How to Move Your Accounting Firm to the Cloud

Carl Coe

Is now the right time to move your accounting firm to the cloud?

This is a question that many accounting firms have put on hold because the migration process sounds complicated and confusing. However, with the rapid evolution of technology, migrating to the cloud has never been easier—for you and your clients. In fact, your clients may expect certain services from your firm that can only be delivered in the cloud. Pair that with the fact that many accounting firms are already on the cloud. If you want to remain competitive and meet the expectations of your clients (both current and future), migrating to the cloud is no longer optional.

But how do you do it?

Never fear. In this post, we share tips on how to move your accounting firm to the cloud swiftly, efficiently, and with minimal headache.

Move your accounting firm to the cloud

The Benefits of Moving Your Accounting Firm

Before we discuss how to move your accounting firm to the cloud, let’s take a look at the benefits of doing so:

Greater efficiency: When you use cloud-based practice management software for accountants, you can automate many of those repetitive tasks. These tasks may be simple to do, but they can steal time away from your day. By automating these tasks, you can focus on higher-level priorities that grow your accounting firm.

Increased collaboration: Cloud-based accounting software facilitates better collaboration within your team and with your clients. More opportunities for collaboration lead to greater productivity within your team.

Save money: Cloud-based software may require an investment, but you will receive a return on your investment in terms of increased productivity and profit. Plus, most cloud-based accounting software is charged on a subscription basis, which makes it more affordable than investing a large sum upfront into expensive hardware or traditional software licensing.

More data security: When you migrate your accounting processes to the cloud, you can better protect your proprietary business data from hackers and data breaches. You can also protect your clients’ data by using the cloud-based software’s built-in security features. This can include end-to-end encryption.

Access your software on the go: Cloud-based accounting software is always accessible. If you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to access your software from anywhere and at any time. This makes it convenient for you to collaborate on the go.

Your accounting firm will gain a lot of benefits from migrating specific processes to the cloud. When you take advantage of these benefits, you can remain competitive.

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Identifying if Now is the Right Time to Move Your Accounting Firm to the Cloud

Is it the right time to move key processes that you do in your accounting firm over to the cloud? Here are three questions to consider when making your decision to migrate:

  1. Is your accounting firm growing rapidly? If your accounting firm is growing at a fast rate, you need to optimize your processes to meet demand. Cloud-based accounting software can help you scale your processes quickly.
  2. Are your workloads increasing? If your firm is growing, your team’s workload is likely increasing too. You can use cloud-based accounting software to automate key tasks and ensure that you are making the best use of your time and human resources.
  3. Do you need increased data security? With the sharp rise of cybercrime since the pandemic, most accounting firms are facing security concerns. By migrating to cloud-based accounting software, you can reach bank-level security for transferring and safeguarding your data.

Moving your processes to the cloud can be a great option and will support your growing business.

Deciding Which Accounting Processes to Move to the Cloud

How do you determine which accounting processes you should continue to do as you’ve always done and which ones would benefit from moving to the cloud?

Here are a few tips that you can consider to answer this question:

Research cloud-based accounting management software on the market – Before you can determine which processes to move over to the cloud, first discover what cloud-based accounting software can do for you. Top features may include automation, client communication/portals, and document management. Choose a cloud-based accounting software based on key factors such as desired features list, ease of use, and functionality.

Consider your accounting firm’s needs – Before you choose cloud software to manage your accounting firm, take the time to carefully assess your business needs.

The first step is to identify your trouble areas. What pain points or bottlenecks does your accounting firm have when it comes to day-to-day work? Are you cobbling together multiple apps that don’t play well with each other? Are you using out-of-date software that isn’t keeping up with the times? Getting clear about your trouble areas will help you decide what you need and possibly what you don’t need in cloud-based accounting software.

To do this, meet with your team and decide which of your tasks and processes would benefit from migrating to cloud-based accounting software. By analyzing your current processes, you can identify which manual processes are outdated and vulnerable to human error. Also, consider processes that currently drain your team’s time or productivity. Those processes may be excellent candidates for automation. Spend time considering which accounting processes would benefit by moving to the cloud. Be careful when analyzing so that you can properly identify what processes may be slowing you down and dinging your team’s efficiency.

Analyze your accounting workflow – Take a look at your current workflow so that you can begin to identify opportunities for improving. The cloud-based accounting software that you choose may contain necessary features like automation, file sharing, and due-date management. Determine if any of these features are able to improve your current workflow.

Plan to reduce your tech stack – When considering which accounting processes to move to the cloud, also consider how you might reduce your tech stack. There are a lot of useful apps in the marketplace that can help you simplify your accounting processes, but if you use too many different types of software, you’ll end up overwhelming yourself and your team.

To prevent this problem, opt for an all-in-one software that will allow you to manage multiple processes from one central tool. Our tool, Mango Practice, facilitates multiple accounting processes, including project management, file sharing, and time tracking. By using Mango Practice, you can modernize your tech stack because our software includes the latest and most in-demand features for accountants. Mango was built for accountants by accountants, so we’ve been careful to develop a tool that does everything you need it to do without constantly shifting from one tool to another.

Schedule a free demo of Mango Practice now.

Analyze Your Accounting Firm’s IT Infrastructure

It’s also critical that you do a thorough evaluation of your current IT infrastructure. This will help you identify what needs to be done before, during, and after your migration to the cloud.

The first step is to review your current hardware to determine if it can support your cloud-based accounting software. Because it is cloud-based, your accounting software should be accessible from any internet-enabled device. However, some hardware may not be configured to sign into the internet. It’s key that you take an inventory of your computers, servers, and other hardware before making the leap.

Also, review the software applications you currently use and hope to use with your new cloud-based accounting service. Be sure that the two tools are compatible with each other.

Be realistic and identify potential roadblocks to your current IT infrastructure that could prevent your firm from moving to the cloud. If plausible, look for ways to eliminate the roadblock.

Move your accounting firm to the cloud

Create a Cloud Migration Plan

After you’ve removed any blockers, it’s time to develop a plan for migrating your processes to the cloud/cloud-based software. Here’s how to develop a solid plan for moving to the cloud:

  • Define the business goals or objectives you’d like to achieve as a result of the move.
  • Set milestones and deadlines for each phase of migrating your processes to the cloud.
  • Assign responsibilities to different team members to guarantee accountability and efficiency within your team.
  • Identify any risks that you may be vulnerable to during your migration to the cloud. These risks include security breaches, data loss, or potential client portal downtime. An example contingency plan may include making regular data backups during the migration to the cloud.
  • Train your staff. During the migration, plan to train your staff so that they understand and feel confident using the new cloud-based accounting software.
  • Test your system thoroughly to ensure that everything is working well for everyone on your team. Failure to do so may result in unexpected downtimes and a drop in client confidence.

When you follow these steps in creating a migration plan, you will set the groundwork for a successful move to cloud-based accounting.

Final Thoughts

Moving your accounting firm over to the cloud requires forethought and careful planning. However, if you follow the above tips and considerations, you can make the transition with no sweat.

We’d love to show you how our all-in-one practice management software can transport your entire firm into the cloud. Click here to schedule a free demo of Mango Practice Management.

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