Security: The reality of computer viruses is frightening. An estimated 57 percent of all computers have some form of virus with 74,000 new viruses being generated every day. Secure cloud hosting of your firm’s software programs and data files greatly minimizes the threat of cybercrime. In addition, some cloud hosting providers also offer a secure portal for clients to connect and share information with your firm.
Compliance: Using a cloud hosting service can eliminate the complexities involved in adhering to government and industry regulations. Accounting firms will want a cloud hosting provider that not only supports Service Organization Controls (SOC 1 and SOC 2), but also understands the details and demands of other regulatory compliances relevant to the financial industry, including the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, Sarbanes Oxley Act, Bank Secrecy Act and Payment Card Industry Data Security.
Business Continuity: Business disruptions come in many forms, from fires and other disasters, to cyber-crimes. The impact of data loss or corruption can be costly and significant.
Mobility: We live in a mobile world that has transformed the way people do business. Mobility can enhance productivity, communication and workforce flexibility. Cloud solutions provide an in-office desktop experience – including software, apps, files and permissions – that allow CPAs to securely perform remote accounting and tax services from any device that connects to the Internet.
Cost & Efficiency: Maintaining an onsite server can divert both money and human resources away from other parts of a business that produce revenue growth. Cloud hosting reduces IT costs by curbing the demands of maintaining an IT infrastructure and eliminating the significant capital expenses for hardware upgrades.
Scalability: An accounting firm’s workforce and IT requirements often fluctuate in size and seasons. A cloud hosting service offers network scalability that can be tailored to a business’s changing requirements. IT resources (hardware and software) and network users can be added or removed from the network without wasted investment or time to scale.
Ease of Implementation: With the right provider, the transition from your current infrastructure to a fully managed cloud hosting service should be efficient and seamless. You’ll want a provider who can build your new system to replicate your current one as closely as possible. When your firm moves to the new system, workflow disruption and your staff’s learning curve should be as minimal as possible.