In recent years, the accounting profession has seen transition of business data and applications from traditional paper-based models to cloud-based digital platforms. Hosting information and software in a virtual environment helps save cost and improve overall productivity. Accounting technology came in the form of desktop applications, moved on to networking, and now, it is all about the Internet, cloud computing and mobile applications. Navigating successfully through this whirl of activity has propelled accounting firms forward, supporting efficient operations and excellent service.
A look back at the client accounting process shows the transition from handwritten checks to everything happening over the internet with cloud bases servers. The advent of cloud-based software has made it easier than ever for accounting firms to work on the move, and stay in touch with clients. Accessibility of software and client data from anywhere and at any time helps gain deeper insights into the client’s financial status.
This evolution in process control, presents a significant challenge for accounting professionals to build a more efficient, collaborative client-accounting model. To achieve this, a robust internal system of checks and balances needs to be in place. It must support critical aspects such as a paperless workflow, real-time access & collaboration between staff and clients. This system must be recommended and made mandatory for all clients to follow. The accounting professional must lead the client in the direction desired, defining a standardized process, and working by it.
Paperless document storage and opting for hosting and cloud-based solutions are key to establishing the right technological environment. Moving client accounting software to a hosted environment or to the cloud is a game-changer. It means that firm staff can access and clean up client data when needed instead of waiting for backups. It also allows staff to access current information to perform tax projections.
Developments such as video conferencing allow businesses to maintain a degree of face time in their client relationships even in case personal meetings are unable to be arranged. In a business world where geographic boundaries and time zones are no longer factors in client communications, email and video conferencing facilitate a high level of responsiveness and productivity.
Cloud computing is the current state-of-play in the business world and one cannot afford to be left behind. Clients are always looking for the best value and the most flexible businesses to work with. They will be expecting their accountant to be tech-savvy and moving with the times. Looking into how one’s accounting business can incorporate cloud computing now is essential if the business owner is ambitious and wants to grow. The ability to elevate the client experience to new levels of convenience is where firms can truly differentiate themselves.
It will take effort and significant time and material investment; however, one will begin to see the value in the way of efficiency, revenue, and client satisfaction.
It all begins with planning. Take your first step today.