With the advent of technology, the value of information and how it is used has changed the way we do business. Every day a new technology comes into play and changes the dynamics of an industry; cloud computing is a good example. It has changed the face of the accounting industry too.
The stress levels are down, the expenditure is less, and accountants all over the world have more time in their hands to contribute towards profit.
However, concerns like accessibility and data security are still at play. So, why is the tax industry choosing cloud computing today?
Reasons why the tax industry is moving to the cloud
a) Increased accessibility
On-site storage has the liability of immobility attached to it. If speed is what one seeks, then accessibility is paramount. When accountants of the industry can have access to any data, anytime, anywhere, then the choice seems obvious, cloud accounting services.
56% of accountants around the world claim that cloud accounting technology has increased their productivity. Not only that, but according to current statistics, 58% of accounting firms have also chosen cloud technology for increased client satisfaction and referrals.
Moreover, the storage capacity of the device through which the data is accessed does not play any part. So, businesses have the option to choose unlimited storage and versioning to maintain every copy of every document they ever had. That is great for business and client retention.
The rise of sharing apps and websites in recent years has shown that people want to share important or interesting data as soon as possible through the means available. Nobody wants to wait for hours on end to access important information.
Cloud computing gives people the chance to get access to new data from anywhere in the world, along with their on-site colleagues. They can also use it to submit expenses on business trips. This helps people get their expenses filed, approved, and paid before stepping into their offices.
The systems are efficient, cost-effective, and allow multi-user access. This also allows accountants to access real-time information, which makes their work easier.
Recent studies suggest that as more accounting firms and individual accountants adopt cloud technologies, the chances of missed communication and human error are estimated to go down.
c) Save time and money
Cloud software reduces labor costs up to 50%, a new study has revealed. The numbers suggest that if an accounting firm struggling to provide better customer service to its clients in the tax season chooses to implement cloud computing in their system, not only will the workload be balanced, but fewer people will be needed for added work.
More importantly, companies tend to spend a lot of money in buying new software, keeping them updated, getting them licensed, and paying for separate packages on different computers, a cloud computing system offers software in the form of service.
Updates, installation, and maintenance, they do everything for the company. Some services also offer free trials, so no money is lost in the long run.
Cloud accounting takes care of basic data control so that the accountant/tax pros can concentrate on tax solutions. The basic tools can be used easily by the end-user; therefore, learning how a new software works at every step is unnecessary.
A cloud system can handle invoices, expense submissions, bank adjustments, and reporting, which saves a lot of time.
While cloud computing is taking over the accounting industry, data loss/theft or misuse is a primary concern for some businesses. However, there is no reason to doubt the capabilities of cloud accounting over on-site storage because cloud computing ensures that no data is accidentally lost due to malfunctioning devices, human error or device theft.
These cloud accounting solutions in the market have enterprise-level firewall protection, anti-virus, anti-malware, end-to-end encryption, and updated security features. Hackers or unauthorized users cannot get access to any information easily; there are multiple layers of protection and access control in the cloud solutions for tax industry.
If the data stored in an on-site facility is lost, there is very little chance of recovery and a lot of time might be lost. With cloud hosting solutions, tax preparers can have any information at hand even if a disaster strikes because of the solid business continuity features and automatic backup systems are integrated within the cloud solutions.
There are regular backups, and these backups are done in data centers that are in geographically separated regions so that even if one area is hit with a calamity, the information stored, remains safe.
What does the new approach of the tax industry say?
Cloud computing has proven its worth. It has shown the tax industry more efficacy, increased capacity, better collaboration, and new levels of security. The extra pay and extra time are added benefits according to industry leaders.
The profits are increasing because time and effort requirements are decreasing. Less time is being spent on non-billable hours, difficult accessibility, lost information, opportunity costs, paperwork, etc. and more time is spent on attaining customer satisfaction.
There is no back and forth emails to share information, no more constant phone calls for gathering documentation, and no need to waste precious paper for filing of documents. If the tax consultant chooses, then he or she can work from home or anywhere in the world.
Any edits needed in the document can be made and accessed remotely. Gaining a client’s trust has become easier with cloud computing, too, because now everything is transparent to the client.
Cloud computing is bringing never-seen-before benefits to businesses. The tax industry is slowly adapting according to the new changes that cloud technology has brought. The change started slow but has gained momentum in the past few years. There will only be a positive change if industry leaders make informed decisions regarding the changes they want to make further into the decade.
However, this is not the perfect world with the perfect solution. Cloud computing is already evolving to decrease data breaches and data thefts. The increased security measures are proof that cloud computing is only going to get better, and the tax industry will benefit from it.