The cloud is changing businesses in a vast range of sectors. Accountancy is no different, with the ability to store data, files or even applications remotely proving invaluable to accountancy firms across the UK – and across the world.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the cloud for accountants, from how many accountants are using it to the many benefits for your business.
How many accountants use the cloud?
Despite seeming like a new arrival on the scene, the cloud is already preferred by the majority of accountants. A survey of over 3,000 accountancy firms found that two-thirds already prefer the cloud to traditional bookkeeping. 53% of respondents said the had already integrated the cloud into multiple aspects of their operation, while all of the ‘big four’ accounting firms have already started their migration to the cloud.
How you can use it?
There are various ways accountants can use the cloud. One of the simplest ways is storage. Accountants can store their files or data in the cloud with remote servers, which removes the need to run your own servers and reduces the chance of damage or data loss. You can also use the cloud to back-up your data, storing a copy on remote servers.
Alternatively, to really make the most of the cloud, accountants can get a full hosted desktop. Essentially, that means rather than simply accessing data and files in the cloud, your whole desktop with all of your applications is stored in the cloud.
Is it secure?
When your data, files or applications are stored remotely, it’s only natural that security is your biggest concern. Despite being stored in another location, the cloud is actually safer than your onsite servers in many ways.
For one, dedicated hosting providers will have the best security in place, with expert staff on hand to monitor servers around the clock. On top of that, they will typically use multiple servers to ensure full redundancy for your desktop or data. In short, that means you’re always backed up should one of their multiple servers fail.
Does it cost a lot?
Cloud hosting is more of an investment than an expense for accounting companies. With that investment comes a range of savings, which could actually reimburse a lot of the ongoing cost of cloud hosting:
- Servers – With cloud hosting, there’s no need for in-house servers. That will save you the initial cost of the server, but also the licence required and the cost of maintenance and updated.
- Software – When your data is stored in a secure cloud environment, there’s no need to invest in complementary back-up software to protect your clients’ data.
- Power – Servers require constant power, along with air conditioning to avoid overheating. Eliminating that, plus potential energy saving from employees working remotely, could save you even more money in the long run.
What are the other benefits?
As well as security and cost savings, the cloud has a number of significant benefits for accountancy firms.
Firstly, cloud hosting enables flexible working for your business. With access to their desktop from any device, in any location, employees can work wherever they want, rather than being fixed to the office. This improves work-life balance, engagement and staff retention.
Studies have shown that cloud software also improves accountants’ collaboration with clients, which can be crucial in providing the best service. The same research found that customer loyalty was better among accountants using the cloud, showing just how much of a difference the cloud can make to accountant-client relationships.
Most importantly, cloud software can improve productivity for accountants. As well as the positive effects of better collaboration, there is a significant impact of flexible working on employees’ productivity. That can make it much easier to deal with the constant peaks and troughs of accounting, with several busy period throughout the year.
By consolidating your data on shared servers, you could reduce your energy use by 87%. That could prove invaluable at a time when IT equipment accounts for 8% of global energy consumption – and when 88% of consumers are more loyal to companies that support environmental causes.
Take the hassle out of accounting
At Green Cloud Hosting, we provide dedicated hosted desktop services for accountants across the UK. Our team can remove the associated costs and stress of local servers and IT infrastructure, leaving you free to focus on what you do best. To find out more, give us a call on 0161 979 0691 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.