Work anywhere with online accounting
Small Business Guides
6 min read
If you want to minimise disruption of your business during bad weather, doing your accounting online is a wise choice. Online accounting will give you a better overview of your finances and improve collaboration with your team, even when you're stuck at home.
Keep business running, whatever the weather
Hong Kong can be hit by bad weather - does your business get disrupted each time? The storms can affect businesses for days or even weeks - in order to minimise the downtime in your operations, you’ll need to start thinking about online technology that can keep your business running with little to no disruptions.
An important part of your business that cannot afford any downtime is the accounting function. When you’re unable to invoice your customers on time, you get paid later. You also need to understand how much money you owe suppliers and how much money is owed to you, so you have an accurate understanding of the real cash flow in your business.
Problems when your accounting is not online
- Your data is locked in one computer in the office, which you can’t access if you’re not in the office (or stuck at home!).
Only one person (likely your finance person) can access the system, which means other team members (like yourself) can't access financial and customer data
The data moves from one system to another - for example, on a USB drive. This is neither secure nor reliable, and can result in duplication or inaccurate data.
The data in the system isn’t up to date and neither is the software.
It's costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).
It's expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.
Seven ways cloud software benefits your business
Your financial data is stored in one place online, which means you can log in to access them anywhere there is internet connection - be it your desktop, tablet or mobile. This means you can work on your business even when you’re stuck at home during a storm!
Everything runs online, so there’s nothing to install on your desktop. Updates are free and instantly available.
Everything is backed up safely, securely and automatically.
You have a clear overview of your current financial position, in real-time.
Multi-user access makes it easy to collaborate online with your team and advisors. It’s a bonus if your cloud accounting software, like Xero, lets you have unlimited users in your business!
A good cloud accounting software will have working integrations with other business apps. This means you can let the technology fetch and reconcile accurate data for you, instead of having to do so manually, and spend more time on what’s important for your business.
Automatic updates means you always have access to the latest features and benefits, without extra upgrade costs.
Upfront business costs are reduced – installation, hardware, version upgrades, maintenance, system administration costs and server failures are no longer issues. Instead, they are managed by the cloud service provider.
In order to minimise the downtime in your operations, you’ll need to start thinking about online technology that can keep your business running with little to no disruptions.
Work smarter when your business runs online
The beauty of running your accounting online is the flexibility you get to run your business anywhere; be it at work, home, or even on-the-go! You can be confident that you have an up-to-date picture of how your business is doing, no matter where you are.
Raise quotations and invoices online and on-the-go, and activate online payment options to make it easier for your customers to pay you. You can also set up automatic payment reminders so you don’t have to chase for late payments. Learn more here.
See how your money is tracking with a quick glance at your customisable Xero dashboard. The simple charts make it so easy for you to understand the your business’ financial status. Learn more here.
Connect to your DBS or HSBC business bank accounts so your transactions get sent automatically into Xero each business day. Learn more here.
Keep track of the money in and out with daily updates and simple bank reconciliation. Learn more here.
Capture expenses, invoice and reconcile while you’re on the move. Learn more here.
700+ marketplace apps
Explore more than 700 business apps that connect into Xero and help with additional business needs such as payroll, document management and workflow. Learn more here.
See more Xero features that will change your life:Learn more
Common misunderstandings about the cloud
There’s been a lot of talk about cloud technology in Hong Kong - but what does it all mean for you and your business? We answer some frequently asked questions below to help prepare you for moving your small business to the cloud.
Isn’t cloud computing just the internet?
You use the internet to connect your device to the cloud, but the internet is just the connection – the cloud is where your data lives.
Is the cloud able to keep my data secure?
Your data is actually much safer in the cloud than on your computer. Your computer can be stolen or corrupted quite easily, but cloud companies spend millions on systems and experts to protect your data. Learn more about Xero’s secure data protection here.
Isn’t the cloud an Apple product?
Apple has a product called iCloud which uses cloud technology, but many other companies provide products in the cloud such as Google, Dropbox and Xero.
Aren’t you stuck if the internet goes down?
These days, the internet is like electricity – it’s very rare for it to go down and when it does you just have to wait a short time for it to be available again. In the meantime, all your data is safe in the cloud.
Isn’t cloud accounting just a trend?
The cloud has been around for years and it’s only getting bigger. Internet banking started over 15 years ago. Now the technology is so fast and cheap that it’s being used for everything.
Isn’t cloud computing expensive?
It’s much cheaper because you only pay for what you use. You’re not paying for endless upgrades, system maintenance, support fees or additional hardware like backup systems.
Don’t I lose control of my data?
You actually have much more control of your data, since you can access, share and work with your info, anywhere, anytime, on any device. You also control who has access – which you can revoke in an instant.
Isn’t the cloud only for tech people?
The cloud is much easier for everyone – you just log in and it works. Imagine: you don’t have to install files, worry about versions, or deal with patches and upgrades. Just log in.
Sign up to our free online webinar
Our Xero Small Business Specialist, Polly Liu, shares how an online accounting platform like Xero can help your business run smoothly throughout the year, whatever the weather.
Come meet Polly at our Introduction to Xero webinar where you can learn more about Xero, ask any questions you have, and watch a live demo of Xero. It’s free!Register now