Goodbye, desktop. Hello, cloud.

In case you haven't heard, there’s a huge shift happening in the accounting world these days. Cloud-based systems like QuickBooks Online, Xero and FreshBooks are taking over the world because they help people save time, eliminate IT issues, and radically streamline their accounting processes. As a result, cloud accounting systems are now the go-to choice for most small to midsize businesses.

If you’re already doing things in the cloud, you know it’s a completely different ecosystem: lighter, faster, and easier. If you’re still using desktop software, here are five reasons to consider making the switch:

1. Easier to deploy

No more PCs, servers, or software upgrades. Cloud accounting systems are easy to set up, work on any device, and require minimal IT expertise or maintenance.

2. bank feeds

Nobody likes data entry. Cloud-based systems allow you to automate huge portions of your manual bookkeeping work by using things like bank feeds, auto-coding rules, and online invoicing.

3. unlimited access

With a cloud accounting system, you can access your system and work from anywhere you want: home, office, wifi hotspot, small cabin in the woods, you name it. Plus, multi-user access is built right in.

4. real-time financials

Thanks to bank feeds, it's easier than ever to keep your books accurate and up-to-date at all times. As a result, you can get financial reports whenever you need them (not just at the end of the month).

5. scalability

The app ecosystem allows you to start with a basic accounting system and then add more functions when you need them: payroll, time tracking, A/P and A/R management, POS systems, e-commerce add-ons, etc.

If you’re starting a new business from scratch, cloud accounting is practically a no-brainer. It's faster, easier, and more efficient than desktop software. If you have an established business and you're thinking of moving to the cloud, it will involve some conversion costs and a 2-4 month learning curve — but the payoff will be worth it. The bank feeds and unlimited access alone will make you glad you switched.