How to Manage Your Accounting Data on the Cloud?
As discussed in the previous article of this series, the cloud accounting has a number of advantages over the desktop accounting solutions. From cost and investment to performance and futuristic needs, the cloud has a lot to offer for the business accounting while the desktop version has a limited offering.
Independence from local hardware with hosting solutions gives the user not just the better accessibility to their data, but it also enhances the data management methods. In this article, we will look at how you can manage the accounting data on the cloud.
Though the overall usability of the accounting applications does not change with the cloud, managing accounting data is a slightly different case. Accessibility from anywhere, anytime even when data is not present on the local device changes the dynamics of the storage and sharing.
Moreover, real-time change tracking and instant backup increase the management capabilities for the businesses and CPAs. Here is how you can manage the accounting data effectively on the cloud:
1. Handling Multiple Company Files for Different Clients
For accountant and bookkeepers, the cloud brings some great pleasantries and working with the multiple company files at the same time is one of them. With the accounting applications such as QuickBooks, the option of working on multiple company files simultaneously is not available with all the versions.
But cloud hosting can enable this option for any version of the application. Now this feature adds to your productivity but it will also demand an increased amount of storage and processing capacity of the hosting server.
For the best performance when working on the multiple company files, it is important to pick the right resources, such as – RAM, storage space, etc. As a newbie with the cloud, you might not be able to take the right call with the required resources and going to the tech consultant can be an expensive idea.
So, the better and affordable option is consulting the support team of the hosting provider to finalize the resource requirement.
2. Managing Customer Data and Its Access
On the cloud, all the accounting data is available globally over the internet connected devices. As an accountant, you can have access to the accounting data of a number of different clients, but all of them cannot have the access to your entire data. Every client should only be restricted to their own data. In case you do not manage them well, your clients might not find your abilities reliable.
Adding users and managing their access are built-in features of the hosting services. All you need to do is using the feature with a little care. Structurize the accounting data for each client. Try to store the different company files in different folders with their specific name and use the same names while setting up users.
This will cut down the confusion to some extent. Setting up users is hectic when you initially shift to the cloud. Later on, it is an occasional instance. So seeking the help of support experts of hosting provider is again a good option to go with.
3. Migrating Data from Desktop to Cloud
As you move to the cloud, you will have to take the entire accounting data collected after years of practice with you. Adding a new client will require you to move their data to your cloud. Apart from that switching from hosting provider to another will take some doing.
The importance of the accounting data can never be overstated. Losing data while migration is a very rare instance, but one cannot take the chances. Hence, be sure that while you move this entire data, you do not lose any bit of it.
Being safe with the data migration is pretty simple. Create the latest backup of the data before migration to ensure that you have the copy of data and then begin with the migration. As the migration process is running, avoid making changes to the data.
Let all your users know about it in advance and ask them not to access the data while migration. Schedule the migration when you least require to work on the data. Late night hours are preferred timings for most.
4. Data Backup and Recovery
Data backup is one of the most acclaimed practice to keep the digital data safe. Cloud accounting maintains the multiple versions of data backup automatically to track all the changes with the data. Most of the application hosting providers backup the data daily and keep it for 30 days. The user can take the copy of the backup on a local device or other cloud locations if required.
In the case of data loss or any unwanted change with the data, the backup can be restored. Like other features of the cloud-based services, data backup and recovery is also available regardless of location or time.
5. Data Security
Being on an unsafe network can make the way for intruders to attack your applications on the data. Citing the threats with the cloud, most of the reliable hosting providers follow the intense security practices, such as – antivirus, firewall, end-to-end encryption, intrusion detection systems, etc.
Always opt for the hosting provider that assures to provide top-notch security under a signed Service Level Agreement.
As a cloud user, there are certain responsibilities for you as well. Ensure that your end-device is safe and free from malware. Keep your passwords protected and change them regularly. Avoid connecting to public networks with vulnerable security. Moreover, share these practices with all the users on your cloud application.
For almost all the data management practices, the support solutions of the hosting providers should be able to help you out and there is no harm in taking their help. Certain providers charge for the support services that might bite you on the pocket.
So, the better option is to go with the providers that offer support services for free. While recommending the resource requirements, the support team may ask you to go for more resources than actually required to gain on billing. To keep an eye on that you can track the resource utilization using QoS load balancing.
Coming Up Next
In the coming article of this blog series, we will explain in detail the “Best Practices to Manage the Multiple-Users on the Cloud“. You can subscribe to receive article updates via email. Shall there be any query or suggestion regarding the blog series, you can post it in the comments below.