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Why you should move your accounting practice to the cloud

More Posted time:May 11, 2020 20:27 PM

Accountancy is moving online

Accounting professionals are often divided when it comes to the cloud. More and more accounting firms are moving to the cloud – that's because they understand the benefits such as better mobility and easier collaboration with clients. These are vital when you're trying to build a successful practice that will thrive in the long term.
Most accounting professionals believe that the cloud is the future. However, nearly everyone also agrees that there's no clear 'best practice' guide for moving a firm and it’s clients to the cloud.
It's not easy to go from being a traditional accounting practice to becoming a modern firm that enjoys the productivity-boosting benefits of the cloud. You’re not just shifting your clients and software to an online environment – you’re also reinventing the way you work and engage with those clients.
It's true that your business will be more efficient once you’re up and running in the cloud, but you'll need to get there first. The migration process will be slightly different for each firm, but in this guide we'll cover the main steps involved.

What is cloud accounting?

You're probably already using cloud technology every day, whether you realize it or not.
For example, perhaps you share files using Dropbox or ShareFile, or maybe you use online office software like Google Apps or Microsoft Office 365. Any system that lets you access your data remotely is a type of cloud system.
Cloud accounting software works in a similar way. You use it just like normal accounting software, but with one important difference. Your clients' accounts data isn't stored on your own computer, where it could be lost, stolen or accidentally deleted. Instead it's stored remotely on secure servers. Eg. can be QuickBooks Hosting on Cloud with different versions of cloud like QuickBooks Pro, Premier and  QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions.
This means you can access it from anywhere at any time – from a laptop, smartphone or tablet. It means your IT costs are reduced too, and you'll always have the latest, most secure version of the software.

Cloud accounting can increase your revenue

Cloud accounting can make your business more efficient. It lets you provide basic accounting services more easily – and cheaply. This means your staff can spend more of their time on lucrative work such as advisory services, consulting and new business development.
Companies using a fixed-fee pricing model tend to benefit the most when moving to the cloud. That's because they cut the time spent on traditional services like bookkeeping, accounting and tax preparation. They can then take on additional clients and projects, using the same number of staff.
All of this can strengthen your position as your clients' most trusted financial and business management advisor. In fact you can become a virtual CFO. Instead of simply preparing financial reports and fixing data errors – you can:
  • explain what the numbers actually mean.
  • provide financial guidance.
  • advise on business decisions.
  • prepare growth strategies.
  • identify problems.

This type of advisory service is beneficial to small businesses – and that means higher profits for you. To move your practice to the cloud, read our three key steps outlined below.

Step 1: Start using cloud solutions

The best way to learn any new technology is with hands-on experience, and cloud accounting is no exception. A good way to test cloud accounting software is with a copy of your firm’s internal accounts. You already know what to expect from the data, so you will quickly be able to see if the numbers add up.
Good cloud accounting software will let you set up a free trial. Enter your data into the trial account and check that the software handles basic accounting properly. Then you can compare the cloud software to your existing accounting system.
Look for any major differences between the two systems, including ease of use, workflow and terminology. You can also compare different accounting software versions like QuickBooks Pro vs Premier vs Enterprise and Choose the one which is best for you. Start by doing a basic run-through and ask yourself questions like:
  • What’s different?
  • What’s new?
  • Can I do everything I did in the old software?
  • Do I have to do things in a different way? If so, is it easier or harder?
  • Are there any shortcuts I can take to simplify my work?
  • What tools are available to automate repetitive tasks?

Understand the benefits

Once you've got to grips with the basics of the software, you can evaluate it on a deeper level and think about how you’ll use it. Consider questions like:
  • Which of my clients would this software be suitable for?
  • Which clients would not be suitable – and why?
  • Can this technology be used to improve client relationships?
  • Can I work more closely with my clients using this software?
  • Will it empower my clients to take a more active role in managing their accounts?

Remember that new software can't be learned overnight. But introducing more effective and productive processes will be a big win for your practice – so keep an open mind.

