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Cloud Computing and SaaS – Revolutionizing the Accounting Industry!

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Evolving Internet technologies like software-as-a-service and Cloud computing are displacing the picture of accountants sitting in an office with reams of paper work. Using technology and Cloud computing, accountants can enjoy the benefits of quick collaboration; virtual mobility to any place across the globe, anytime; and a marked improvement in services offered to their clients; along with reduced cost of operations.

Advantages of Saas and Cloud computing to Accountants

Accountants adopting the software-as-a-service model have the advantage of myriad financial software viz., NetSuite, SpringCM, and Xero, available to them in the cloud. As the accounting software are available in cloud, they don't need to purchase, manage or install these software. All they need is an Internet connection and a browser. This eliminates investment in IT infrastructure, and also saves efforts and costs in building up an internal IT team, and at the same time, offering them an enhanced accountant-client relationship from any location and at any time, just as the client's own staff!

Anywhere, anytime business with Cloud computing

The best part of SaaS and Cloud computing for accountants is that since the information is housed in Cloud, accountants have ready access to it from anywhere and at anytime. This enables employees to easily access data wherever they are, ensuring round-the-clock business and growth. As long as the Internet connection is available, all applications or software in Cloud can be accessed. Rise in the number of devices like smartphones, tablets, laptops, and more, and the convenience to use them to access the Internet, enables accountants to access data in Cloud using any browser, mobile device or other Internet access devices from any part of the world!

Data security in Cloud

Although Cloud computing and SaaS makes business sense for anywhere, anytime business operations by accountants, with most data residing in the cloud, security of the accounting data should not be ignored. Data in the cloud can be located anywhere around the globe, making it difficult to trace data and manage its security. Nevertheless, there are few steps that accounting firms must take to ensure safety and confidentiality of their clients' data in the cloud:
  • Security must begin at home, i.e. with internal employees. With social networking and blogging sites making a major part of media being used to communicate with clients these days, accounting firms must set up guidelines to be adhered by anyone who has been assigned the rights to publish comments in blogs and on social networking sites.
  • Only defined personnel from the client's side and the service provider's team should be given access to system configuration to ensure integrity of data. A robust Authentication, Authorization and Audit (AAA) process must be put in place. This will limit data from being exposed to unauthorized people.
  • Only a reputable Cloud service provider that ensures a higher level of data security should be employed and the accounting firm must review the service provider's policies regarding data security before hiring the Cloud services.
Conclusion: Cloud computing and SaaS technologies are certainly proving to be a boon for accountants, relieving them of cost of acquiring and upgrading accounting software along with eliminating travel costs by employees, which constitutes a significant amount. With adequate precautions in place to ensure security and confidentiality of accounting data in Cloud, the accounting industry has much to thank to the evolution of Cloud computing which has dissolved geographical boundaries and enabled it to penetrate into newer markets, faster!
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