By: Mike Ferrigno
Content Marketing and Channel Enablement Manager
Recently, Salim told a tale that stressed the importance shifting the dependency of a CPA practice away from the dependency of the practice owner. As he said it, “a practice that is dependent on you is on weak ground.”
An important potential path in growing and scaling a CPA practice in the right direction (that is, with less dependency on you as the owner), is using the cloud to leverage growth and expansion. What’s the cloud and how do you use it to bring your practice where it needs to go?
What is the cloud?
Cloud-enabling your accounting solution means that you’re bringing your software out of the traditional, “on-premise” configuration on your office computer or server and into the cloud where it resides in an environment fully managed by experts.
Doing that results in:
Helping your clients, of course, means working with them. And while sorting through their paper-based documents might be the form of collaboration that some clients are used to, increasingly more expect service in real time. And in a time when you can lower your thermostat at home while you’re in a plane heading in the opposite direction, why shouldn’t they?
With a cloud-enabled solution, a client gains the ability to login and access their financial data from any device or location, and so do you.
Running the traditional, local instance of your accounting software is a lot of responsibility. And it might not feel that way until there is a problem. But when there is a problem, your entire business is at risk. IT burdens like network maintenance, security patches and upgrades, and application upgrades all take time and energy. With a managed cloud environment, you get away from playing IT consultant (or paying IT consultants) and get back to helping your clients.
Week after week, it seems, another major company hack hits the news. It can be easy, even tempting, to tune this out. Perhaps you think that your information isn’t at risk or isn’t “important” enough to be the target of a security breach. It’s unlikely that your clients would agree about the importance of their own data. And protection is paramount when so much personal information is online.
Reputable cloud providers encrypt communications, and have sophisticated firewalls and backup systems in place that most smaller firms and organizations can’t achieve on their own.
Cloud solutions don’t just protect you from outside intruders or events. They also bring you security through backups by providing protection against a natural disaster, like a hurricane or fire, or even an electrical outage that brings your local servers offline.
Disasters can also hit on a smaller, though no less devastating scale. An employee leaving a water bottle open in their carry-on – or perhaps having a laptop stolen out of their rental car – is no longer a major problem when you’re running your business in the cloud.
Automation is a huge part of being “digitally agile.” After all, the latest and greatest software
tools don’t mean much if you’re spending all your time entering information by hand. Among
a host of other advantages, the right add-on applications to your cloud-enabled accounting solution save time by eliminating the need for data entry across multiple platforms and solutions and eliminates the need for paper-based systems.
Any organization looking to streamline their workflow and reduce data redundancy can start by
considering integrated applications to help with expense management, tracking employee time, paying bills, managing relationships, and managing documents.
When you’re cloud-enabled, the entire book of business that you manage is visible to you – and to those that you designate – in one computing environment. This doesn’t just make it easier to run your business, it makes it far more scalable.
When you’re not maintaining IT systems, running backups, or chasing down client files – productivity is sure to rise. With your newfound time, you can be more strategic in your service offerings and take on an advisory role, helping to decrease the dependency on your involvement in your practice’s operation.
About Right Networks
Right Networks is the leading provider of cloud-based accounting and business solutions for CPA firms, accounting professionals and small to medium businesses who want to gain all the benefits of cloud-based applications without needing to replace what they use today. The Right Networks cloud combines advanced, highly-available technology with 24x7x365, U.S. based phone, email and chat support to deliver an always accessible and always there for you service experience allowing customers to focus on growing their businesses.
Visit https://www.rightnetworks.com/ to learn more about our solution, pricing and available plans.