For some accounting professionals, the problem is finding a way to provide services that are valuable to the client, and doing it in a way that makes it profitable for the provider. Outsourced and online accounting models are the answer, employing innovative tools in the practice and with clients: tools and resources necessary to get more informed and run the business better.
With online accounting solutions the firm is able to increase profitability with the range of services offered, often adding clients and work without hiring more personnel. Online solutions allow professionals and their clients to work from anywhere at any time, providing both with the freedom to focus on core business capabilities (and lifestyle).
Reducing the requirement for sophisticated on-premises technology may mean providing everyone with the ease of use and security of server-based computing models, which is among the benefits of a cloud IT approach. Centralizing and managing applications, protecting valuable data resources, and streamlining business processes are among the benefits to be achieved with an outsourced, managed application hosting solution. Businesses who outsource their IT management often realize an increased capacity to do business simply by leveraging the cloud to make the current working models more efficient and effective.
Leveraging mobility and real time access is also about increasing the overall range of opportunity to deliver value. Contractors, employees and clients all find improvements in getting the information they need when it matters, and the firm finds a greater agility in meeting client demands and expanding service offerings.
Cloud computing and online accounting solutions have proven the viability of anytime, anywhere working models, and professional accounting practices of all sizes and orientations are realizing the benefits of working closer with their clients by applying them to the engagement.
Cloud accounting is really about improving the profitability of the accounting practice while delivering higher levels of service to the client. The movement of information from one place to another; translating data from one form to another – these are the processes representing the cost and inefficiency in the practice, and are specific areas where a collaborative, online approach may introduce new service efficiency and value.
It is worth noting that “cloud accounting” and online accounting models do not necessarily require the use of a SaaS solution. QuickBooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks – these are new small business offerings that exist purely on the web. QuickBooks desktop editions can be “cloudy”, too, when they’re hosted by an authorized QuickBooks hosting provider. The point is not necessarily to use web software, but to approach IT management and systems from an outsourced perspective, allowing for centralized management and administration and delivering secure remote and mobile access. The systems should facilitate the working model, not force it.