What Is Cloud Accounting and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

What Is Cloud Accounting?

You are probably noticing more and more talk regarding cloud accounting.

What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud accounting software leverages cloud hosting on remote servers, similar to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, but with the flexibility, scalability and collaborative force of working in the cloud. With cloud accounting, finance teams can benefit from real-time reporting and visibility throughout an organization, with mobile collaboration empowering teams to keep accounts balanced, accurate and updated any time, any day and from any location — accounting efficiency and transparent financial management never stop.

Today’s leading solutions deliver real-time business visibility via easy to create dashboards and reports. Comprehensive financial consolidation, reporting, and analysis across multiple business entities. Anywhere, anytime expense report submission, approval, audit, and reimbursement, increasing visibility into your company’s travel and expense spending patterns. Plus, an increased cash flow due to on-time payments and shorter sales cycles.

Cloud accounting software products vary in complexity and features offered, with many products designed for use by companies of a certain size, such as enterprise-level businesses or SMBs. Depending on the scale of the solution, features for payroll, time tracking, or expenses are easy to utilize. Cloud computing has increasingly become a solution for organizations. It’s an innovative and increasingly popular model of software deployment that offers enterprise-class software function without traditional up-front infrastructure costs or the unpredictable support and maintenance costs of on-site software and hardware – from infrastructure to security to personal productivity to workflow.

The reality today is, accounting is one of the key business operations increasingly shifting to the cloud.

Why? Companies can choose from a variety of cloud-based software to handle budgeting for different projects and departments, performing financial forecasting, tracking accounts payable and receivable, managing cash flow, and generating financial reports. When considering your options for cloud accounting services, here are five qualities to look for a few key characteristics.

  • Strong Security: Given the sensitivity of financial information, and how attractive cyber criminals find it, security is a top priority for cloud accounting. Security includes powerful encryption, firewalls, anti-malware programs, and reliable methods of preventing unauthorized log-ins. Round-the-clock monitoring is another protective measure used to detect suspicious activities and block intrusions. Only employees who have received the appropriate privileges should access the data.
  • Software Reliability: Minimal downtime is an important proof of a program’s reliability. No matter what device you’re using to access your cloud accounting solution, and no matter what time of day it is, it’s available. Furthermore, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your data is backed up, and that you can recover it quickly should you experience an IT disruption. Backups of your data should exist in more than one location, and should capture your data regularly throughout the day. Should you need to restore your data, you won’t have to rely on outdated backups.
  • Cloud Clarity: Cloud accounting is potentially dynamic, giving you a real-time picture of your company’s finances at different levels and for different projects and operations. The cloud accounting service you use should allow you to perform analyses in a straightforward way and develop meaningful predictions. It should help you easily create reports showing both the current state of your finances and projections for the coming months and years.

As companies grow, they need to manage more clients, transactions, and currencies.  Cloud accounting solutions present cost effective alternatives to traditional on-site ERP systems. Cloud accounting is a great choice if you want to do away with worrying about upgrades and maintenance fees — and it’s flexible because you pay only for users currently in the system. Deployment is quick and efficient. It’s time to look at the cloud in a different light when it comes to financial management — cloud accounting is here to stay. Is cloud accounting right for you? Ask yourself a few key questions.

  • Do you want to shorten your monthly close from seven to just two days, and cut the time you spend generating standard financial statements and employee revenue reports by ten hours a month?
  • Would you like your business to go from spending nearly four days a month combining and reconciling financials in Excel, to automated processes that allow you to focus on reviewing and understanding your financial analytics?
  • Do you want to start working with a user-friendly solution that would eliminate the need for duplicate data entry, streamline revenue management and other financial processes; reduced monthly close by one full day each month?
  • Would you like to gain the ability to easily track, manage, and report on profitability and other financial trends across multiple entities — helping your enterprise make optimized, informed decisions on everything from staff utilization to vendor relationships?

If you answered ‘Yes‘ to any of the above questions, cloud accounting may be ideal for you!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "What Is Cloud Accounting and How Can it Benefit Your Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



via Small Business Trends Business Feeds

What Is Cloud Accounting and How Can it Benefit Your Business?

What Is Cloud Accounting?

You are probably noticing more and more talk regarding cloud accounting.

What is Cloud Accounting?

Cloud accounting software leverages cloud hosting on remote servers, similar to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) models, but with the flexibility, scalability and collaborative force of working in the cloud. With cloud accounting, finance teams can benefit from real-time reporting and visibility throughout an organization, with mobile collaboration empowering teams to keep accounts balanced, accurate and updated any time, any day and from any location — accounting efficiency and transparent financial management never stop.

