There are many benefits to be reaped from the use of cloud computing, a modern platform that is freeing businesses worldwide from the limited confines of the office. The advantages of cloud computing can be applied to many different applications, including accounting.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a platform that is based almost entirely on the Internet. Data is stored in the cloud; a factor that makes much of the physical hardware associated with conventional computing redundant. Programmes are stored in a similar way and are available on demand. Programmes can be adapted for use in a specific sector, such as accounting, and are hugely scalable. An idea of the type of programme available can be seen at www.mclarensoftware.com.
In the old days, an accountant would have to visit each of their clients individually, travelling between various physical locations. This way of conducting business is not only costly but very time consuming and physically and mentally taxing on the accountant. The Internet makes the world far smaller, where intercontinental communication can take place with greater expedience than it takes to drive from one physical location to another.
Cloud computing, therefore, helps to make life much easier for an accountant, allowing for multiple clients to be dealt with via the virtual world in much less time and with far less effort than would be the case in the physical domain.
With cloud computing, on demand data can also be accessed from any place where there is an Internet connection, which can be an invaluable factor in the fast moving world of finance.
Apart from the costs saved during transit between the various locations of clients, there are other financial benefits that can be felt from cloud computing. One key financial benefit is that an accounting firm, or individual accountant, does not need to buy, maintain or replace physical hardware.
Instead, data is stored on offsite, virtual servers, the upkeep of which is carried out by the hosting company. It is also possible for an accounting firm to implement remote working, where individual accountants work from their own personal locations of choice. This means that an office space in the traditional sense is no longer needed, greatly reducing such costs as rent and cleaning for an accounting company. Tips for getting the best out of flexible working can be seen here.
Greater data security
Much of the data handled by an accounting firm can be very sensitive indeed. Should such data be lost or fall into the wrong hands, it could be disastrous for the accounting firm involved. Cloud computing can help to avoid such an eventuality from taking place. Because data is stored on virtual servers there is a hugely reduced chance of physical hardware, such as a USB drive, being misplaced.
In the very rare event that cloud data is lost due to a technical fault, it is far simpler and around four times faster to retrieve than the equivalent process for retrieving data stored in the conventional way. This article, on onlinetech.com, discusses this issue further.