With many businesses now actively moving to the cloud, the cloud hosting industry has seen tremendous growth in the past few years, especially after the outbreak of COVID-19. Moving your business operations to the cloud brings in many robust features that are incredibly beneficial for organizations.
The accounting industry has also realized the importance of cloud technology as many CPA firms are now implementing hosting solutions within their organization.
So, if you are a CPA firm owner who hasn’t moved to the cloud, here are a few reasons that will change your mind:
1. Remote accounting
With COVID-19 lockdowns stalling business operations, migrating to the cloud gave CPA firms the proper implementation they needed in these challenging times—remote accessibility. You can readily host any accounting software like QuickBooks on the cloud and access it from anywhere, anytime (with approx. 99.99% SLA-backed uptime from a reputed cloud provider) via valid authorization and good internet connectivity. This way, your employees can easily access their data from anywhere, using any device, and work unhindered.
Also, since everything is remotely accessible, you can avoid setting up a physical workspace and hire the best talents worldwide.
2. Quality data security
Accounting firms have to regularly deal with sensitive financial data, which, if illicitly exposed, can cause considerable damage to your clients and your market reputation. However, with the cyber-attacks growing incessantly and becoming increasingly sophisticated, the traditional methods are no longer adequate for safeguarding your data.
But, cloud hosting services from a premium service provider ensure quality security measures for your firm and provide guaranteed data protection. Their security framework is a multi-tier system with advanced anti-hacking tools like automatic intrusion detection, the latest firewalls, AI surveillance, Multi-factor authentication, 256 bank-grade encryption, and modern antivirus/anti-malware.
Also, they have IT experts who regularly monitor the cloud environment and bring in timely updates to strengthen its security.
3. Proactive client service
There was a time when the accounting needs of the clients were limited to simple bookkeeping and accounting processes. However, with the growth of data analytics and its proven benefits, the clients now expect the same proactive approach from their accountants. They want them to analyze their data and actively devise strategies for better allocation of funds. The cloud empowers your firm and helps you in providing proactive client service.
Unlike the traditional desktop environment where data is spread on multiple end-points, the data stored on the cloud is centralized. It can easily integrate with modern analytical software and aid you with predicting future business trends.
This way, you can keep track of all your clients’ data, gain valuable financial insights, and offer them their desired proactive approach.
4. Sheer cost-effectiveness
Unlike the traditional desktop environment, where a firm needs to make a considerable capital investment, availing the cloud accounting solution from a service provider calls for a much lesser CapEx requirement. In a hosted cloud solution, all the resources are hosted on the cloud, and the related expenses like maintenance, hardware up-gradation, software updates, etc., are borne by the provider.
All you need is to pay a monthly subscription fee and manage the end-user devices. Also, as a cloud accounting solution is remotely accessible, you and your employees can efficiently operate remotely and avoid spending substantially on maintaining an office space.
Instead, you can follow a hybrid approach by completing primary operations remotely and maintaining a small workspace for occasional staff meetings and status reports.
5. Unhindered data availability
Data is a crucial asset and plays an essential role in the accounting business. However, many accounting firms still traditionally store their data which can be easily compromised due to man-made and environmental factors like earthquakes, fires, etc.
Even if they maintain an external database for regular data backups, many lack the necessary expertise and resources to avail a fool-proof solution for unhindered data availability. Migrating to a hosted cloud solution brings in guaranteed data availability for your firm. A reputed CSP regularly backs up your data and maintains several data centers which are interconnected and strategically placed.
So even if one of the data centers is damaged, your CSP connects you to another one, ensuring unhindered data availability.
6. Multi-user collaboration
Most CPA firms follow traditional collaboration methods, which are both tedious and inefficient. It usually involves sending copies of the same file via email. In the end, your objective may get completed. What about those multiple copies which now occupy your disk space?
Also, since you have to manage redundant copies of the same file, it decreases your employees’ efficiency and affects their work output. The cloud offers a centralized database for collaboration and lets your employees collaborate without sending any files back and forth. All the stakeholders can access a file, and the changes made are reflected in real-time.
Moreover, the changes made leave an audit trail, which you can trace back and verify in case of any discrepancies.
7. Scalable IT infrastructure
CPAs have to deal with the heavy workload during the tax season and require additional computational resources like more storage space, processing power, etc. However, their workload comes back to normal when the season is over, thus rendering those additional resources obsolete.
While you may utilize those resources again in the future, the hardware tends to become outdated after a few years. Migration to the cloud provides scalable IT resources on-demand and moves your firm’s investment from CapEx to OpEx. Instead of making a considerable investment over and over again, all you need is to contact your service provider.
They will rapidly provide you the required resources at an economical price and scale down once the season is over.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spread across the globe. Remote working offered by the cloud has become a necessity for public safety for CPA firms. It is the right time for CPA firms to leverage the benefits of the cloud.
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