Using cloud computing

Cloud computing offers are a number of immediate advantages for small businesses:

  • hardware and software costs can be greatly reduced;
  • IT maintenance costs can be greatly reduced;
  • data backup is easier;
  • capacity issues are easier to deal with;
  • access to applications and data is much improved and can be from virtually anywhere;
  • different types of device can be used to suit different working needs and conditions;

However there are also a number of potential disadvantages:

  • the data may be stored on a server that is physically located in another country which could mean your company is breaking the law;
  • once committed to the system it may be difficult to change to another system;
  • whilst there is no large initial cost, the "small" periodic fees will add up over time.

We would always recommend that any system used should allow you to download all of your data and have good data export functionality.

Cloud based accounting/bookkeeping

There are a number of cloud based "accounting" systems available. Whilst these systems are often described as "accounting" systems we prefer to refer to most of them as "bookkeeping" systems. (What is the difference ?)

There have been many reviews and comparisons published. One we found useful is from the Sleeter Group.

We have worked with both Wave and Xero

Wave is free and is good for those businesses that have simple needs but can be a little tedious to set up. 

Xero is a paid for service and but is very comprehensive and, as far as we are concerned is the best for SMEs, particularly if you want to more than bookkeeping and need good timely management reporting. Find out more ...(

Samuel Leighton & Associates provides a full suite of services for businesses considering moving their bookkeeping or accounting to "the cloud"  
  • needs review
  • planning
  • implementation
  • migration tools