Technology has changed the people do business in various ways. One of the concepts that has developed from technology and managed to change the world is cloud computing. It involves creating a database for storing and sharing information with various users who can access it from different locations simultaneously. This service applies in doing numerous tasks that include accounting. Experts believe that cloud accounting is the future of bookkeeping. Various counties across the world have invested a lot of resources towards promoting the concept of cloud computing. Kuwait is one such country that is reaping huge benefits, as both small and big businesses continue to enjoy improved performance, better financial management, and efficient service delivery.
The world has experienced a lot of development with regard to the way business is conducted. People have incorporated computers into most of their activities as a way of improving service delivery and achieving efficiency. One of the main developments is the concept of cloud computing (Howell & Crookes, 2012). It entails the use of computer software over a shared network in order to store data and deliver services from a central point. Cloud computing allows various users to access a common database over the internet from different locations (Emmanuel, 2012). Cloud computing helps organizations in improving their performance by storing their data in an effective manner, reducing the operational costs, and better service delivery (Howell & Crookes, 2012). Studies have established that the number of organizations, which have incorporated cloud computing in their operations have doubled since the turn of the century. The growth rate has been necessitated by factors such as increasing accessibility to the internet, affordable computers, a variety of storage devices, and increased competition in the market (Howell & Crookes, 2012). The global telecommunication industry has experienced growth over the years, prompting various software developers to come up with technologies that can help organizations in dealing with complex tasks such as bookkeeping (Emmanuel, 2012). Online accounting is a contemporary concept that has been developed through the creation of computer software that enables businesses and organizations to create statements of various transactions and the resulting balance without the need to physically visit the premises (Howell & Crookes, 2012).
Cloud computing has been used effectively to help organizations achieve improved performance (Emmanuel, 2012). One of the most essential elements for success in every organization is good financial management. This entails effective record keeping and dissemination of financial information to the relevant stakeholders. Cloud accounting ensures that once financial information gets stored on a central server, anyone interested in using it can have access at any time provided they have internet access (Aiton & Russell, 2011). Financial experts argue that cloud computing is the future of bookkeeping due to its flexibility, convenience, security, and automatic updates. Cloud accounting has been changing over the years as new developments keep happening all the time. One of the most notable changes has been the ability to involve more people in the process of managing accounts. Unlike in the past where only a few individuals who had access to record books could do accounting, working with a server allows more people to participate as long as they have means of accessing the stored information (Aiton & Russell, 2011).
Another notable development in accounting software is their availability in online databases (Rhoton, 2009). Numerous cloud accounting software vendors operate servers that can host several clients at the same time. This means that organizations can eliminate the need to buy the desktop versions of accounting software that require initial setups and regular updates (Rhoton, 2009). If desktop versions of accounting software fail to be updated on time, some crucial information can be lost and eventually affect the records. Some of the common online accounting software vendors include Xero, Reckon, Harvest, Intuit QuickBooks, and Net suite (Aiton & Russell, 2011). However, with recent developments, it is more effective to use cloud accounting because of its numerous advantages. Technology experts argue that software-as-a-service and infrastructure-as-a-service are essential elements that contribute to the efficiency of cloud accounting. Infrastructure-as-a-service is responsible for the provision of infrastructure that holds together a data center (Aiton & Russell, 2011).
A data center has numerous domains that can host multiple clients simultaneously. All the businesses hosted by the server share the expenses incurred in running and managing a data center (Howell & Crookes, 2012). This is cheaper, especially for small businesses because they will eliminate the need to hire more people to do the same if they operated independently (Emmanuel, 2012). On the other hand, software-as-a-service is responsible for ensuring that the server is safe, well maintained, and easily accessible by all the clients. Experts argue that cloud accounting helps organizations to stagnation due to lack of funds to maintain an independent server (Howell & Crookes, 2012). This normally happens because of changing market demands and emerging trends. Through cloud accounting, organizations also get to have unlimited access to quality resources at low costs.
Trends in the development of accounting software
New technologies that change the way people do things keep emerging around the world. Cloud accounting is one example of a technology that has completely changed the way businesses and organizations do bookkeeping. Experts argue that it is one of the most effective ways that businesses in the contemporary world can use to achieve better financial performance because they can easily monitor all the transactions (Rhoton, 2009). Cloud accounting applies a single ledger system that helps to improve teamwork because it allows people to work simultaneously (Aiton & Russell, 2011).
Technology experts argue that recent developments in accounting software show that the whole concept of cloud computing is likely to take a new dimension in the next few years (Rhoton, 2009). There a number of notable trends in the development of accounting software that have taken place over the last one decade. First, there is the increased demand by organizations to upgrade from private servers to public ones (Aiton & Russell, 2011). Businesses have numerous benefits to reap from public clouds due to reduced costs and increased access to more information. In addition, vendors have designed their clouds in a manner that allows users to access them using a variety of devices such as smart phones and tablets (Aiton & Russell, 2011). For example, the wave accounting software has helped many businesses to do away with the process of adding data manually because banks can directly feed the server with all the necessary information about a particular transaction (Howell & Crookes, 2012). Secondly, online accounting clouds have introduced the ability by businesses to exchange information between themselves and their banks. This has helped to reduce work of coding transactions all the time, as a single coding is enough as long as the information gets stored in a central database (Rhoton, 2009).