Today’s leading solutions deliver real-time business visibility via easy to create dashboards and reports. Comprehensive financial consolidation, reporting, and analysis across multiple business entities. Anywhere, anytime expense report submission, approval, audit, and reimbursement, increasing visibility into your company’s travel and expense spending patterns. Plus, an increased cash flow due to on-time payments and shorter sales cycles.

Cloud accounting software products vary in complexity and features offered, with many products designed for use by companies of a certain size, such as enterprise-level businesses or SMBs. Depending on the scale of the solution, features for payroll, time tracking, or expenses are easy to utilize. Cloud computing has increasingly become a solution for organizations. It’s an innovative and increasingly popular model of software deployment that offers enterprise-class software function without traditional up-front infrastructure costs or the unpredictable support and maintenance costs of on-site software and hardware – from infrastructure to security to personal productivity to workflow.

The reality today is, accounting is one of the key business operations increasingly shifting to the cloud.

Why? Companies can choose from a variety of cloud-based software to handle budgeting for different projects and departments, performing financial forecasting, tracking accounts payable and receivable, managing cash flow, and generating financial reports. When considering your options for cloud accounting services, here are five qualities to look for a few key characteristics.

  • Strong Security: Given the sensitivity of financial information, and how attractive cyber criminals find it, security is a top priority for cloud accounting. Security includes powerful encryption, firewalls, anti-malware programs, and reliable methods of preventing unauthorized log-ins. Round-the-clock monitoring is another protective measure used to detect suspicious activities and block intrusions. Only employees who have received the appropriate privileges should access the data.
  • Software Reliability: Minimal downtime is an important proof of a program’s reliability. No matter what device you’re using to access your cloud accounting solution, and no matter what time of day it is, it’s available. Furthermore, you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing that your data is backed up, and that you can recover it quickly should you experience an IT disruption. Backups of your data should exist in more than one location, and should capture your data regularly throughout the day. Should you need to restore your data, you won’t have to rely on outdated backups.
  • Cloud Clarity: Cloud accounting is potentially dynamic, giving you a real-time picture of your company’s finances at different levels and for different projects and operations. The cloud accounting service you use should allow you to perform analyses in a straightforward way and develop meaningful predictions. It should help you easily create reports showing both the current state of your finances and projections for the coming months and years.

As companies grow, they need to manage more clients, transactions, and currencies.  Cloud accounting solutions present cost effective alternatives to traditional on-site ERP systems. Cloud accounting is a great choice if you want to do away with worrying about upgrades and maintenance fees — and it’s flexible because you pay only for users currently in the system. Deployment is quick and efficient. It’s time to look at the cloud in a different light when it comes to financial management — cloud accounting is here to stay. Is cloud accounting right for you? Ask yourself a few key questions.

  • Do you want to shorten your monthly close from seven to just two days, and cut the time you spend generating standard financial statements and employee revenue reports by ten hours a month?
  • Would you like your business to go from spending nearly four days a month combining and reconciling financials in Excel, to automated processes that allow you to focus on reviewing and understanding your financial analytics?
  • Do you want to start working with a user-friendly solution that would eliminate the need for duplicate data entry, streamline revenue management and other financial processes; reduced monthly close by one full day each month?
  • Would you like to gain the ability to easily track, manage, and report on profitability and other financial trends across multiple entities — helping your enterprise make optimized, informed decisions on everything from staff utilization to vendor relationships?

If you answered ‘Yes‘ to any of the above questions, cloud accounting may be ideal for you!

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "What Is Cloud Accounting and How Can it Benefit Your Business?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Unriddled: Free Movies (!) From YouTube, Facebook Makes the Unsend Feature Official, and More Tech News You Need

"Unriddled" is HubSpot's weekly digest of the tech headlines you need to know. We give you the top tech stories in a quick, scannable way and break it all down. It's tech news: explained.

