If you haven’t moved your accounting practice to the cloud, you most likely believe it is a complicated thing to do. But it’s not that hard to migrate your practice to the cloud, and it will improve your efficiency, save money and make your clients even happier than they are now.
What is Cloud Accounting?
Cloud accounting software is not beamed down from the sky. Instead, it resides on your Managed Service Provider’s (MSP’s) servers and is accessible to you and your clients every day, at any hour. This means that clients can access their accounts whenever they want to and email you with any questions they have. There are no best practices for accountants who use the cloud, but if there were, these practices would address the following facets using known facts. So, what are these facts?
Benefits of Migrating Your Accounting Practice to the Cloud
There are a number of benefits to an accounting practice on the cloud. Let’s explore some of them.
Cost Avoidance and Lower IT Budgets
Maintaining your own servers, buying hardware and obtaining servers are all expenses better managed via basing your practice in the cloud. You’ll no longer need an office-based server or even an IT room, giving you more space to expand your office into the vacated server room at no cost.
Hardware and software are large expenses that you may have to amortize over a long time period. When you move you accounting office to the cloud, your monthly subscription fee includes the cost of software and hardware. Even better, all of your IT costs paid to a third party are deductible in the year they are incurred. This makes budgeting easy and helps at tax time too.
Less non-billable hours is also a benefit as most of your IT staff can work on other projects, or positions can be eliminated.
Reputable cloud service vendors make sure that all their equipment is up-to-date with current security patches and upgrades. This too is included in your monthly expense to an MPS. Other security benefits include:
- Automatic data backup
- Multilayered anti-virus programs
- The highest caliber anti-malware software
- For high-security data, MSPs can provide high-tech security such as fingerprint or retina scans to access parts of your data and software.
- The latest, most advanced encryption technology that makes data useless if a criminal manages to breach your MSP.
- Security patches and upgrades installed as soon as received. But, if the install will cause downtime for your accounting practice it is done after working hours.
Client Access to Real-Time Data
When you keep your accounting practice in the cloud, information updates come in often, allowing your clients to make decisions based on current factual information available without delay instead of waiting to ensure that all data has been entered manually. Once initial data is transferred to the cloud electronically or manually, most of the updates are done automatically. For example, all bank information is updated through electronic data sent from the bank to your MSP account.
Accountants and their clients love the accessibility of a cloud-based MSP. If you can reach the internet from any device, you and your clients can access data whenever you please from wherever you are – this is hard to do when you are using just a PC.
Getting to the Cloud
Make sure the company you select as your MSP will be a reliable partner. During the selection process, ask for references from accounting firms using the MSP – and call them before making a final decision.
The ease of use of the software is also important to investigate. Is the user interface intuitive or difficult to use?
The size of a company that will be your MSP is an important factor when making a selection. In fact, many companies are niche MSPs working with just one industry. Bigger companies segregate practices, so they may have an accounting division within their overall offerings.
Sterling Technology is the trusted choice when it comes to staying ahead of the latest information technology tips, tricks and news. Contact us at (704) 271-5001 or send us an email at email@example.com for more information.