Why You Need Private Cloud Services For CPA Firms
Companies using cloud technology do far too much better under uncertainty. A report was published in 2018, where many small business owners affirmed that using cloud services was up to 40 times cheaper than having everything in-house. Transitioning to the cloud involves moving services such as storage, software, or network infrastructure to third parties and accessing them over the internet. There are many reasons many businesses are opting for the cloud over conventional IT.
Even for professional services, moving to the cloud comes with many benefits, like access to bigger and better systems at low cost, better analytics, improved workflows, and more. This article shares some of these benefits by focusing on private cloud services for CPA firms.
Cloud Hosting Vs. Cloud Computing
Cloud hosting and cloud computing are two different concepts, despite having been used interchangeably in some forums. Hosting allows you to store and access data on the cloud using the internet. The data could be anything from customer records, pictures, video, and software, and you can grant permission for others to access it from any device. It offers more storage space at lower costs than you would get from in-house devices.
We may think of cloud computing as a high-level service as it needs more processing power, unlike storage. You can access software from the cloud, manipulate data any way you want, and save it back to the cloud. The online accounting software used by CPAs is a good example of cloud computing. Both services have a lot in common, and they’re almost becoming the norm in every business.
Why Use the Cloud in Accounting?
Many companies have migrated to the cloud, with public cloud services alone expected to grow by over 20 percent in 2022, commanding over 480 billion dollars in revenues. One of the top reasons for the rapid shift is that it allows companies to concentrate on their core competencies rather than struggling with IT-related activities. The other benefits often include:
- Fewer risks – Cloud hosting is more appealing because of the risk involved in self-managed infrastructure. With less equipment, the firm will have fewer overheads by cutting extra expenses on electricity and maintenance. They will also be spared the need to upgrade machines when they’re rendered ineffective by software updates.
- Leaner teams – Small firms usually want to avoid having many IT specialists on their payroll. To remain competitive, they need to concentrate on having more CPAs and leave tech support to the cloud service and outsourced partners.
- Scalability – Downsizing the business is hard when you have all your services on-premise. It is much easier on the cloud as you only change your subscription. The highly scalable nature of the service means that it will be quicker to deploy as many services as you need when your business expands.
- Security – Cloud services make it easier for admins to control user access. For instance, you can set different access levels on cloud-hosted accounting software using one license. All providers enforce strict password policies and use multi-factor authentication to prevent unauthorized entry into the system.
How to Choose the Right Private Cloud Services for CPA Firms
Going with the right service provider could decimate your costs. They should be able to provide more services and resources when you need them. An ideal evaluation of cloud service providers should include:
You do not want any of your customer’s sensitive records getting into the hands of fraudsters. Review all the security measures the service provider is offering to protect your data and applications. Ensure that the vendor complies with all the security regulations. Before signing up for the service, it is also good to know what roles both parties will be expected to play on security issues.
You want to be sure that help will come fast when you run into technical problems during the tax period. Some issues may not be solvable by chatbots or phone calls, and you will want to check if the service provider has other forms of support. As good practice, always request a dedicated resource to help with your account. Large service providers rarely offer this kind of support, and it helps if you enlist 3rd party providers.
Your current technology environment should be compatible with the provider’s platform. Their architecture and standards should align with your operational processes. If you have to review your systems, find out how much it will cost you time-wise and financially, before committing. If you want a smooth transition to the cloud, opt for service providers who already have experience offering private cloud services for CPA firms.
Every cloud provider may experience downtime at some point, but it is how they manage recoveries that count. Ensure that they have well-documented processes of handling unexpected downtimes and check their SLAs for frequency of service outages. Confirm if they provide sufficient monitoring and reporting tools to help you manage your systems.
The cost factor has many elements to it besides the price tag. For instance, you need to check other associated expenses, like the cost of hiring more skills to manage the systems. You need to review the different pricing structures to find one that does not disrupt your cash flows.
Moving to the Cloud – Where Does Your Firm Fit in?
Before subscribing to cloud services, you need to review your needs and clarify your goals. It helps you develop a list of requirements that you would use to assess prospective service providers. If you’re not familiar with cloud technologies, find a qualified professional to help you with the processes. A good cloud solution should be able to deliver almost any service, whether it is Infrastructure as a Service or Software as a Service.
The Ideal Private Cloud Services for CPA Firms in South Florida
Cloud services allow professionals to work from anywhere and help businesses to save on costs. There are many options in the market, and confusing as they may be, they can expand your firm and improve profitability. If you’re ready to move all of your technology applications to the cloud and allow your team to work securely from anywhere, contact 4it for a free quote.