The third notable trend in the development of accounting software has been integration of various clouds with computer software using in bookkeeping such as Microsoft office excel. Other vendors have also incorporated their online clouds with Microsoft office outlook calendars (Howell & Crookes, 2012). Another notable trend has been the development of online accounting clouds geared towards matching technology needs and trends among consumers. In the contemporary world, any online service that hopes to have the biggest market share understands the importance of using social media. Social networking sites provide a good platform for vendors to get reliable customers because users will easily associate with someone who understands and appreciates their needs (Aiton & Russell, 2011).
A number of accounting software currently available in the market uses some of the latest technologies. One of them is Account Edge, which focuses on enhancing the user experience and ease of mobility. Some of the notable features of this software include a sidebar and a flow chart layout (Aiton & Russell, 2011). The sidebar enhances user experience by making it easier for one to navigate through an organization’s information database. The software also has a mileage tracker that allows a business to establish the exact number of miles covered by a car (Howell & Crookes, 2012).
Another example of accounting software used by most businesses is Blue Link Elite. It uses a module that allows users to share information via email or by faxing them to other users. The module also allows users to easily identify other business people and their contact information. The software is currently used a lot in food and medical industries for the sake of tracking expiry dates of various products (Rhoton, 2009). The Blue Link Elite software also allows users to manage numerous businesses using a single portal that has different color styles. Examples of other accounting software incorporated with the latest technology include Microsoft Dynamics, Sage 300, Sage Business Vision, and QuickBooks, among others (Aiton & Russell, 2011).
Application of cloud accounting in Kuwait
The internet has transformed the world into a global village characterized by increased human interaction and a more advanced lifestyle. Despite the numerous challenges facing the world such as global warming and climate change, the continuing growth of information technology indicates that people are smart (Cutting Edge, 2014). Technology touches on almost every aspect of life in the contemporary world. The demand for information technology has further been heightened by the development of cloud computing, which seeks to improve efficiency in business operations (Cutting Edge, 2014). Kuwait, an Arab kingdom in Asia on the northwestern coast of the Persian Gulf is one of the countries that have effectively adopted the concept of cloud computing. The country has invested a lot in the growth of technology, especially in the oil industry. One of the main uses of cloud computing in Kuwait is bookkeeping. In 2010, the country began a new era in its journey towards increased growth in its information technology industry. Microsoft Kuwait in conjunction with Gulfnet communications launched a cloud computing service that focused on helping businesses to deal with their communication and financial management tasks (Emmanuel, 2012).
Some of the benefits that businesses in the cloud computing service enjoy include privacy, security of their information, high mobility, and faultless quantifying values (Cutting Edge, 2014). The most impressive thing about the cloud service is that it integrates easily with Microsoft products, thus making it easy to apply in managing tasks such as bookkeeping. Microsoft has invested a lot of resources in the Kuwait technology market, as it foresees a bright future for the country (Cutting Edge, 2014). The partners aim to improve user experiences through increased flexibility of databases throughout the country. Although cloud computing had not been tested in the country before they launched their service, Microsoft Kuwait and Gulfnet communications believe have been impressed by the rate at which all kinds of businesses have shown interest in the opportunity (Emmanuel, 2012). This partnership created a platform for the growth of cloud accounting in the country, as most businesses established the need to cut down on the cost of operation and improve financial performance (Cutting Edge, 2014). Some of the commonly used accounting software in Kuwait includes Sonata software, Excel software, Click software, and Adlib software among others.
Cloud computing is one of the most effective tools for improving performance of businesses in the contemporary world. Cloud vendors have the ability to sell their software using three models, namely internal cloud, external cloud, and third party cloud. The same models are also applicable to cloud accounting, which helps businesses to improve the process of bookkeeping and reduce the cost of operation. Cloud accounting has a bright future, especially in a country like Kuwait that has good infrastructure to support such developments. Developers and vendors of accounting software have a huge role to play in the growth of cloud computing by ensuring that they incorporate or the latest technology in their products. Technology changes rapidly and thus the need to ensure that all their products are up to date with the latest inventions.
Aiton, W., & Russell, D. (2011). Cloud Accounting- From Spreadsheet Misery to Affordable Cloud. New York: Cengage Learning.
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Emmanuel, U. (2012). Applications and Developments in Grid, Cloud, and High Performance Computing. New York: IGI Global.
Howell, D., & Crookes, D. (2012). Cloud Computing in Easy Steps. San Francisco: Computer Step.
Rhoton, J. (2009). Cloud Computing Explained. New Jersey: Recursive Press.