Why Accountants are Moving to the Cloud
Cloud debate has largely been solved. Most businesses, especially SMEs, have some form of cloud service in place, whether it is cloud infrastructure or a cloud application. The cloud is now an integral part of businesses and mentality has shifted from hosting location to delivery and usability of applications.
So what are the motivations for accountants moving from on premises IT to the cloud?
Reduced Operation Costs
Buying hardware and maintaining internal infrastructure can be an expensive endeavour, the Cloud removes this burden. Your cloud provider supplies the software and hardware to the firm and manages, maintains and upgrades the entire infrastructure in the background. All this is done via a monthly subscription fee, which is much lower than a equivalent internal system would cost.
Improving Client Service and Increasing Revenue
Workflows are streamlined, giving you more time to focus on your clients. The time spent on traditional accounting activity is reduced and gives you time to provide consultation, focus on business expansion and engage with clients more closely.
The cloud reduces data inaccuracies and assists in the preparation of financial reports, giving you more time to provide financial guidance to your clients and advise them on business decisions. This type of personalised service will encourage small businesses to gravitate towards you, and with the extra time on your hands you will have the time for these new clients.
Security of Client Data
Reliable cloud service providers maintain their equipment and software and ensure that all security patches are in place, so that no data loss occurs. The most common security features in a cloud service include:
- Advanced encryption technology to make your data useless if breached by a malicious user
- Automatic data backup
- High-tech anti-malware software
- Multi-layered anti-virus programs
With a single computer or server, there is a high chance of data loss. But with your data on remote servers, you can rest assured that none of it would be lost or stolen.
But, how do you know which provider is right for you?
The right Cloud hosting provider will transform your profits and make everyday work easier and more fun. The technology will create efficiencies that free your team to focus on fee earning activities and give you time for business development.
However, your business’ intellectual property is your most prized asset; choosing the wrong
company could be dangerous.
Consultancies which mismanage migration or offer poor customer service can create downtime and lose files. This doesn’t just mean your team will be twiddling their thumbs; customers won’t be able to get in touch and data could be leaked.
There are four areas you must question potential providers about:
Data Security and Compliance
With the upcoming GDPR, and the huge increase in cybersecurity attacks over the last few years, a tighter regulatory environment is being implemented. A secure and compliant IT environment is vital for all businesses.
Of course, any fine, even for the most serious of breaches pales in comparison to the PR damage wreaked on a business reliant on client recommendations.
Cloud is often a more secure system then a business can put together alone. But, there are some key criteria to look for in a potential cloud partner:
- The security measures in the Service Level Agreement (SLA). for example, will your data be stored in the UK?
- What they understand about your firm’s compliance and governance requirements?
- Measures to protect data from both physical and cyber threats.
- Data backup and recovery practices.
Performance and Reliability
99.95% is the minimum uptime (around 1 hour of downtime per year) you should accept from a provider. Downtime is wasteful, of course; but that pain doesn’t compare to the stress of a 3am call to say the server’s down.
The best IT partners help you work the way you want to. That means from home or the office, adding and removing service elements as your business grows and offering integration with third party applications.
Maintenance and Support
Cloud IT is not a one-off purchase, but an ongoing relationship. You need to know your supplier offers a long-term commitment to customer service and technical support.
It’s likely you spend a lot of the day persuading clients to outsource. The right IT partner will help you follow this advice yourself; freeing you from the stress of computer problems.
Cloud IT services delivers huge savings compared to managing your own hardware and in-house IT team; not to mention a host of advantages. Many IT partners offer a fixed monthly rate; a relief if you’re struggling to amortise unpredictable hardware costs and baffling software licenses.
There are several Cloud IT companies out there, some charging just £25 per user per month. But can they handle the unique regulatory and business challenges of your sector? finding value is a challenge; a cheap provider might mean compromising on the aforementioned criteria.
IT Farm gives you time to focus on your business by providing IT that never lets you down.
We can deliver these business benefits because:
We continually strive to maintain the highest levels of security, reliability, productivity and support for our Cloud IT service through regular discussions with our network of accounting and industry experts and continuous feedback from our customers.
We always use the latest technology and processes to meet the robust security demands of modern accountants.
We understand that not all Cloud services are created equal. That’s why we will always meet you face to face to discuss your requirements and tailor the system to fit your exact needs.
We employ the brightest people who, above all else, really care about what they do.