The shift to cloud computing in the accounting industry is well underway. In a recent survey by the CPA Firm Management Association (CPAFMA), 65% of respondents predicted that accounting firms will operate entirely online in just five years or less Are you ready to join the migration and modernize your accounting practice? If not, taking a look at the benefits and uses of cloud-based accounting software may change your mind.  

Cloud-based Accounting Software: What is “the cloud,” anyway? 

You won’t find this cloud in the sky…  

Software that’s based in “the cloud” runs off of a network of secure servers that are maintained and operated in a secure data center. (Think: the biggest room you’ve ever seen, filled wall-to-wall with computers.)  

These data centers and the servers that fill them are fully remote. The documents, software, and other information that you access “on the cloud” won’t be stored on your local computer or server (unless you choose to back up your data locally).   

Users pay a cloud service provider, like Mango Practice Management, a monthly or annual fee to remotely view and edit information or access software functions. Meanwhile, the provider is responsible for the physical servers as well as cybersecurity.   

What can accountants do on the cloud? 

Why are so many accounting firms switching to the cloud? For starters, the utility of cloud computing is unmatched. Accountants can use the cloud for a multitude of everyday accounting tasks, such as reviewing clients’ financial data, accessing tax preparation software, and collaborating with clients and colleagues on documents.  

Store and access client data 

With cloud-based storage solutions, accountants can keep their data on secure servers instead of on their own devices. This makes it easier (and safer) to store, access, and share data and files with team members and clients. 

Run applications 

Instead of sacrificing storage space to download software to local devices, accountants can run accounting, auditing, and tax preparation software from the cloud.  

Collaborate on documents 

Cloud-based tools like Google Drive or Microsoft Office 365 facilitate teamwork between accountants by allowing multiple users to access and work on a single document at the same time. 

Run analytics 

Accountants can use the cloud’s vast resources to research clients and unlock fresh insights about financial trends, business, and more. 

Benefits of working on the cloud 

The cloud streamlines internal workflows, improves communication with your clients, and makes it easier for members of your firm to collaborate. It also improves data protection by providing more robust security measures. 

82% of accountants say that clients are becoming more demanding. If you want your firm to keep up with clients’ changing expectations, you can’t afford to miss out on these benefits of cloud computing.  

Low training costs  

Most of your employees already use software that is based in the cloud, from their email provider to their online banking. It’s a familiar setup. As a result, making the switch requires little to no re-training time.  

Fewer errors 

Cloud-based accounting software, like Mango, comes with built-in checks and customizable access rights to improve the accuracy of your work. What’s more, Mango allows you to automate many tasks that would otherwise need to be performed manually—another function that improves accuracy.  

Less time troubleshooting 

Even if you have an internal IT team, maintaining servers and handling software subscriptions can be challenging. With cloud-based software, your service provider is responsible for a vast majority of tech support. As a result, you spend less time on IT and more time focusing on client service, strategic work, and business growth initiatives.  

Real-time data 

Cloud-based software includes built-in data mining and analytics. You’ll get a real-time look at your firm’s performance, because there’s no need to sync software or transfer client, billing, or productivity data from a localized hard drive.  

Integrated applications 

Cloud-based versions of the software you use every day integrate easily with your favorite tools —Mailchimp, Google Calendar, and UltraTax CS, to name a few.  

Scales with your firm 

Cloud services can be adjusted to fit your firm’s growth and changing priorities. Upgrade to different tiers of your software as you grow so that you can keep your software budget right-sized at all times.  

Remote accessibility 

Clients can amend their financial data and track real-time account changes from any device, at any time. Plus, the cloud enables accountants from all over the world to work together, as long as they have an internet-connected device.  

Higher privacy and security measures 

Every year, cybercrime costs small and medium-sized businesses more than $2.2 million. Cloud providers use intrusion monitoring, network segmentation, private servers, and multifactor authentication (MFA) to keep your clients’ sensitive financial data safe.  

Disaster recovery 

On-premise data and hardware are more vulnerable to external events like theft or natural catastrophes (flooding). By contrast, cloud data is stored on hardware in secure data centers with many layers of protection, power backups, and, depending on the hosting company, redundant servers.  

Broadening the scope of accountants’ roles 

The accounting industry is changing and, with it, your role as an accountant. Applications hosted in the cloud streamline traditional tasks like tax returns and audits, so accountants can spend more time on value-added work like advisory services and planning. 

Keeping up with the competition 

Small and medium-sized accounting practices that use cloud-based software find it simpler to compete with their larger rivals, thanks to the vast amount of information made accessible by the cloud. Try out novel concepts and take on larger projects—whatever your client’s goal is, you can make it happen on the cloud.  

Switching to the cloud? Mango makes it simple.  

Unlock the full potential of your accounting firm and discover the revolutionary impact of cloud computing on the industry with Mango Practice Management 

Mango practice management software is made by accountants, for accountants. In everything we do, our goal is to support your success. Our suite of client-friendly software tools is made to help you scale your firm effectively, increase your profits, and improve your productivity.  

Are you ready to accomplish more with less busy work? See the benefits of our cloud-based practice management software for yourself.  Schedule your free demo of Mango today.  

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