One of the major transitions that have been taking place in recent times is the shift of the accounting firms from desktop-based software to cloud-based software. Given the number of benefits like easy accessibility, high security of tax data, and multi-user collaboration, it is a welcome step for the accounting and tax industry.
For a tax professional, however, it is essential to get the most efficient tax software along with the benefits of the cloud. TaxWise is one such professional tax software that offers you advanced functionalities related to tax filing. By hosting TaxWise on the cloud, you can work on the TaxWise software and get the flexibility of the cloud.
However, one of the main hurdles that tax professionals face while hosting TaxWise on the cloud is to choose a cloud provider which matches their expectations and provides optimum services.
Here are some of the factors that you should keep in mind while choosing a TaxWise hosting provider on the cloud.
1. Considering Cloud Provider’s Performance
Every cloud provider is different with regards to the services and the infrastructure. Given that every cloud provider is different, their performance will also vary. There are some cloud providers which offer features like multi-factor authentication, extended storage space, and 99.999% uptime.
Moreover, for optimum output, some providers host your TaxWise software on high-performance servers with SSD storage. The high-end hardware ensures that you don’t feel any lag while using TaxWise.
One should look for these features while choosing a cloud provider for greater efficiency.
2. Variety of Plans
An accounting business can be of different kind and size and might have different expectations from the cloud service provider, which pertains to their clientele and operations.
A CPA should go for a cloud provider that offers a variety of pricing plans with the option to choose and customize according to the needs of the accounting process. Moreover, the provider should also be flexible to upgrade your pricing plans as per your request.
3. Backup and Retrieval
Practically, every cloud provider offers TaxWise data backup and retrieval feature. However, one should always consider how regularly the backup is initiated and how swiftly the TaxWise data can be restored in case of a crisis.
You should go for a TaxWise cloud hosting provider that offers backup for a considerable duration so that you can easily retrieve the data in the case of an error.
4. Disaster Recovery
TaxWise data is extremely crucial to an accounting business. A CPA would always be worried about the safety of the data and its loss because of any kind of disaster.
The reliable cloud providers offer BCDR (Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery), which helps in safeguarding the data and keep the business going even when there is any disruption like a natural disaster.
Cloud providers that offer BCDR replicate the TaxWise data at various locations with the help of redundant infrastructure with no additional costs. An accounting professional should always go for a cloud provider that offers BCDR.
Service Level Agreement (SLA) is a document of standard terms and conditions. It defines all the service standards that a cloud provider has to live up to and how the customer will be compensated if there is any failure in the service. If one has customized their cloud solutions, then the SLA can also be customized accordingly.
It is vital for tax professionals to evaluate the SLA before going forward with the cloud provider’s services.
6. Customer Support
Even though using Taxwise on the cloud is very convenient, there still might be some issues that need to be dealt with. In such cases, the availability of good customer care is a necessity.
Choose a cloud provider whose customer care services are available 24x7x365 and on your preferred medium, including email, chat, or phone.
7. Transition to The Cloud
One might be working on the desktop version of TaxWise software and face troubles while migrating to the cloud. In such cases, how smoothly your cloud provider helps to switch to the cloud technology matters a lot.
In addition, setup and migration of your TaxWise software and data on the cloud should also be taken care of by the cloud service provider without any additional charges.
8. Choose A Future-Ready Cloud Provider
Given how steady technology has been evolving, it’s critical for accounting firms to stay updated about the latest software and make their accounting processes efficient. The accounting processes of a firm might be loaded with the latest software and hardware at present, but there is no harm in considering the future perspective as well.
What might seem completely normal and efficient process today might become outdated tomorrow. In order to deal with such technological changes, the cloud provider needs to be flexible and be updated with the latest happenings.
9. High-End Security
Security is one of the top factors that concerns an accounting professional. Since the TaxWise data is so critical for an accounting firm’s survival, it is obvious that any kind of lapse in security might lead to the breach of TaxWise data files.
When one is in the process of choosing a cloud provider, first of all, they should check whether or not the cloud provider offers security at all three layers, i.e., admin setup (access controls), network setup (firewalls and data encryption), and physical setup (ID cards and fingerprint scanner).
Further, a CPA should take into consideration the advanced security features that a cloud provider offers.
Features like multi-factor authentication, enterprise-level firewalls, data encryption, Intrusion Detection and Prevention System (IDS & IPS), and access control system should be a part of the cloud provider’s plan to safeguard your TaxWise data against cyber threats such as Ransomware.
10. Integration with Other Apps
TaxWise software comprises a number of features to make the tax filing process efficient. However, there are other applications that can be integrated with Taxwise to accomplish complementary tasks. These third-party add-ons can handle tasks such as time-tracking and data conversion.
While some cloud providers do not offer the option of add-on integration with TaxWise software, others offer you only a limited number of add-ons.
You should choose a TaxWise cloud provider that gives you the option to integrate as many add-ons as required with TaxWise software.
To Bring It to an End
The decision of choosing a cloud provider is a vital one. The accountant will have certain expectations from the cloud provider, and the provider shall deliver on them by offering high-quality services at affordable prices.
The customer support of the cloud provider should be available round the clock on all platforms. The infrastructure should be such that the CPA doesn’t have to worry about anything.
The cloud provider should be able to offer the best security with features like multi-factor authentication so that the TaxWise data is secure. Along with that, BCDR plans should be part of the package just in case there is some disruptive event.
What are your thoughts about this? Are you using cloud hosting for your TaxWise software and data? Please share in the comments section below.
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