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Plenty of excitement and enthusiasm surrounds the possibilities of cloud based software and cloud services. However what is not always clear is how exactly these new technologies can benefit businesses and consumers.

One of the main factors that is likely to appeal to small and medium sized businesses is the greater cost effectiveness of cloud based software applications and storage. As an example, accounting software packages might have traditionally been outside the budget of smaller companies. The initial outlay for such software can be substantial and the scale of smaller companies means such a purchase can be difficult to justify.

With cloud accounting software packages that cost can be spread across a larger user base. The central cloud provider can effectively enable access to a single program for an unlimited number of users.

Another factor that can limit companies from acquiring conventional software packages is maintenance and operational costs. Technical problems that occur on a local computer must be resolved locally at the business’s expense. This can mean either hiring additional IT staff or bringing in external IT contractors.

With a cloud based system the operations occur at a remote central location meaning it can be constantly overseen by experienced IT staff. This means there is less to go wrong on a business’s local machines and programs are less likely to have problems. If they do, those problems can be resolved much faster.

Other maintenance benefits for cloud accounting packages and cloud based applications include not having to implement updates and patches locally and fewer requirements for staff training.

Storing data in cloud storage also relieves companies of the necessity for having their own storage. Records can of course be backed up locally for a business’s own peace of mind but ultimately if that business does not want the added expense of owning and maintaining local data storage, cloud storage offers greater data security.

A benefit of particular importance to small and medium sized businesses is scalability. When a business is growing cloud based services provide greater flexibility in terms of expanding requirements.

Traditional software applications might require the purchase of a separate package with broader features. This may involve a substantial outlay, a period of transition to the new software and redundant features. With cloud software packages it is far easier to upgrade incrementally through a modular system. This means that functions can be added as and when needed.

At Big Red Cloud we have recognised the potential benefits to our customers of offering a cloud based accounting package that takes advantage of these features and more.

The lower cost of Big Red Cloud makes it an ideal accounting solution for sole traders and small businesses such as retailers and pharmacies. Cloud services can be easily accessed from different locations by different people. This means accountants can be given free and simple access to account files. Clients no longer have to deal with sending on large numbers of files themselves and try to keep track of what has and has not been sent.

The focus of Big Red Book accounting software has always been to provide simplicity of use to the customer. This simplicity is perfectly suited to the cloud environment. It allows users to view their accounts anywhere from almost any device.

Emulating the red book spread sheet style, the clear and intuitive interface is familiar and informative. Invoices, purchases, and VAT can all be managed in just a few clicks. A few more clicks will produce full trading, profit and loss balance sheets.

Because the package is accessed through the cloud Big Red Cloud can offer customers access for an unlimited number of users. Being cloud based also means that Big Red Cloud can provide free telephone support as most operations occur in the cloud rather than on the client’s own computer.

As well as invoicing, sales and purchase functions, the Big Red Cloud accounting software package provides bank, nominal ledger, and cash book functions. Invoices and statements can be emailed automatically errors can be easily corrected. Customer and supplier details can also be managed and 30 different analysis categories can be applied to data.


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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