Step 2: Identify ideal clients

Once you're comfortable using cloud accounting software, you can roll it out to some of your clients. Choose carefully, to keep the migration process as simple and straightforward as possible. As a guide, you could consider clients that meet the following criteria:
  • Business profile
    Less than two years of operation, tech-savvy, fewer than 10 employees.
  • Tech usage
    Office 365, Google Apps, Dropbox, smartphone, tablets, other cloud solutions.
  • Industries
    Professional services, creative agencies, online companies, building trades, owner/drivers.
  • Clients to avoid
    Substantial inventory, multiple software integrations, heavy transactional volume.

Small businesses such as the self-employed are well-suited to a cloud pilot program, because the migration process should be quite straightforward. Young, tech-savvy companies that use mobile technology are also good candidates. That's because they probably already understand the benefits of cloud computing. Professional, creative and online companies often meet both of these criteria, making them ideal clients for the first move to the cloud.
But clients that have substantial inventory, complex software integrations or high transactional volumes should be avoided. Moving such clients to the cloud will be a more complex process. It's easier to do it once you're completely confident with your chosen cloud accounting software.
If none of your clients seem suitable, consider your most cost-conscious customers. You can pitch a cloud-based system to them as an economical alternative to a desktop product, since they’ll be paying a small monthly subscription. You could even bundle the cost of the subscription and your fees into monthly invoices. That way they won't receive big bills at various times throughout the year. You can also pitch thema new concept of tax software hosting to host thier tax software on cloud.
The cloud can even help you keep clients that you were thinking of releasing. Sometimes it’s necessary to part ways with a client in the interests of profitability or time – or even your own sanity. But the cloud could end up being the key factor that saves and enhances the relationship.
[Cloudy edited the post at May 18, 2020 9:38 AM]

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1st Reply#
Posted time:May 16, 2020 4:26 AM
Very well articulated.I would also like to understand about the

1.Security features on this product
2.Why they cannot migrate their own products
3.How do you compare the price between On-Premise ad Cloud

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2nd Reply#
Posted time:Jun 11, 2020 18:19 PM
With the rapidly changing business environment, cloud technology allows your accounting firm to reinvent your way of work, evolve quicker and differentiate your service offerings

Updates happen in real time, so you no longer have to upgrade or buy a new piece of software that you installed years ago. In fact, you often don’t even notice when an upgrade has taken place.

One of the best reasons to switch to the cloud is increased security. You’re not relying on one machine to hold all your data. We all know what it’s like when you discover you haven’t saved something correctly, or your computer flat-lines one day. Storing information in the cloud means you are continually backed up, and you can get access from any device with an internet connection.

And consider this: if your laptop is stolen, the thief won’t be able to poke their nose into your financial secrets. Just make sure you haven’t recorded your login details anywhere on the machine itself!

There are lots of other good reasons to move your accounting to the cloud, including:

Physical flexibility – the Internet doesn’t know if you’re in your office on your laptop or at the beach on your phone. And neither do your customers or suppliers. So it frees you and your business away from a physical location. Your work and lifestyle balance just got a lot better.
It’s a time saver – because everything happens in real time and because you can access it from anywhere, cloud accounting software reduces the amount of time you spend having to ‘do the books’ in the weekend. It also means you won’t have to keep entering invoice data manually into spreadsheets. You’ll save a lifetime of hours.
Free trials – any good product will offer a free trial. This means you can try a variety of different products to determine which fits you and your business best.
Remote freedom – it’s easier to have remote employees, collaborate with companies overseas, deliver to customers and share information. Just provide them with a login if you have an application that allows you to share content, like Dropbox.

In summary, The term ‘the cloud’ is just referring to the internet which allows you to access software or applications on the computers that Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Dropbox, etc., own and maintain. One of the latest innovations is the transfer of traditional accounting software you would load onto your own computer. Now you can access it online.

Source: Sagenext

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3rd Reply#
Posted time:Jun 16, 2020 15:49 PM
You should move your accounting practice to the cloud platform because after making this shift, you will be able to get better security for your financial data.

You should know that financial data is the most important data for any company and by choosing the cloud, you will be able to enhance the overall security of your financial data. You will also be able to access your books from anywhere and at any time and this will allow you to always have realtime updates about your financial situation

and thus you will be able to make better decisions for your company.

Along with this, you will also be able to add other employees on the cloud platform and they all will be able to work together on the book since cloud comes with the power of multi-user access and it allows you to add as many people you want on the cloud as you can.