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How myths about the cloud are hurting your firm

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

Thomson Reuters Tax & Accounting  

· 5 minute read

We’ve all heard the myths about cloud tax and accounting solutions, including the intimidating theories that the cloud is not secure, expensive, complicated, or not up to compliance standards. Plus, as accountants, we tend to get comfortable with the on-premise, perhaps outdated software we’ve already implemented.

However, the state of the tax and accounting industry is rapidly changing, and firms are having to shift their technology to keep from being left behind. The truth is the cloud is your firm’s (and your clients’) answer to how you can adjust to an ever-evolving industry.

Cloud myth: the cloud is not secure.

As firms, we love the fact that the cloud can eliminate so many, otherwise manual processes. However, with that comes the fear of security and data loss. The truth is your on-premise system’s security poses more of a danger to your client data than the cloud.

Cloud solutions store client data on remote, encrypted servers with the most up-to-date security measures for retrieval only by those people authorized to access them. This relieves the fear of leaving your laptop, and thus sensitive data, behind during those client visits or commutes. And because that data requires authorized access, stolen hardware no longer is a major concern.

In addition, the cloud offers work to be done and saved in real-time. So, you’ll have the most up-to-date version of your files and data to share securely with your clients from any location.

Cloud myth: the cloud is expensive.

In actuality, refusal to update your existing technology could be costing you. According to this study, companies lose between 20%-30% in revenue each year due to inefficiencies. That percentage is likely to be higher for accountants who have manual or outdated processes in place.

We’ve all heard the expression, ‘time is money’. Manual data-entry manipulation and time-consuming analyses are products of outdated systems. Furthermore, updating those on-premise systems takes more time and money, as it often can be difficult and require new software and equipment.

The cloud is the solution, not an additional expense, to these issues, proving to be more economical, reasonable, and efficient than traditional on-premise solutions.  Think of the cloud as a full-time staff member tracking trends, compliance, and industry and tech updates, allowing you more of the time required to execute high-quality tax returns and go beyond for your clients.

Cloud myth: the cloud is complicated.

This cloud myth couldn’t be further from the truth! The cloud makes everything simpler. According to experts, cloud-based solutions can improve efficiency by 25-35%, and up to 50% if it’s a holistic solution. When your tax and accounting tools are working together, all in one integrated cloud-based platform, your workflows are simplified, efficient, and faster.

The cloud provides quicker and more in-depth analyses for your firm and your clients, as opposed to on-premise, manual systems. Unlike those systems, data only needs to be entered once and can be automatically populated across multiple workpapers. Folders, files, procedures, and workpapers can be automatically carried across years, and worked on simultaneously. Accountants can easily identify problems, and avoid future mishaps commonly associated with manual entry. The most up-to-date compliance guidelines are at your fingertips. Furthermore, the cloud offers a simple, quick way of connecting and interacting with your team and clients. The cloud is not at all complicated, in fact, it’s the solution to an accountant’s biggest pain points.

Cloud myth: the cloud doesn’t meet compliance standards.  

Actually, the cloud assists you in meeting compliance standards. Physical inventories, design, implementation and testing of internal controls, and managing risk can all be performed remotely, ethically, and efficiently through the cloud. It can be difficult to access client books and records, especially for clients who primarily keep paper records. The cloud works to provide a secure, reliable solution to remotely obtain sensitive yet urgent information. Plus, you can be ensured you have the most recent, reliable insights and guidelines to walk you through each tax season.

As tax seasons become more complex and clients become more sophisticated, demanding, and enabled, your outdated, on-premise system won’t keep you ahead of the competition. Don’t allow the myths of the cloud deter you from finding success and flourishing in the future.

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