Have you heard the terms “Cloud Computing” or “Cloud Accounting” but don’t know exactly what they are?
This is where information is not stored on an individual computer or your the server in the office. Instead, the data sits on a server that is physically apart from your computer – in the “cloud” so to speak (essentially the same as the Internet). The benefit is that computers are linked to one another, which means they can run the same programmes and access the same information, at the same time. Everyone can access data when they want.
Cloud accounting works in exactly the same way as your current accountancy software package, except that the accounts – and the software to run the accounts – sit in the “cloud”. Gone are the days in small firms where the people who need to do the accounts need to sit at one specific computer because that’s the only one that holds the accounting software and the corresponding license!
What this all means
Things have been turned on their head. In the past, if people wanted to use specific software they would have had to purchase the software and install the licenses on each computer before they could begin. Now, cloud computing allows companies to deliver services to you that may have been prohibitively expensive before and it lets you trial certain pieces of software before you buy. You can access and try our SortMyBooks Online Accounting software armed with nothing more than a computer or tablet and Internet access. NO MORE SERVER COSTS!
The key takeaway for your practice is that you can provide accountancy advice in real time (your clients don’t need to come visit or vice versa) and your customer service satisfaction will go through the roof as a result. You can also bring in new processes without it being a huge burden on your staff (always a sticking point with new software) rolling it out to more staff if and when your trials are successful. (Inversely, it is just as simple to scale down as up). Both imply a huge reduction in upfront costs (Not to mention the fact that your IT burden will be considerably reduced) and a company that is ‘lighter on its feet’, making it easier to adjust your business to meet the demands of your clients and the economy.