If you’re looking to create a more collaborative and agile accounting environment SaaS can be the secret weapon you need to get ahead. Here’s why.
If 2020 taught us anything it’s that you can’t predict the challenges your business could face.
When these challenges occur, you need to be able to move quickly to tackle them and keep your firm viable.
Whether the future of your accountancy firm involves a move to remote working, a return to the office or a hybrid model - flexibility and speed needs to be built in.
We’ve seen recently with PwC announcing they are to offer employees the chance to work from home some of the time, that the way firms work is changing forever.
Even if firms return to the office full-time, their clients may not, which brings with it more challenges.
SaaS has many benefits and advantages for accounting firms. Not only helping them operate efficiently day-to-day in “normal” times, but also building in the functions they need to deal with rapid changes.
Here are 7 benefits and advantages of SaaS for accounting firms.
- Cost efficiency
A return on investment is always a priority and accounting SaaS – especially cloud-based SaaS – brings significant savings for accounting firms in the short and long term.
Short term, you avoid the large upfront costs of new software because you buy it on a subscription basis. Long term, it helps you plan ahead because you’ll know what costs you can accurately forecast for your accounting software expenditure.
Even more, you also don’t have to worry about the costs of fixed infrastructure or onsite data storage with cloud-based SaaS.
Being able to quickly scale resources up as needed is easily managed.
With cloud accounting SaaS you can add capacity as needed – for example, this is ideal for the end of year tax season, when more clients are trying to get their returns in and you need greater capacity.
During these busy times, you can add seats to your SaaS systems to deal with busy periods by simply adding users, granting them almost instant access.
As an accounting firm you’re constantly dealing with sensitive commercial information both for clients and your own business.
This means you must consistently review and update your security to ensure its meeting the highest standards.
Depending on the software you have, these security patches may not be a regular occurrence. They may only be an annual, manual update.
With cloud-based accounting SaaS, security updates and maintenance are happening consistently in the background and patches are made as needed.
This proactive security management means you’re always protected from potential threats before they happen, rather than reactively responding to threats.
- Rapid deployment
2020 demonstrated the need for accounting firms – and all businesses – to be able to react quickly and bring in new policies or procedures to deal with changing circumstances.
Accounting SaaS fits perfectly into this model because it can be rapidly deployed as needed.
Once you’ve got your subscription you can provide access to everyone who needs it with a password, and they’re ready to go straight away. There’s no waiting for configuration and compatibility reviews.
- Managed updates
Anyone who has tried to manage software updates internally across several laptops or desktops knows what a hassle it can be on top of everything else.
The security updates or the latest version of your software being released with new features, software patches and keeping an eye on new products are just a few examples of what you might need to manage.
The challenges of managing an IT estate becomes apparent when you consider the scale across multiple employees, multiple devices, and more recently across multiple locations.
With the right accounting SaaS, all this IT management can be done for you in the background, leaving you to spend more time dealing with clients and improving your business, rather than dealing with software administration.
- Creating a future ready accounting practice
One of the biggest benefits of SaaS, is that it can be accessed anytime from anywhere by employees.
With uncertainty still looming over whether employees will return to the office full-time, work remote or follow a hybrid model, SaaS is the ideal solution.
You can simply provide employees with a mobile device – laptop, tablet or even a smartphone - and they’ll be able to access the accountancy software wherever they are.
Even if they split their time between home and the office, they’ll always have access to their systems and the most up-to-date information every time they log on, no matter what device they use.
Given that 2020 showed the need to be adaptable, this ability to seamlessly switch between working from the office and working remotely could prove invaluable in the future.
- Better collaboration
There are many reports that extol the virtues of flexible remote working, but with this increased flexibility is the constant challenge of collaborating with clients and colleagues from multiple locations.
Cloud-based accounting SaaS can help you link both mobile and desktop engagements so they can be accessed by everyone who needs them, from any device or location.
This means you can easily collaborate with clients to complete projects.
From communicating and sharing documents in a single, secure environment, to managing workflows and automatically tracking the status of work and projects, to raising enquiries and version tracking, accounting SaaS can help you manage client engagements better in a more flexible and efficient way.
Improving today, preparing for the future
No-one can predict what the future of work is going to look like in the next few years, which means you need processes, policies and software in place now that can best prepare you for whatever comes your way.
One certainty we do know is that clients are expecting services that are fast, efficient and keeps them involved in the process. Relying on more traditional accounting practices will not work.
Using accounting software that can be deployed and scaled quickly, that is secure and enables easy collaboration across locations and devices is the future of accounting practices.
These benefits and advantages of SaaS are already being realised by those firms that have adopted it.
They have adapted to remote working for the immediate future and are in a good position to adapt to the future of work, whether this is remote or hybrid working. Don’t let yourself fall behind the competition.
How prepared are you for the future?
If you would like your firm to profit from the above benefits, then why not take a closer look at our cloud technology here.