Cloud computing is something that is rapidly becoming popular in the world of IT. Hosted applications that run on a series of servers, rather than on a local computer, are becoming more and more widely used. Communication tools, games, business software, etc. can all run in the cloud. But what about nonprofit accounting software? There are many solutions that exist which are cloud based. They have the same basic accounting features that you would find in any other nonprofit accounting suite, but the main difference is that the program itself runs remotely.
For one thing, this simplifies installation and setup a lot. With a cloud based application, there usually isn't any software to install on local PC's, as the application would be controlled by logging into a web page. If a client program is needed, it is usually very light weight and simple to install, as the data and the actual “computing” is all done remotely.
If you run an organization that has several offices, this can simplify things a lot and help you save money on your IT expenses. Any data that is saved in the accounting software will be centrally stored by the service provider. This way, you won't need to plan how the information will be stored on your own servers. The software can also be accessed from any location that has a PC which is connected to the internet. Furthermore, it usually becomes possible to use the software from devices other than a regular PC. This includes mobile phones and tablets. If you believe that you may need access to accounting information while out of your office, this can be a very useful feature. For example, if one of your director is attending a meeting with some stake holders in a remote location and has forgotten to bring the report for one of your funds, he is able to log in directly to the software and retrieve the report, without having to contact one of your employees to do it and then send it to him.
Cloud based nonprofit accounting software can also save you a lot of money based on its pricing model. You can find accounting that runs on the cloud as Software as a Service (SaaS). In this case, you may have the option of paying a monthly fee to access the software, rather than paying all at once for software licenses that you install on each PC that needs access to it.