Considering a Transition to Cloud Accounting? Here Are Five Things You Need to Watch Out For!
During the early years of cloud computing, cloud-based accounting application options were few. Today there is a multitude of accounting applications available and many more innovative applications on the way. If you are considering a transition to the cloud for your accounting firm, here are five things you need to consider.
Many accounting firms considering a transition are concerned with security. Issues like unauthorized access by other cloud clients, and whether or not the cloud service provider is continually updating security are common concerns. Contrary to popular opinion, the cloud is likely more secure than your onsite network, but security issues exist in both places. Cloud computing services provide necessary security controls and offer protection at the user level, as well as additional security at all levels. You’ll also have the option of backing up your data externally for additional peace of mind.
Downtime is purportedly non-existent in the cloud with most cloud service providers promising a large percentage of uptime (most claim 99.9 percent) via your Service Level Agreement (SLA). The reality is no system runs perfectly 100 percent of the time. When you transition to the cloud, your SLA with your provider should include scheduled maintenance and unexpected outages. Of course, 0.1 percent downtime is probably considerably better than your average onsite network.
Data migration from your onsite server to cloud server is a real concern and among the most discussed issues related to cloud computing. Problems with data migration are often a result of a lack of knowledge in the workforce or a transition not performed correctly and methodically to insure your entire data set makes the transition. When transitioning, keep your data available in your onsite system for reference, just in case.
The cost of cloud computing is often touted as considerably lower than traditional in-house systems and this may be the case for your firm, but it is best to research well because the cost may be more than expected. Pay attention to additional cost to ensure migration, extra maintenance, support options and other add-ons that can send your costs skyrocketing.
Loss of Control
Many firms consider handing control over to a cloud computing service provider a total loss of control. But truly, you are still in control as your contract will attest and your experience will demonstrate as you make the transition to cloud computing.
The most important aspect is to ensure you partner with an experienced firm, one that understands the accounting industry, to help you to not only transition to the cloud, but to ensure that on that journey you leverage everything the cloud has to offer you and your clients.
The outcome will be greatly improved productivity, efficiency, work turnaround and opportunities for higher hourly rates.