Cloud accounting is good for your clients

Accountant & Bookkeeper Guides

5 min read

You and your clients want the same thing – to work smarter and faster. You both want to work more collaboratively and efficiently with your teams. For these reasons and others, cloud accounting is a good thing.

Cloud 101

Your clients may ask you, “So what is the cloud?” A great example to use is online banking, which uses the cloud for secure data storage.

Your clients can access online banking from anywhere, at any time. They can do the same thing with cloud accounting software. Your clients no longer have to rely on a single hard drive for their financial data. Instead, they can access that data online from wherever they want, at any time.

In this guide we'll explain how you can share the benefits of cloud accounting software with your clients.

“Considering the important role that accountants can play in the success of small business clients, it makes sense that clients turn to you for many needs,” says Isaac O’Bannon, the Managing Editor of CPA Practice Advisor.

“Whether you’ve made technology consulting a part of your accounting practice or not, it makes sense that if you discover a product or service that might help your clients be more productive in their day-to-day business, that you share the information with them. After all, your firm’s success depends on the success of your clients and on your reputation as a business expert.”

The cloud is fun – the desktop is not

Traditional accounting software ties business owners to a single office or desk. It takes up resources and reduces the fun of actually being in business.

But cloud accounting software lets you work from anywhere at any time. You can use a laptop, tablet or smartphone to access accounts data securely – and all the IT support is handled remotely.

Let's look at how traditional accounting software compares with cloud accounting software.

Show your clients the power, efficiency and savings of the cloud – and bring back the fun

The problem with traditional accounting software

Here are some common issues with desktop products:

  • Accounting information is only fully up-to-date on one machine
  • Software must be upgraded regularly, often at a cost
  • The software may only be licensed for use on one computer
  • Using a USB drive to move data is inconvenient, unreliable and not secure
  • It can be difficult and slow to access financial data and customer details remotely
  • The software can be expensive to buy
  • Adding more users can cost a lot of money
  • The pricing may not be transparent, with hidden fees for updates or extra features

Eight benefits of cloud accounting software

In comparison, online software has several advantages:

  1. Financial data flows automatically into the software from bank accounts and other sources like data capture tools.
  2. You can access accounts through any device with an internet connection.
  3. You have instant review of customer data and information, such as cash flow.
  4. You can use powerful tools and applications to process accounting data.
  5. It’s easy for all the team to use.
  6. It can grow as your clients' businesses grow.
  7. There are no more worries about outdated software, IT costs or server outages.
  8. You pay on a simple subscription basis, paying only for the services your clients need.

This comparison will help you explain the key benefits of cloud accounting to your clients. Cloud accounting will give them fast access to the information they need to make smart business decisions – from anywhere, at any time.

World-class security and total control

Asking your clients to move from the desktop to the cloud is a huge request. One of their main concerns will be the security of their financial data.

This is a natural concern, but the cloud is one of the most secure ways to store information. That’s because no data exists locally – it's all online, protected by powerful encryption.

This is a much safer method of storage than keeping data on a local hard drive. Think about the following scenarios:

  • Stolen or lost laptop
    With cloud accounting software, if your client were to lose a laptop their accounting information would still be completely secure. The loss of the laptop would be inconvenient, nothing more. But losing a laptop containing traditional accounting software and data could be disastrous.
  • Natural disaster
    In the event of a natural disaster or an office fire, your clients won't lose any work time if they use cloud accounting software. Their data will be safely stored online, so they can access their accounting information through the internet. But with traditional accounting software, their data may be inaccessible for days or even weeks.
  • Data backup
    Computers are fragile things. Hard drives can stop working, operating systems can crash, software can have bugs, and users can make mistakes. It's vitally important to have backups, so you can return to a previous 'saved point' if necessary. In the cloud, this is all done for you – you don't have to lift a finger. But with traditional accounting software it's you – or your IT team – that has to remember to make regular backups and store them securely

Using cloud accounting software puts your clients in control. They can decide who can view their data, and they control each user's level of access. The cloud really is the safest place for your clients' accounts data.

You and your clients working together

Business moves fast these days. It's vital to use cloud technology if you want to keep up, because the cloud allows you to work together with your clients, teams and advisors.

The result? The chance for you to truly partner with your clients to provide high-quality, real-time service. This will help your clients become more productive and efficient – and they'll thank you for it.