You’ve probably seen lots of advertisements for cloud-based software and services—even online accounting software for nonprofits. So, what is this cloud and why should you pay attention to it?
The cloud is a collection of servers, each specializing in its own function. That function may be data storage, or serving up software, or archiving pictures. You’re probably already using the cloud if you’re on Instagram or another popular social media site. Even software companies are using cloud-based systems to deliver their products. Instead of buying software in a box at the local office supply or computer store, you log into a secure server, pay a monthly licensing fee, and access the software.
Is cloud-based online accounting software for nonprofits any better than the older kind, the kind you download from a CD and install on your computer? Yes, and there are many reasons why you should embrace the cloud. Cloud-based online accounting software for nonprofits offers better security, improved access, fewer costs, and greater agility. Let’s take a look at each.
Cloud-based online accounting software for nonprofits runs on servers hosted elsewhere and accessed over the internet. These servers are often behind the latest and greatest ramparts of security that companies can dream up. These companies know the risks, and have experienced programmers on call to fortify the battlements when the bad guys launch new malware missiles. Few companies, including nonprofits, can match the resources cloud-based companies can provide.
Web-based software beats unit-installed software every time for easy access. By logging in through a secure website to your software, you can access it anytime, anywhere. So work from home or from the office, a hotel in California or a conference in New York. For the nonprofit, cloud-based software enables a better donor and volunteer experience. With an easy-to-use and accessible portal, making donations or signing up for an event can be much easier. Cloud-based software improves your access to the things that matter most.
In ye olden days (five years ago in tech time), organizations had to purchase multiple disks or license products based on their total number of employees. Today’s cloud-based online accounting software for nonprofits can be licensed on a “need to use” basis. Instead of investing in your own servers, you can pay a hosting fee and rent space on another company’s server for data storage. Instead of spending a small fortune to buy software for your entire company, you can limit licenses to just those who need it, and access it online instead of installing it on specific computers. Not everyone needs access to everything, and you can structure licenses and fee agreements based on how many people need access to software for a set time period. This can save your organization a great deal in the long run.
If you are in a field that requires quickly reacting to changes (and who isn’t?), cloud computing is for you. Because the systems are hosted elsewhere, you don’t need to worry about the technology. Instead you can focus on your mission and leave the technology to the technology experts. With a hosted cloud, you can harness the capabilities of top-caliber computing without having to build and maintain it. It enables you to quickly respond to increased demand by scaling up to handle additional volume.
As you struggle to run your organization and keep up with the latest technology, it can be easy to lose sight of what is most important. Remember that the cloud is just a vehicle to help you successfully keep your eye on the mission.
Now that you understand how cloud-based accounting software for nonprofits can be useful for your organization, we invite you to call RBP Methods a call. Whether you’re interested in AccuFund Nonprofit Accounting Suite , Abila MIP Fund Accounting or other accounting software, we offer information, training and support to help you manage your nonprofit accounting needs. Please contact us today for more information.