A web-based accounting package is a complete accounting system that resides on a web server. Anybody in the world can access that accounting system with a simple browser to set up and run their own company. Instead of paying large sums of money up front for hardware and software, the user either host their own system or pays a smaller monthly rental fee. It is an interesting concept and there are many inherent benefits, some of which are listed below:
What Are The Benefits of Web-Based Accounting?
You Only Need A Browser
To use web-based accounting solutions, you need only a browser on any computer and a connection to the Internet. This makes it very easy to deploy the system throughout your organization. Remote users can even access the system through computers located at the airport or in a cyber cafe. It is the ultimate thin client model and virtually no effort or expense need be incurred to deliver access to everyone in your organization.
Lower Up-Front Costs for Software
Customers avoid paying larger up front costs to purchase the software. Large fees for annual upgrades are avoided as well. Instead, the actual cost of the software is spread over time to achieve a better matching of expenditures to the benefits produced by those expenditures.
Lower Administration Costs
Customers avoid the need to hire an expensive IT professional staff or consultants to maintain the system. Typically systems that run on the higher-end Mysql MSsql and Oracle databases require an IT professional on staff or on call. Salaries for this caliber professional can range from Ksh 50,000 to Ksh150,000 and up. With the web-based model, certified engineers are on staff night and day to maintain your system, and their cost is included in the Maintenance contract or monthly rental fee.
Lower Up-Front Costs for Hardware
Customers avoid paying larger up front costs to purchase and implement a file server and network software. On going costs to add RAM to the file server, replace the server’s hard drives, maintain the systems, etc. are also avoided.
Shorter Implementation Time Frame
The implementation time frame is significantly reduced because the system is already up and running. The customer need only log in and begin entering data. The training requirement will remain the same whether the system is running locally or via the web.
Lower Costs for Multiple Locations
In the past, companies with multiple locations were forced purchase expensive solutions such as Citrix or Microsoft Terminal Services Advanced Client to accommodate remote access to the accounting software database. These remote access solutions alone cost Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 100,000 and higher, which prices these solutions out of reach for many small businesses. With the web-based accounting model, even the smallest of companies can achieve data entry into a single system from multiple locations at affordable prices.
Work From Home
This solution is also ideal for small business owners who occasionally want to work from home. Web-based solutions make it easier for the parent to stay home, and still access the web-based accounting system to process payments, print reports, input transactions, etc. As another example, a web-based accounting system might make it easier for a working parent to leave the workplace early, for example at 3:00pm, and continue working from home in order to miss the rush hour and to be there when the children gets home from school.
These solutions run on the world’s most robust and secure databases – such as Mysql, Oracle and Microsoft SQL server, yet these solutions cost as little as Ksh 1000 per user per month. One of the common shortcomings of low-end accounting systems has been that they incorporate weaker database technology that does not scale nearly as well as higher-end databases. Today, all web-based accounting solutions use the same high-end database that power the largest companies in the world. small businesses need not worry about outgrowing the system’s capacity.
No More Backup Worries
With web-based accounting solutions, backups are maintained on a frequent basis which further protects small businesses in the unlikely event of data loss. Studies show that only a small percentage of small businesses perform regular back ups properly and store them off-site. With web-based accounting, the company can still maintain their own local back ups if they want, even though the web-based accounting publisher performs rigorous back up procedures religiously.
Up-to-date Application Code
Under this model, web-based accounting solutions apply enhancements and patches to their product on a continuous basis compared to the older method in which customers receive patches and enhancements once or twice a year. The result is that web-based solutions can be more responsive to the customer’s needs and the application itself always reflects the latest version. There is no more need to pay consultants hefty fees to come in and implement system upgrades - this occurs automatically on a timely basis and with no additional cost to you.