Unriddled: The Tech News You Need

1. YouTube Subtly Adds Free(ish) Movies to Its Collection

AdAge reported late last week that YouTube added free films to its Movies collection in October, allowing users to watch full-length features with commercial breaks. The ad-supported model creates an alternative to other feature-film-for-pay options online, like iTunes or subscription-based streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. The latter two services haven't yet introduced the option to view movies for free with commercials. Read full story >>

2. Messenger Makes Its Unsend Feature Facebook Official

Last week, we covered a story that Messenger would imminently roll out an unsend feature to all users -- a feature that was previously (and controversially) only available to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Now, according to TechCrunch, the feature has officially become available to users in Poland, Bolivia, Colombia and Lithuania, with hopes of global rollout "as soon as possible." Read full story >>

3. Instagram Launches Its "Time Well Spent" Tools

Over the summer, Instagram and its parent company Facebook both announced they would integrate new tools to show users how much time they spent on each app.

There was no clear timeline for this rollout when the announcement was made, but last week, Instagram officially launched its "Your Activity" dashboard -- which not only gives users a visual time management display, but also helps them set daily limits for using the app and mute notifications. TechCrunch has more on how to find and use the new feature. Read full story >>

4. How Do People Really Feel About Amazon's Big Announcement? Here's What We Found Out.

News of Amazon's geographical selections for its second headquarters has received mixed responses. We asked hundreds of people to weigh in on the news -- here's what we learned. Read full story >>

5. Instagram Cracks Down on Fake Followers

Instagram has started removing followers from user accounts that have gained a following through automated apps that leave comments, follow, and then later unfollow other accounts on their behalf. Although these apps were made to help users build an audience, Instagram considers this behavior (and many of the new followers gained) to be "inauthentic."

With these changes, Instagram accounts that have used these apps to build a following might see that following shrink -- an occurrence of which Instagram has warned users with an in-app message. Read full story >>

6. LinkedIn Might Be Adding New Social Tools

According to a report from Social Media Today, LinkedIn might be testing social tools such as emotion-driven "reactions" to posts -- similar to Facebook's Like, Love, Laugh, Wow, Sad and Angry post reactions. The possible new feature, which the company has yet to confirm, was first discovered by computer scientist Jane Manchun Wong, who tweeted that LinkedIn's versions of reactions appear to include "Like," "Clap," "Insightful," "Hmm," and "Support."

If LinkedIn does roll out these reactions, it could be the latest in a series of moves by other social networks to emulate and potentially provide alternatives to Facebook's business and social tools (see below). Read full story >>

7. Why the New Google My Business App Makes for a Pivotal Marketing Moment

Google has built a new place for businesses to build a profile and connect with customers. Find out why it represents a pivotal moment in marketing. Read full story >>

8. Self-Driving Cars Will Hit the Road in a Few Weeks. Are We Ready?

In a matter of weeks, self-driving car company Waymo is rumored to pilot a commercial, driverless car-hailing service. But are people ready for autonomous vehicles to hit the road? Read full story >>

9. Google Used Search Data to Create This Report to Help You Navigate the Holidays

Data nerds and holiday enthusiasts alike, rejoice: Google has compiled historical search data to help users navigate Thanksgiving this year. Here are the report's highlights. Read full story >>

10. Is Gamification the Key to Better Video Engagement? [New Data]

App and video developers all over are creating a new type of video: the kind that invites the user to participate and interact with it, a la a digital game show. But is that truly the key to better video engagement? Read full story >> 

Stay Current on Emerging Tech



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Amazon Gets $2 Billion in Tax Breaks for New HQs, But What Will It Cost Local Businesses?

Incentives for Amazon HQ2 Locations Include $2 Billion in Tax Breaks

Amazon announced Tuesday it’s splitting its second headquarters between Long Island City, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, and the corporation will receive tax incentive packages worth more than $2 billion to build in both locations.

Incentives for Amazon HQ2

Much of the money will flow to Amazon only if it delivers on its promise of creating approximately 25,000 jobs in each location in the coming years. Amazon will get an incentive package of more than $1.5 billion for building in New York, according to a Tuesday press release.

One New York state program plans to give Amazon up to $1.2 billion worth of refundable tax credits “calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000,” according to the release.

Virginia agreed to a noticeably smaller payout of approximately $573 million, including a $550 million workforce cash grant calculated from a rate of $22,000 per job created over the next 12 years if it creates the “forecasted high-paying jobs,” according to Amazon.

But add in the $195 million Virginia promised to invest in infrastructure in the area where Amazon’s new site will be, and it’s a little closer to New York’s payout.

Northern Virginia residents are already calculating how Amazon’s arrival will affect their rent prices and more.

Critics of the deal question whether the incentives packages are worth it for the cities, where Amazon may have chosen to build with or without sweetening the deal.

