Cloud technology and cloud computing offer a lucrative and cost-effective avenue for accounting firms who have yet to embrace modern technology. Moving accounting operations to the cloud allows firms to quickly streamline processes, reduce costs, scale up operations and provide more data-orientated services.
To remain relevant and competitive in today’s accounting world, it’s vital that accountancy firms incorporate modern technologies to help bolster and enhance client services; so transitioning to the cloud is quickly becoming a question of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’.
As such, many accounting professionals find the concept daunting as, cloud accounting means restructuring the way they operate.
However, the benefits of a move to the cloud far outweigh the complications. This blog looks at five benefits of transitioning accounting operations to the cloud.
1. Cutting the cost of hardware
With cloud technology, there is no need for on-site hardware such as servers or databases. Instead, accountants can instantly access information from a readily available, secure and continuously connected source. This allows firms to scale back expenditure on computers, hardware and software, as a cloud solution accommodates all of these elements and can grow with their business.
2. Mobile working
The cloud is constantly accessible with an internet connection, and having information and files at your fingertips allows accountants to work from wherever, whenever, even on a mobile or tablet - without even downloading or installing applications. This means firms can spend more time focusing on the aspects of their service that matter and truly convey value to customers, rather than trying to locate information.
3. Improved competitiveness
Gaining access to greater technological capabilities, such as process automation, data analysis and real-time insights is critical for accountants and auditors to remain competitive. As processing in the cloud is significantly faster processes and data analysis can be completed quicker, allowing firms to redirect resource and attention to more pertinent issues, such as new business development.
4. Facilitating business growth
In contrast to office space, the cloud has no limits, allowing firms to scale up easily. Rationalising the number of computers and servers frees up office space, potentially allowing firms to hire more accounting professionals.
Furthermore, as firms become familiarised with the cloud and its capabilities, they can begin to offer more sophisticated services to open up new revenue channels for their practice. Data-driven insights, predictive analysis and trend analysis offer excellent opportunities to extend service offerings, thanks to the cloud.
5. Improved disaster recovery
Where a hard-drive failure on a key server could result in significant volumes of data being lost, the cloud has in place multiple fail-safes, digital copies and restoration points. Cloud services store and maintain electronic copies so that businesses can recover their data, plus continuity processes that allow firms to continue business activities on a second server if there is a hardware or software failure. Day to day work carries on as normal; the original server is assessed and then brought back online – with no impact on client services.
The benefits of moving accounting operations to the cloud are tremendous. Accountancy is becoming more service orientated, led by data insights, analysis and evaluation, and transitioning over to the cloud is a massive opportunity for accountancy firms to create and deliver far more sophisticated and engaging client services. Additionally, given the rate of technological development and the slow, but certain arrival of Making Tax Digital – moving over to the cloud might just be the best move firms could make.