Technology is driving an increasing trend of outsourcing corporate management functions, including accounting. Globalization and technology demand businesses to focus on core business functions; thus, the popularity of outsourcing non-business functions started to multiply in recent decades.
This scenario presents a tough challenge to accountants as they now have to maintain a high quality of service across many clients. Those who are stuck with old accounting methods are creating an uncontrollable burden for themselves and not bringing good name to this profession. Such accountants are not fit for the circumstances and ideas of the present age.
Clients are expecting a rapid and accurate flow of information for efficient decision making. Thus, expectations of clients from accountants have increased manifold.
Progress in technology, such as the internet and cloud services, has made it easier for the accountants to overcome said challenges and efficiently manage the clients’ expectations.
Modern BI solutions with cloud platforms enable accountants to deliver sophisticated reporting, planning, and analysis services.
Before discussing how accountants use modern cloud solutions to help clients, let’s understand cloud accounting basics.
Cloud Accounting Basics
One of the first questions people ask is, “what is a cloud?”. Essentially cloud enables you to access the software as a service commonly referred to as SaaS over the internet. So, you are no longer buying disks and installing them onto a computer. You subscribe to cloud services on a monthly or annual basis. If you are accessing internet services using smartphones, laptops, iPods, iPhones, or Android, you might already be using cloud services. Think of Dropbox and GDrive.
Accountants can advantageously use modern cloud solutions to help clients in the following ways:
Provide greater Flexibility, Convenience, and Efficiency
Cloud technology helps accountants to access accounting data anywhere, anytime, thereby assisting accountants to better collaborate with clients’ staff and colleagues working in multiple locations. Timely updating of accounting data helps business owners view real-time progress from any time. All this adds to convenience and efficiency.
Some cloud accounting solutions allow multiple-entities to be managed at once. Thus, isolated business units and multiple clients can be centrally managed. Accountants use automated integration tools to load their clients’ data into a centrally hosted, multi-tenant solution where they provide high-quality templates for reporting. This results in the delivery of more valuable consultation beyond just bookkeeping.
Save Cost and Time
Traditional accounting models require a substantial upfront cost to create and maintain IT infrastructure and need employees to manage this. Cloud services reduce the cost and time associated with the infrastructure and need for in-house IT staff. Also, the cloud services provider handles servers and software maintenance.
One of the most important benefits of cloud accounting is collaboration. Multiple accountants can work on the same set of data from anywhere. They just need access to the internet. This means that a business owner can look into the same files and discuss what needs to be done with accounting or business advisors.
Use the Updated Accounting Process
With cloud accounting services, the client does not need to install periodic updates. They happen automatically. Thus, accountants are sure that they are working on updated versions all the time.
Offer Productivity Gains
Cloud accounting allows accountants to work together, saves time, is easy to use, provides automated functionalities, and includes highly efficient reporting. This results in productivity to improve drastically.
Offer an increase in Revenue
More companies are moving IT solutions to the cloud instead of owning software licenses outright. Reasons are clear: More flexibility, cost savings, and scalability. As accounting can now be done remotely at a fraction of the cost of maintaining full-fledged accounting functions, all the efficiency, cost-saving, and focused decision making translates to an increase in revenue for businesses.
Provide Superior Accounting Services
Most cloud accounting services are often highly integrated, allowing accountants to access all real-time data from various functions. These services are usually built out modularly to adapt to multiple business models. Accountants use cloud services to provide superior invoice processing, efficient supplier payments, timely and accurate reconciliations such as inventory to GL, Receivables to GL, Payable to GL.
As cloud accounting services are often elementary, the possibility of errors in accounting is far less than traditional accounting methods.
Cloud accounting services are built around the best practices and often updated without further cost to the client.
Secure Data of the Client
Every accountant is concerned about the safety of the clients’ data. Now, the accountants are more comfortable tackling with clients’ data due to the protection involved in adopting cloud services. Cloud accounting solutions provide a more secure method of storing and sharing financial information than traditional accounting software. For instance, critical data that is saved in a company computer can be stolen, or failure of hardware can cause loss of essential data. By using cloud accounting services, accountants leave no trace of financial data on company hard drives, and access to data is highly encrypted and password protected.
With cloud accounting, sharing data is also less risky and less troublesome. Accountants can share information securely using unique passwords and allowing relevant user permissions only. Traditional methods often involve sharing data in hard form or flash drives to transport data, which could be lost or stolen.
Cloud providers usually have cold and hot storage backup servers in various locations. In case of any disaster, such as loss due to fire and technical malfunctions, accountants can quickly recover the information and avoid enormous losses for their client.
Ensure Client Satisfaction
Traditionally, accountants use accounting methods that were slow and lagging behind reality. Modern accountants are more successful in achieving client satisfaction as real-time data processing results in better decision-making. Business owners can make better decisions anytime, anywhere faster than ever. Accountants need to embrace cloud technology in their business model to meet consumer demands, firm’s productivity, and competitiveness.
For several years, accountants all over the UK, including accountants in Walsall, have evolved tremendously. The clients are, therefore, putting a higher level of trust in them. Those who are not changing will realize their mistake sooner or later.