Cloud in the professional world
As a professional user, you have most of the leading email setups and social media platforms relying on the cloud. From a business perspective, your online storage drives and business applications like CRMs and ERPs function over the cloud. So, almost every possible client of an accountant is a cloud user. As a service provider, accountants have to be available on the platforms, on which their clients are.
Cloud for accountants and other accounting professionals
Rising popularity of the cloud among the clients is not the only good reason for the accountants to make a switch to the cloud technology. There are several other reasons that make cloud practicing accountant better than a traditional accountant. Here are some of those:
- Cloud accountant can access accounting applications and data from anywhere, anytime.
- Cloud accountant does not have to rely on the local device to work on accounting data, saving him the expenses on the local infrastructure setup and maintenance.
- Cloud accountant can collaborate with clients, subordinates, etc. to work together on the same file from different locations.
- Data backup is automatically maintained for the cloud accountant.
- Cloud can integrate better with the online bank and payment account to allow automated listing of financial transactions and reducing the data errors on the accountant’s end.
So, why accountants should not be on the cloud when it offers convenience while enhancing productivity?
How to make a switch to the cloud?
Hosting Accounting and Tax Applications on Cloud
Traditional accountants have been relying on the accounting and tax software that are based on the desktop. They are accustomed with the practices and most of the operations are friendly for them. Making a switch to the cloud might appear a big step. This is where opting for application hosting on the cloud is a fine option.
Here, you can use a third-party server on the cloud to host your desktop application. This way, user interface and features of your application remain the same. The only thing that changes is its accessibility and performance.
You can access the application over the internet and collaborate with any number of users simultaneously. And your existing application data can also be migrated to the cloud with ease. In the simpler interpretation, you have benefits of the cloud at your service without major alteration with the comfort.
Leading desktop-based tax and accounting applications compatible for hosting:
- Sage Accounting
- Drake Tax Software
- ATX Tax Software
- ProSystem fx Tax Software
- Lacerte Tax Software
Citing the rise in popularity of the cloud, application developers have developed accounting applications that are totally based on the cloud. These applications offer a complete facelift from the existing application structure to offer newer features in form of accessibility and security.
However, considering the current status, most of these applications are not able to match with the feature lists of the desktop-based applications. As the intensity of development grows on the cloud, one can expect the things to get better and cloud-based applications are going to be the only solution. Depending on the existing accounting application that you are using, the migration may be a concern.
Such applications are easier for providers to upgrade and maintain revenue with them. So, they are more focused on promoting such applications. To go with them or not depends on the technical efficiency of the accountant, accounting needs and the choice of the solution.
Some of the leading cloud-based accounting and tax applications are:
- QuickBooks Online
- Zoho Books
- TaxACT Online
Traditional desktop-based accounting has gone past it’s ‘best use by’ date and cloud is inevitably the solution to come. It comes laced with benefits that uplift potential and productivity of the accountant. You might already be using various cloud applications in form of email, social media, etc.
You can choose to go with a step by step move to cloud in form of hosting the application on the cloud or you can choose to make a complete switch by choosing a cloud-based application.