How is cloud computing changing the accounting industry?

April 18, 2012 · Posted in Accounting 

The Internet which is already known being remote and global has just got even more advanced. Now businesses can adopt cloud computing, a term which, loosely translated, means that various aspects of computing (from hardware and software to networks and storage) are now accessible as a group from any computer, laptop or mobile device wherever and whenever required. Whether private, community-based or public, these clouds’ main aim is to make access to IT services and computing resources much more streamline and efficient.

Because of these characteristics, cloud computing is transforming accountancy. There are different branches of cloud computing, but the one that is benefiting accountancy is Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) which offers financial-based software to make accounting streamline, more efficient and ultimately more cost-effective for all involved.

Although a change in attitudes (on behalf of both clients and accountants) is necessary, SaaS software is already improving the way people balance their books. Whilst cutbacks are being made within businesses, SaaS offers an alternative to in-house software through this cost-effective but personal accountancy service. Benefiting both clients and accountants, cloud computing means that up-to-date facts and figures can be accessed remotely to enable accountants to offer advice and solutions as soon as possible.

Another important factor when considering hiring an accountant is also cost efficiency. As Software-as-a-Service’s name suggests, it is a pay-as-you-go service that relies on a monthly subscription which is then dependant on how much or how little involvement there is, from simple book-keeping to more advanced consultancy services.

Benefiting clients, the subscription costs usually start very low and this practice also eliminates, for example, the need to set-up hardware and the need for in-house professionals to maintain hardware and servers because they are looked after by the cloud application providers in a remote location. For accountants, SaaS subscriptions offer them a regular, monthly income and enhanced business opportunities from those who are unable or unwilling to hire a more traditional accountant.

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