“We don’t know what special new subsidies have been promised that will require state or local enactments,” Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First said in a Nov. 6 statement. “We don’t know if gentrification buffers — especially affordable housing — are included. We don’t know if clawbacks or other safeguards are included. We don’t know the cost per job. But we do know that both deals were negotiated in secret, without any public input. We also know that past U.S. ‘megadeals’ have cost an average of $658,000 per job. At that price, taxpayers can never come close to breaking even. Such deals convey a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to shareholders.”

For its part, Amazon said it will spend more than $5 billion to get the two new headquarters locations up and running.

Amazon picked Long Island City and Arlington to help the corporation “attract world-class talent,” founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement in the Tuesday press release. Other locations, including Maryland and New Jersey (both situated near the locations that ultimately won out), offered much bigger incentives packages, reported The Washington Post.

Maryland’s package totaled up to $8.5 billion, while New Jersey’s was $7 billion, according to WaPo.

Those states’ offers were some of the few that were actually made public. Critics of Amazon’s process to determine its new headquarters locations said it used the bait of tens of thousands of jobs to hook state and city leaders and compile loads of information on potential sites, reported WaPo.

The news comes as Amazon preps for the holiday rush and even announced wage increases in October.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Amazon Gets $2 Billion in Tax Breaks for New HQs, But What Will It Cost Local Businesses?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Recruiters Reveal the 7 Best Fonts for Your Resume in 2019

Studies have shown recruiters typically scan a resume for only about six seconds before making a decision on whether an applicant is fit for a role.

With only six seconds to demonstrate your qualifications for a position, every detail counts. To evoke a sense of style, professionalism, and uniqueness, it's critical you put effort and consideration into your font choice.

But, besides Times New Roman, which fonts pass the six-second resume scan? Additionally, which fonts should you avoid to ensure your typeface isn't distracting the recruiter from the content itself?

Use these marketing resume templates to create a killer resume. 

Here, we've asked HubSpot recruiters to reveal the seven best fonts for your resume in 2019, as well as what they consider in terms of design in general, so your resume can stand out in the pile.

When speaking with recruiters, it quickly became clear that classic fonts are still the best options -- when in doubt, you want to make your resume as clear and easy-to-read as possible, even if it means forsaking your favorite script font.

For instance, Johanna Fleming, a Services Recruiter at HubSpot, told me, "I’m a big fan of the 'classics' for resumes -- Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri, Helvetica, and Cambria. I’m a little old school, but I think they are the cleanest and exude professionalism."

Additionally, when asked which font size is best, Johanna said, "12 is ideal -- nothing less than 10.5."

Riley Kundtz, MBA Campus Recruiter at HubSpot, further noted, "I find the classic formatting and Times font to be helpful when reading a dense resume from an experienced MBA candidate." 

Another HubSpot recruiter, Rich Lapham, concurred, saying, "I would stick with the classics like Times New Roman or Arial. My personal recommendation would be Garamond -- I think it makes it look that much more professional. Recruiters have an idea of the skills they are looking for on a resume, so if you try a new style or format it can be tougher for recruiters to find the information they are looking for. Keep it clean and simple." 

Holly Peterson, a Senior Recruiter at HubSpot, also supports more traditional fonts -- "I really like Arial, Tahoma, and you can't go wrong with Times New Roman! Anything that is cursive (or too bubbly) is too hard to read. For instance, I'd stay clear of Comic Sans."

Despite the preference of Times New Roman by some of the recruiters I spoke to, not all recruiters prefer it. For instance, Glory Montes, Associate Campus Recruiter at HubSpot, told me, "For me it’s all about legibility and cleanliness. This means I prefer sans-serif fonts like Helvetica, over serif fonts like Times New Roman. Overall, I would just stay away from a font like Times New Roman. It’s overused and reminds me of long nights writing course papers in college."

Ultimately, you'll want to consider the position for which you're applying when you're choosing a font. To Glory's point, certain more creative roles might benefit from a more unique font than Times New Roman. 

Paulina Valdez Franco, a Senior Recruiter at HubSpot, also supports fonts other than Times New Roman. She mentioned, "My two favorite fonts for 2019 are Helvetica, if you're looking for a clean and classic look, and Georgia, if you're going after a more modern and fun look. The latter is also designed to read well on screens."

Additionally, Paulina added, "Arial and Calibri are great choices if you want to play it safe."

Bridget LeMon, a Technical Campus Recruiter at HubSpot, agrees that "it's totally acceptable (and becoming more common) for candidates to stray away from the resume-norms of Times New Roman and Calibri. Avenir Next and Muna are two great options if you are looking to break the status quo."

