How is cloud accounting going to change the industry?
This article originally posted on The Daily CPA
Up until a few years ago, cloud technology was considered a rarity, a fad. But not anymore. From smartphones to live music streaming, we personally use the cloud on a daily basis, even if we are not conscious about it.
The accounting industry is also moving toward the cloud, and fast.
According to a 2018 Sage report, 67% of accountants across the globe prefer cloud accounting. In the US alone, 56% of CPA firms used cloud-based software in 2016 as compared to only 48% in 2014. [National Management of an Accounting Practice]
Better security for sensitive data, elimination of paper-based processes, excellent connectivity with global teams and clients, and transparency in work are just some of the benefits of working in the cloud.
You will even find an increasing number of accounting outsourcing companies in India are switching to cloud so that can work better with their clients in the world.
Let us take a detailed look at how cloud accounting is changing the industry:
It enables greater flexibility and convenience to work.
Thanks to online communication tools like Slack and Trello, accountants can work remotely. Look around you, and you will notice some CPA firms moving out of their office space to become one global remote company.
That’s possible today as you don’t need to have a face-to-face meeting with your clients nor do you need your entire team to be under the same roof, let alone in one country for work.
You can access your firm’s data without being tied to a specific device or location. The cloud also extends online access to your clients so that they can view and edit their data, in real-time, from anywhere.
CPA firms working with accounting outsourcing companies in India find it easier to coordinate and manage deadlines because of the cloud.
A stable internet connection and video conferencing tool can get the job done!
It is cost-effective
When compared to on-premise software, any cloud accounting tool will be a lot cheaper! The former comes with hardware costs, software license expenses, maintenance and storage fees, and much more.
But to use the cloud, you only have to pay a subscription fee, depending upon the features and number of users you sign up in the billing period. In a nutshell, it reduces administration and system maintenance costs with the cloud vendor handling everything for you.
It is safe and reliable
Security is paramount for accountants as the entire job revolves around sensitive client data. But the rapid adoption of cloud technology has put more focus on safety and reliability.
The data is hosted in various parts of the world at a high-security data centre. 24/7 physical and digital security is used by banks, and there is a full backup of the data centre, stored in different locations in different countries to reduce the likelihood of losing important data.
Choose a reputable vendor who has been in the business for at least five years and has had zero security breaches. Do your homework before you take a call.
Many accounting outsourcing companies in India boast of a reliable firewall since they deal with sensitive information all the time.
It ensures a steeper learning curve
Cloud accounting has nudged the accountants not only to learn how to use cloud-based apps but also to gain experience in managing technology and advising clients. The days of offering limited services are slowly fading.
CPA firms are now looking to up-sell and offer advisory services so that they can become a one-stop-shop for all accounting needs for their clients.
The scope of work for accounting outsourcing companies in India has also widened for ensuring the tech stack of CPA firms always functions optimally.
It provides job security for the future
The role of an accountant will evolve once bookkeeping and payroll services get fully automated. The shift, as I mentioned before, will happen towards being more of an advisor, a people person.
So if your CPA firm has already started offering advisory services and including high-grade functions like budget and audits, that will help you in future-proofing your career.
Work with any accounting outsourcing companies in India, and you will realize how much time you can save to focus on setting up more profitable services in your CPA firm.
Where are we headed over the next few years?
Some experts say AI and machine learning will change the way users interact with accounting tools. Look at how consumers are communicating with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant at home.
Therefore, it’s pretty much a given in the accounting world.
Picture via Handpicked Accountants