Cloud-computing is a term used to describe the delivery of tools and services via the internet. Where traditionally companies invested in the hardware and infrastructure necessary for an onsite data server and IT capabilities, many are now seeing the benefits of cloud-based technology.
The considerable savings that can be made with cloud computing have inspired an increase in cloud adoption across numerous industries. A rising number of software programs for business planning, and accounting activities are now run in the cloud.
Accounting for Cloud
Accountants may at one time have viewed this technology and these online applications as a threat to their traditional business. However, accountants are now appreciating that cloud technology also offers advantages and opportunities to them.
Cloud accounting with its sophisticated and smart technologies means that accountants can get more done in the same amount of time, by optimising their traditional ways of working. Previous trepidations over security breaches are becoming less of a concern, with large suppliers of cloud technology able to afford first-rate security and recovery systems. This is an investment that is often outside the scope of small business and local data centre budgets.
For obligatory financial reporting purposes, every business will at some point need to reconcile inventory with accounting. Online inventory management tools and cloud-based accounting programmes easily integrate to reduce the risk of errors and delays in delivering these financial reports.
Transforming Data Collection
Cloud computing transforms the way client information is collected, making it easier for accountants to collect a business’ financial data. Banking transactions can be automatically transferred to the accounting software and customers can instantly scan and upload receipts using their mobile phone.
No more getting bogged down in data, and gone is the need to sit down and manually sort through shoe boxes of client receipts. With cloud systems, data is available anywhere at any time, providing greater flexibility for both the accountants and their clients.
The advantages cloud computing has over office-based accountancy software are many – it makes it easier to work remotely and information can be readily accessed anywhere with an internet connection, by browser, mobile phone application, laptop or tablet.
Just as online inventory management has revolutionised inventory control, cloud accounting can change the way accountants do business. They can visit their client’s home or office and are able to access and examine client data and see exactly what is happening in their client’s business in real time.
The upfront savings on capital expenditure can be significant. By utilising cloud technology, you reduce spending on costly hardware, infrastructure and data centres. Software updates and the ability to increase capacity happen easily, allowing you to quickly adapt to changing needs while saving you both time and resources.
Other opportunities for ongoing savings include the cost of employing dedicated IT support and the technical staff needed to maintain equipment. You save on the space required to house your server room and overhead costs such as maintenance, power, light and temperature control.
Accountants can run the numbers, but many are now realising that the accounting profession, with cloud technology, does have the capacity to change.