However, it's important to note most recruiters I spoke with were hesitant to even offer a font at all.

For instance, Heta Patel, a HubSpot recruiter, said, "I typically don't pay too much attention to font. I'm more concerned about whether the resume is formatted in a clean way -- submitting a PDF is helpful with this, so your formatting doesn't shift."

Kelsey Freedman, a Sales Recruiter at HubSpot, concurred -- "Honestly, I don't care much about the font of a resume, as long as it's clear and in PDF format. I typically only review a resume for 20-30 seconds, so a traditional font is good. I would advise avoiding script font or bubble font, or something distracting like that."

Ultimately, and as expected, your content still matters most -- however, a clean, clear font will help avoid any irritability you might cause a recruiter with a distracting, messy design.

Ashley Hodder, a Technical Recruiter at HubSpot, seconds this notion -- "I think a resume shouldn't have distracting font, and it should be easy to read. [But] what I get most excited about is the content. Depending on the role, I look to see that candidates are sharing direct and compelling snapshots of their work. I look for indicators that show data orientation, autonomy, and thoughtfulness about business impact."

Marketing Resume Templates Download Now



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Amazon Gets $2 Billion in Tax Breaks for New HQs, But What Will It Cost Local Businesses?

Incentives for Amazon HQ2 Locations Include $2 Billion in Tax Breaks

Amazon announced Tuesday it’s splitting its second headquarters between Long Island City, New York, and Arlington, Virginia, and the corporation will receive tax incentive packages worth more than $2 billion to build in both locations.

Incentives for Amazon HQ2

Much of the money will flow to Amazon only if it delivers on its promise of creating approximately 25,000 jobs in each location in the coming years. Amazon will get an incentive package of more than $1.5 billion for building in New York, according to a Tuesday press release.

One New York state program plans to give Amazon up to $1.2 billion worth of refundable tax credits “calculated as a percentage of the salaries Amazon expects to pay employees over the next 10 years, which equates to $48,000 per job for 25,000 jobs with an average wage of over $150,000,” according to the release.

Virginia agreed to a noticeably smaller payout of approximately $573 million, including a $550 million workforce cash grant calculated from a rate of $22,000 per job created over the next 12 years if it creates the “forecasted high-paying jobs,” according to Amazon.

But add in the $195 million Virginia promised to invest in infrastructure in the area where Amazon’s new site will be, and it’s a little closer to New York’s payout.

Northern Virginia residents are already calculating how Amazon’s arrival will affect their rent prices and more.

Critics of the deal question whether the incentives packages are worth it for the cities, where Amazon may have chosen to build with or without sweetening the deal.

“We don’t know what special new subsidies have been promised that will require state or local enactments,” Greg LeRoy of Good Jobs First said in a Nov. 6 statement. “We don’t know if gentrification buffers — especially affordable housing — are included. We don’t know if clawbacks or other safeguards are included. We don’t know the cost per job. But we do know that both deals were negotiated in secret, without any public input. We also know that past U.S. ‘megadeals’ have cost an average of $658,000 per job. At that price, taxpayers can never come close to breaking even. Such deals convey a massive transfer of wealth from taxpayers to shareholders.”

For its part, Amazon said it will spend more than $5 billion to get the two new headquarters locations up and running.

Amazon picked Long Island City and Arlington to help the corporation “attract world-class talent,” founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement in the Tuesday press release. Other locations, including Maryland and New Jersey (both situated near the locations that ultimately won out), offered much bigger incentives packages, reported The Washington Post.

Maryland’s package totaled up to $8.5 billion, while New Jersey’s was $7 billion, according to WaPo.

Those states’ offers were some of the few that were actually made public. Critics of Amazon’s process to determine its new headquarters locations said it used the bait of tens of thousands of jobs to hook state and city leaders and compile loads of information on potential sites, reported WaPo.

The news comes as Amazon preps for the holiday rush and even announced wage increases in October.

Photo via Shutterstock

This article, "Amazon Gets $2 Billion in Tax Breaks for New HQs, But What Will It Cost Local Businesses?" was first published on Small Business Trends



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Actions to End Malnutrition - Dr. Sandro Demaio's Talk on Malnutrition Highlights Some Action Plans (TrendHunter.com)

(TrendHunter.com) Dr. Sandro Demaio delivers a talk on malnutrition that is geared toward highlighting the impact of the problem both on the individual and the global level. The talk features some examples and action...
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