Web-Based Accounting Software
When it comes to accounting software packages, there are many “flavors” for companies to choose from. But the popularity of one particular type – Web-based accounting software – continues to grow at a rapid pace.
In the past, Web-based accounting software systems were primarily for smaller businesses who couldn’t afford to buy the many enterprise-scale software packages available on the market. But current trends are proving that more and more organizations, both small and large, are opting for Web-based accounting solutions to address their most vital financial management needs.
The term “Web-based accounting software” is often used to describe two different types of solutions. Its two distinct meanings are:
- On-site accounting software packages that are deployed over the Web, typically via corporate Intranets, with a browser front-end. These systems are also often referred to as Web-enabled accounting software.
- Hosted or on-demand accounting software solutions that are installed and maintained by a third-party application service provider (ASP), then accessed by end-users through the Web.
A Web-based accounting software package that is installed on a company’s premises and that resides on the company’s own servers can offer many significant advantages over accounting software solutions that are implemented in client/server environments. Some of these benefits include:
Improved Accessibility and Portability
With Web-based accounting software solutions, users access the application and retrieve the data it contains at any time, from any Internet-enabled location around the world in real-time. This is particularly important for those organizations that have a high number of remote staff members, workers in branch locations, or employees who travel frequently.
Ease of Use
Web-based interfaces are typically known for being simpler and more intuitive than their client/server solution counterparts. This is also the case when it comes to Web-based accounting software, which offers unmatched user-friendliness.
Since they are already Internet-enabled right out of the box, Web-based accounting software solutions offer faster and tighter integration with online banking systems, as well as with e-procurement, e-billing, and other Web applications, even those that are owned and maintained by third parties.
In addition to the benefits listed above, hosted or on-demand Web-based accounting software applications can offer additional value to organizations, such as:
Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
On-site accounting software often requires a big upfront investment. But with hosted Web-based accounting solutions, big-ticket software purchases are replaced with lower, more cost-efficient monthly fees, based on the number of licensed users or the number of financial transactions processed. This approach can minimize total cost of ownership and accelerate return on investment.
With hosted Web-based accounting software systems, companies don’t have to worry about installation, upgrades, technical support, and ongoing maintenance. All system deployment and management activities (and in many cases, end-user training and roll-out) are the responsibility of the ASP. As a result, limited IT staff resources won’t be further strained and are freed up to work on other important technology projects.