.  

Whilst SaaS accounting software offers numerous benefits, naturally it also comes with its own set of challenges and considerations.  Unsurprisingly, entrusting third-party providers with your sensitive financial data is a frequent concern. Be rest assured 4pointzero only recommend reputable providers with proven track records of employing the most robust security practices and established clear data protection processes in place.   

Another frequent consideration is vendor lock-in.  It is prudent to assess not only how easily the integration towards the SaaS software provider can be managed, but also a shift away from the provider should it become necessary in the future. During our project time with you 4pointzero will go through the data import/export options and integration capabilities for each of our preferred providers with you, drawn from our direct experiences with them.  Of course, the thought of subscription fees accumulating may be a concern for many, but 4pointzero are confident that when we complete cost-benefit analysis with you, you will see for yourself that in the long-term, the overall benefits are worth significantly higher value to your business and having the ability to flex your subscription tier in line with your business movement is an added positive.  

Indeed, when the time comes to make the critical decision of choosing the right SaaS accounting software, 4pointzero will be there to guide you every step of the way and highlight the areas that need more careful consideration.  We will also manage a robust integration project alongside you, so that you are supported throughout.  Together, we will start by assessing your business needs and objectives, and then align these to your key performance indicators.  We will progress to identifying the essential features you require from the SaaS software, whether it be invoicing, expense tracking, payroll management and/or reporting tools; before moving onto selecting the provider and right subscription model for you and smoothly managing the main data integration piece.  Prior to data migration we will clean and organise your data, so that it is in the best possible position to be migrated across.  This will also be backed up, in case of the rare occurrence of data loss during transition.  Most data will be transferred electronically, but a small amount may require manual entry.   While all of these steps take place, training workshops are co-ordinated by 4pointzero for all of your designated stakeholders, so that they are completely comfortable with utilising the new software and equipped with workflows and relevant training resources.   

Prior to switching off the old system, it is best practice to complete a parallel run where both the old and new systems run simultaneously for a period, so that any discrepancies can be identified and rectified.   There may be some existing systems that you decide to retain and an evaluation should be undertaken to make sure that they are working in synergy with the new software and processes are as fully streamlined as possible. Next, follows the testing and validation phase, where we thoroughly test the SaaS system’s ability for day-to day usage, including generating reports, checking against compliance with regulatory obligations and automated processes.  Once we are confident in the new system’s functionality we are ready for ‘Go Live’!  The old system is turned off and we make the switch to exclusive use of the new system.   

 4pointzero’s impeccable support service doesn’t stop there either – our care remains post implementation to address any issues or queries you may have, with the intention of ensuring you continue to get the most out of your SaaS software.  We encourage you to continuously monitor the new system’s performance and gather feedback from your employees that use it, so that we can keep the cycle of continuous improvement going.   

4pointzero have worked on similar integration projects with a multitude of customers, across a diverse range of industries and can share their feedback or direct you to alternative user reviews, so that you can gauge customers responses to key areas, (for example software performance and reliability) and determine the best provider for your business.   

SaaS software has evolved significantly since it’s infancy, and as the dynamic business world continues to develop, so too will SaaS software.  Emerging trends that we expect to see continue are the use of artificial intelligence, the integration of blockchain technology and utilisation of mobile accounting apps.  

In conclusion, SaaS accounting software presents a game-changing solution for modern businesses attempting to thrive in today’s highly competitive business world.  It is renowned as a streamlined, automated, cost-effective, yet fully scalable solution, that appeals to businesses across multitudes of industries.  Embracing cloud-technology, has been revolutionary for many businesses keen to unlock new levels of efficiency and flexibility in their financial management provision.  4pointzero look forward to you contacting us, so that you too can harness the power of cloud technology with SaaS software and embrace the future of innovative accounting.  

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