Every small or medium CPA firm is now moving towards digital transformation. From managing data security to handling software updates efficiently, CPA firms are on the road to augment their abilities.
Cloud computing is a significant platform responsible for the technological advancements of the accounting industry. CPAs now prefer to host their accounting software and data on the cloud of third-party service providers, a process called CPA hosting.
However, one question arises in every CPAs mind – Are the initial costs worth the cloud migration? Does this cloud migration budget justify the benefits?
Here are some of the benefits that will help you understand the benefits of CPA hosting and how they out weight the cost.
We already know that security threats are smart; they are evolving as we speak. As a result, you need advanced knowledge to understand these attacks and find a solution to mitigate the risk quickly. If you lack in this area, your system is exposed to risk.
CPAs need an on-premise IT setup safe from data breaches, security loopholes, and malware attacks. However, such type of IT infrastructure is hard to set up in a small or medium CPA firm.
In the case of CPA hosting, the service provider has a team of skilled engineers who watch your servers all the time for security vulnerabilities. They have subject matter experts to monitor incoming traffic and automated controls to check for viruses, malware attacks, and any intrusion in your server.
Other than this, you get multi-factor authentication to support the login to the cloud portal. You can reduce unwanted access to your data with these advanced firewalls. You also get the power to define access control to data, which means defining which employee can access which data file. These internal firewalls are hard to implement in on-prem architecture.
Advanced security is one of the main benefits of CPA hosting.
If you cannot share critical information with your teammates, you have a poor communication flow in the office. The cloud can help you improve your communication and collaboration easily.
Usually, many CPA firms face bottlenecks in sharing data among team members. This is because it is risky to send data files over email, which leads to security threats as well as duplication. Additionally, multiple versions of these files are created when multiple people send the files over email. There are so many outdated data files that are not properly managed because you need to sort these files manually.
With the cloud, the issue of duplication and data sharing is eliminated. If two or three individuals are working on one file, they won’t end up creating two or three versions of the file on the cloud. Since every user can access the same file from their respective locations, they ideally have the same file opened on their desktops. When anyone makes changes, these are reflected in all the opened file instances immediately. So, only one latest version of a file is stored at any given time.
Considering the profession of CPAs, they need to travel a lot and visit clients a lot. This means that they necessarily require the ability to work on the go. However, such work flexibility is not possible when working on office desktops.
Fortunately, CPA hosting makes your telecommuting simpler and hassle-free. With easier documentation and file sharing anytime and anywhere, you get improved collaboration. Your employees have the power to open their cloud instance from any location at any time with a stable internet connection. Since they can share and access files remotely, they can work remotely without visiting the office.
Take the coronavirus pandemic, for example. The only solution at the start of 2020 was social distancing and lockdown. During this time, cloud-hosted CPA firms had a choice to continue working. They didn’t struggle to get their data from the office computer. They could log in to the cloud from their homes, access their apps and data, and offer services to users.
Isn’t this improving the productivity of the business? The improved productivity that CPA hosting enables is one of the great benefits of CPA hosting.
In the long-term, cloud hosting is always effective in terms of time, resources, and money. You have access to so many features, such as better security, scalability, and productivity. Hence, these things naturally improve your budget in the long run.
For instance, during the tax season, every CPA firm can use extra storage. But you usually don’t need this storage after the tax season. Unfortunately, in the case of on-premise storage, once you increase storage, you have to manage the extra storage because you can’t return the hardware.
In the case of CPA hosting, you can easily scale and descale. This reduces your overall cost of managing your resources and storage. So, in a month, if you use more storage for 10 days and less for 20 days, you will be charged as per the resources used, and the overall bill is still way less than in-house implementations.
Backup and Disaster Management
CPAs deal with critical financial information that cannot be compromised at any cost. However, it takes extra effort and budget to deploy a local backup server on your local premises.
Cloud hosting providers offer you the feature of automated backups. Your cloud service provider has multiple servers in various geographical locations. Your data is duplicated and redundantly stored on all of these servers. Therefore, if one server crashes, you still get access from another server. Your uptime remains nearly 99.999%, and you get the benefit of business continuity and disaster management.
Benefits of CPA Hosting – Summary
Utilizing cloud hosting in a CPA firm is the best implementation in terms of productivity and operational efficiency. You need the right cloud service provider to make your task easier and cloud migration simpler. With the right support, you can make the most of this investment and even optimize your cloud or IT budget in the long-term.
About the Author
Sharad Acharya is a technical content writer at Ace Cloud Hosting, a renowned accounting, and business application hosting provider. When not writing about the latest developments in cloud, VDI, and cybersecurity, he loves to watch movies and ride bikes. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.