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Online Bookkeeping software provides users with a number of different benefits. Bookkeeping software that operates in the cloud can provide even more. Here we look at some of the main areas in which online bookkeeping software can benefit anyone who uses it, from large enterprises to small businesses and even the independent self employed.

Four areas in which online accounting software brings particular benefits are accessibility, cost, maintenance and simplicity.


Accessibility is beneficial to all types of business however they operate and whatever way it is implemented. It streamlines processes, making them more efficient. This reduces the time spent on certain tasks leaving resources free to be used on other projects. This makes businesses more productive and more cost effective.

Online accounting software allows users to access the software from any computer that connects to the internet. Accounts can be monitored and updated from the office or from home, whenever it is most convenient.

It also allows different employees to access the same account profile. A good service provider will offer unlimited account access. This allows the work to be spread across a workforce.

Accessibility extends to accountants. Accountants can immediately access up to date accounts making the accountant/client work relationship much more effective.

Should the primary computer have a problem or be unusable users are not prevented from accessing their accounts information as they would if traditional software was used.


The typical payment model for online accounting software is through smaller monthly installments rather than a single large outlay. This is because it is sold as a service with ongoing benefits but this also benefits businesses by allowing them to spread out the cost over time.

Storing all the relevant data in the cloud also means that businesses do not have to pay for local data storage in the form of servers.

Because online book keeping software is running on a remote machine it only requires that the local machine be powerful enough to run a web browser or similar program. Businesses can invest in more streamlined computer systems that are more cost effective and avoid the inevitable bloat? that comes with the purchase and installation of traditional software.

A good service provider will provide unlimited access for each account meaning businesses do not have to pay out for multiple accounts to allow multiple staff to access the same data.


Maintenance has the potential to become a real issue for any business using computers and computer software. Businesses that do not have a specifically technological aspect are particularly vulnerable as they will not necessarily have IT capable employees on staff unless the company is very large.

With the machine running the software in a remote location and under the control of the service provider many of these issues are automatically resolved.

Updates and fixes for example, are all typically carried out on the server side, freeing businesses from the chore and cost of having to carry them out themselves and potentially having the software unavailable for the duration.

Conflicts with hardware are reduced effectively to zero. Because the remote systems are purpose built to run one particular program, conflicts are highly unlikely and should they occur the service provider resolves them without the service being interrupted.

Similarly, should there be any other problem with the software, it is all dealt with at the service provider’s end meaning businesses no longer have to bring IT consultants in to resolve them locally.

Since the program can be accessed from anywhere and any computer, should a specific computer break down the online bookkeeping software can still be accessed from another machine while the first is being repaired or replaced. Replacing a machine no longer means losing data and having to reinstall programs.


In terms of actual day to day utilisation of this type of cloud based bookkeeping software, one of the biggest draws is its simplicity of use.

Big Red Cloud’s bookkeeping software offers a simple, clean format based on the traditional red ledger style that anyone who has used a paper system will be familiar with.

The program also autocorrects calculations where errors have been fixed and it can carry out many tasks automatically such as tax calculations and invoicing.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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