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The most common questions I get asked about cloud accounting software, such as Xero, are:

  • What is the cloud?
  • What are the benefits of storing data in the cloud?
  • How safe is it?
  • What does Xero do to protect my data?

So let’s start from the beginning.

What is the cloud?

Cloud storage is a way of storing data on the internet. It’s usually uploaded to a platform which then stores it ‘in the cloud’. It will be placed on a server, which can be accessed from any internet-enabled device, anywhere in the world. 

Increased internet speeds and reduced data storage costs, businesses all over the world are no longer storing software and data on their servers or desktop computers, but are using the cloud instead.

What are the benefits of storing data in the cloud?

  1. Faster updates – New features are constantly being added and bugs are fixed as quickly as possible which means you’ll have the most up-to-date software without having to do any of the updates yourself.
  2. Access your data anywhere, any time – As your software and data is stored on the cloud and not on your desktop, this means you can access it from anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Fancy checking your business finances on whilst on the train? Just log into Xero on your phone. 
  3. Greater agility – Xero itself can integrate with over 700 applications from payment services to inventory management and therefore improve your experience. 
  4. Business continuity – Storing your data in Xero, helps protect you against physical risks such as fire, flooding and power outages. As your data is stored in the cloud it is also easily recoverable even if your computer is destroyed. 

What about cyber-attacks? Is my data safe in Xero? 

Xero is committed to keeping your data safe and the software has multiple layers of security. 

How does Xero protect my data?

You control assess levels – You are in control of who can access Xero and how much they can see. For example, you may want to give an employee access to input sales and purchases, but you don’t want them to see payroll information. Xero allows you to modify an individual’s access rights to make sure they can only see the information that you have given them access to.

Two-step user authentication – Whilst Xero will ask you for a username and a password every time you log in, you can choose to add an extra layer of security called two-step authentication. What this means is that every time you log in you will also be required to also enter a unique code that is generated by an app on your mobile phone. This means that even if your password was compromised, they still wouldn’t be able to access your Xero account unless they also had access to your phone. 

Google provides a free two-step authentication app available to download here.

Identity checks – Just like bank cards, Xero checks your location and computer and if anything is unusual then it will limit the access to the account. You’ll have to prove your identity by responding to an email confirming your location and details to receive full access.

Secure data centres – So, your data must be stored somewhere, right? Xero stores your data on servers that are located in enterprise graded hosting facilities. They are monitored by security 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days. They also maintain replicas of your data in multiple geographically separated servers to minimise loss of data.  

To see a detailed report of how Xero keeps your data safe, please take a look here.  

How can we help you?

At Ellacotts we are Xero Platinum Partners so we can offer you a lower price than going direct, along with our experts who can help you get your account up and running. If you would like more information on how Xero works and how it can help you to run your business more efficiently then please contact Harry Hale on hhale@ellacotts.co.uk or 01295 250401.