Software as a Service (SaaS) and/or cloud solutions offer a number of compelling benefits to CPAs who are ready and willing to adopt them.
A move to the Cloud using SaaS solutions allows you to keep current with the latest in both technology and accounting practices.
If your Los Angeles CPA firm has been hesitant to migrate your applications to the Cloud, here are five of the best reasons to consider making the jump.
1. Spend Less Time on Technology, More Time on Your Business
When you manage your client files with an on premise software application, there a number of technology concerns you have to address. Things like:
- Managing and controlling access by employees whether in the office or remotely
- The cost of managing and maintaining a backup system for client files
- The cost and effort of dealing with upgrades. The cloud version of your accounting or productivity software is always current. If there are changes in tax laws or accounting best practices, your SaaS vendor will make these changes centrally.
2. Share Files with Your Clients Online, Empower Them to Be More Organized
Getting a packed file folder every month, or a shoebox full of receipts at tax time from your clients is always a chore. Getting your clients to subscribe to an application which allows you to share scanned documents, month end financials, and other data can take some of the last minute stress off your shoulders.
It also provides your clients with a better understanding of the value you bring to the table. Instead of having to travel to a client’s location, you can have a conversation with them, collaborate on their ongoing financial data in the cloud, and save in-person meetings for when it is really necessary. Your client can:
- Take a photograph of receipts with their smartphone and upload them to their accounting app
- For contractors or service related businesses, accurate time logs can be kept and billing can be done accordingly. No more guesswork or paper timesheets to be lost or forgotten.
With many cloud based accounting apps, your clients can invoice and be paid online. They can submit organized, efficient reports for you to track and manage. Consider this: leveraging technology like this adds a significant amount of “stickiness” to your client relationship.
3. Managed Effectively, Cloud is a More Secure Choice
Establishing access control to employees in order to only access specific client files is fast and easy. Should an employee leave your firm, turning off their access to firm data can be managed efficiently as well. Cloud security has always been a widely debated hot topic.
However when managed effectively at a firm and employee level, the Cloud can be a secure choice. Cloud vendors have much deeper pockets for firewalls, Intrusion Prevention Systems, and other network security. Your firm’s network security might be an easier target for a sophisticated hacker. However, the less files on your network, the lower the risk you’re managing.
4. Software Interoperability is Getting Easier with Cloud Services
Most of the major cloud accounting solution vendors have a “marketplace” of complementary solutions which can make your job easier. Instead of trying to patch together your email with your accounting software, or your invoicing system with your document management software, web services plugins can “snap together” complementary systems with secure, reliable interfaces.
Customer Relationship Management systems can interface with your accounting systems, so you don’t have to duplicate data entry into multiple systems to keep management on top of your client interactions. Some cloud accounting tools allow CPAs to see their entire client roster in a central console, as opposed to jumping in and out of individual client files.
5. Cloud Accounting Solutions have Lower TCO than on Premise Software
Even over a long term period, cloud subscriptions are more affordable when all of the hardware, utility, software license, maintenance, and productivity costs are taken into consideration. This is especially true for accounting firms who work with small and medium businesses.
Many of the accounting software firms offer advisory certification programs for CPAs who are willing to help their clients move to the Cloud. Online is ultimately the evolution for most accounting software companies, so being proactive as opposed to reactive is definitely the way to go.
Are you still unsure as to whether a move to the Cloud is right for your firm? Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free guide, 12 Ways for CPA Firms in LA to Utilize Technology More Efficiently.