The 21st century has changed industry forever with the utilisation of digital technologies. Arguably, one of the most innovative developments in technology of the modern era is that of cloud computing.
Affecting both public and private sector industries across the globe, cloud computing has been injected into processes, removing the need for large and energy intensive storage solutions, and providing security and back-up services for businesses and consumers alike - and the accounting industry is no exception.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how this revolutionary change has transformed the accounting industry, and how improved efficiency and security has led to 94% of all enterprise firms across the globe moving their operations over to the cloud.
Introducing Cloud Computing into accountancy is streamlining the ways that accounting firms are able to communicate with their clients. Traditional methods of communication, like phone, or even email exchanges are being replaced by real-time internal and external communication solutions like cloud-based portals and online dashboards from the likes of Xero and QuickBooks.
As well as offering new ways to perform exchanges of vital information, these cloud-based platforms provide data storage to house extensive records and financial reports for accounting firms too, removing the need for physical paper-trails, or expensive and energy-hungry server storage
Data security is not only an ethical requirement for accounting firms across the globe - it can be the difference between success and failure. Staying ahead of malicious parties with data security sees more and more accountancy firms switched to cloud-based management systems every year.
The migration of existing data into a cloud-based management system is a huge roadblock for digital transformation, but there continue to be more and more reasons to undertake the process. Housing your data in the cloud removes the need for physical storage, eliminating the potential for destruction or corruption of data housed in ageing servers by back-ups through one or more remote-servers.
However, theft of data is still rife, even within the cloud. As ever, criminals are staying savvy with the trends of technology, developing new ways to bypass secure data points through the likes of organised phishing attacks, malware and more. The stark benefit of cloud technology that lives on a SaaS platform is that, while you aren’t 100% safe from attacks, the security of your data is now in the hands of third-party experts whose day-job revolves around the evasion of cyberattacks. Bringing in stages like Multi-Factor Authentication, it’s 24/7 security attention that you simply couldn’t dream of with a one-off cost accounting software with a pre-packed security system.
It’s also worth noting that cloud computing is making its way into other industries too, with the need for flexible working opportunities on the rise across the board. Unlike traditional accounting softwares, or even the age-old paper route, cloud-based systems can often be accessed via any secure internet connection.
With this in mind, firms are free to dial down the physical costs of computing and office-based work, and are at liberty to stretch further afield in their search for remarkable talent in a competitive environment - in fact, migrating to the cloud alone can reduce labour costs by up to 50%. With cloud-based systems, accounting firms can start to think bigger than printer ink, toner and paper, and start thinking about office downsizing, relocations, or entirely remote offerings.
To sum up
While there are challenges to face when transforming accountancy firms to cloud-based services, the benefits are just too big to ignore. With an increased awareness of security, enhanced efficiency, and cost-saving opportunities available, we think there’s only one future ahead for the accountancy firms of tomorrow.
If you’re interested in finding out more about the innovations in accounting, or you want to apply to become a member of INAA, and join our community of accountants, auditors, and consultants, visit our join us page today.