SaaS: what’s it all about?

SaaS – or software as a service – is the latest buzzword in many industry sectors, but particularly so in the financial sector. This month we take a look at what it is, why it is important, and how it can help your business no matter what industry sector you operate in.

What is SaaS?

You probably know it by its more day-to-day term of cloud computing. Now you are probably thinking about iCloud, Dropbox, Google Apps, GoToMeeting, and many others and you would be right. They are typical SaaS examples and ones that we use on a daily basis. SaaS packages are software programmes that are available to all without having to buy and install them on to your computer. Instead, you license the software package which is then hosted on the provider’s server making it available to you at any time and from any place that you want.

How is SaaS delivered?

As a cloud-based tool a SaaS software package is available through licensing. You buy the right to use the package on an ongoing basis and through a subscription. This can run for as long or as short a time as you need and takes away the need for purchasing a set number of licences for a defined period of time which for many small businesses and sole traders is often an excessive and unnecessary cost. Once you have subscribed you can access the software through your web browser or an app that is downloadable on to your laptop, tablet, phone or any combination of those.

How does it help my business?

We have talked before about accounting software that is available to businesses large and small and from all industry sectors. For a quick refresher on the pros and cons of this take a look at our previous article. When it comes to accounting, there are a number of software packages on the market that will make your life easier, especially if you are on the move a lot and don’t want to have to spend all your precious office time dealing with accounting matters. Manage your invoicing, payroll, and expenses from anywhere or give your team back at the office access to the software without losing overall control or the ability to go in and offer assistance or guidance if they encounter a problem and you are on the other side of the country (or even the world!).

SaaS is here to stay

It is human nature to prefer systems that we are used to using and know how to navigate. However, you would be doing your business a disservice by sticking with the old systems and ignoring SaaS programmes. Not to mention that you will be paying your accountants a lot more each year to do your accounts than if they are cloud-based. Why? Because they will have to sift through every bit of paper you have and match up your order book with your invoicing and payments, as well as manage all your expenses and receipts. Doing it as you go with advice and guidance from your accountant will minimise the heavy lifting for all involved, give you greater control over your costs on a daily basis, and make preparing your tax returns much quicker.

For advice on switching to software accounting systems or to find out more about them, talk to our experts at Hammonds Accounting. Our job is to help you and that’s what we want to do. Call or email us on 020 8249 6328 or and let us help you take the next step for your business.