The Ascent of Cloud Accounting
As “Cloud-based” systems for software applications and programs are becoming mainstream…
…financial accounting programs like QuickBooks are rapidly embracing this shift thanks to specialized third-party office and accounting-hosting providers (like Cloud9 Real Time) .
According to John McMahon, a developer of spreadsheet tools, typically these are Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) subscription-based Web applications, which provide a solid subset of the standalone product functionality.
Assuming a dependable broadband Web connection, and that the account(s) are kept current, the new cloud approach offers key benefits versus buying and maintaining both the desktop software and the localized in-house server and IT costs and risks.
John McMahon continues at Accounting Today –
Like their desktop counterparts, these online accounting and bookkeeping products can all exchange data with Excel, allowing the import of spreadsheets and the export of reports and data—all of which is of obvious importance to accountants. And because these online packages often lack some of the reporting power and “what-if-scenario” capabilities of their desktop versions, there is even more need for a powerful spreadsheet system that matches the cloud-based solutions being considered.
Because there are many benefits to an online spreadsheet that allows collaboration and sharing, and an ongoing need for desktop spreadsheet programs with the ability to handle larger files—what is needed is a hybrid solution combining a desktop spreadsheet editor like Excel or OpenOffice in combination with a compatible online spreadsheet, working together—not exclusively.
“For cloud users, this means no longer having to lug around external hard drives. For your business, this means being able to toss out your internal servers in favor of cloud-based solutions that can provide security and reliability,” notes Ramon Ray at Business Insider
“We saved over $4000 in up-front costs by moving to an entirely cloud-based solution,” Bottom-Line Consulting ‘s Bob Everett told PC World . “We were also able to substantially reduce our power bill and the costs needed to maintain and upgrade hardware.”
“By switching some or all of your business’s operations to the cloud, you can save time and money by eliminating the need for special software and costly servers. Your staff will increase productivity by being able to access everything from home, as well as while traveling. Not only will your employees be able to access those items, those employees who work in teams will be able to access files from anywhere, keeping projects moving along even while employees are on the road or under the weather. Plus, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing your data is being regularly backed up by a trusted corporation.”
Cloud computing transforms how businesses large and small perform their services. Most business processes can and will be migrated to the cloud sooner or later. Accounting and financial services is one area in particular than can most benefit from cloud computing.
The question is, are you ready to take your accounting firm and clients into the cloud?