Challenging common objections to cloud software
We’ve heard it all before – real-time changes, multi-user access, automatic data backups, the list goes on. Cloud accounting comes with a lot of seemingly cushy perks, but just how valid are these benefits? Despite its well-known advantages, a lot of us are still hesitant to make the move. Let’s outline a few of the reasons why some accountants are still resisting to move their processes to the cloud, what may be causing this, and some tips to overcome it.
Fear of the unknown
The cloud can sometimes come across as a bit fishy to those who’ve never used it. How can all of that data exist in a place that you can’t physically see, right? Similar to when the Kindle first took to the scene, it was a bit of a strange one to grasp – an invisible library, where you can access any book from anywhere, without having the actual physical copy in your hand? Witchcraft.
This viewpoint isn’t so different from cloud accounting either. The lack of physical paper files and being able to access client data from anywhere in the world, it can be mind-boggling stuff. If the cloud is something that’s new to you, we suggest to gradually expose yourself to this new technology. Whether it’s a video tutorial, a demo, or a free trial, dipping your toes into the tech bit by bit can help you become more accustomed to it and see the benefits, before making any commitments. Then, once you start using it, it will become a much more intuitive and straightforward process. Soon enough, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.
Data security and GDPR
One of the biggest reasons some firms are reluctant to switch is down to data security, and we can understand why. ‘Store files on some random online server? No thanks, I’ve got my trusty USB locked away in my office, safe and sound.’ – sound familiar? Well, we beg to differ. Data breaches aren’t fun (and pretty expensive too, mind you). USBs are physical objects that are vulnerable to getting lost, stolen or damaged, with viruses capable of travelling between them and PCs. Even the smallest blip of a security breach could damage your client relationships and your firm’s reputation.
39% of UK businesses reported suffering a cyber attack in 2022, so while it may seem like the safer option, cloud technology offers a range of security features (firewalls, encryption, etc.) that protect your data from unauthorised access. Firms are investing heavily in cybersecurity these days too, with finance and insurance firms having invested an average of £22,050 in 2018-19, a 23% increase from the previous year.
Compliance with HMRC
Another issue that can crop up is whether or not your new software complies with HMRC regulations. Really, it depends on the software being used, but when you choose an innovative solution with the reputation behind it – not only does it usually comply with HMRC requirements, but it can streamline and automate those tedious manual requirements too.
Take the latest addition to Bright’s family, BrightTax, for example. Powered by BTCSoftware's desktop-based system, you can access client information in-browser to work on and submit tax and VAT returns (we’re MTD for VAT compliant) to HMRC as well as annual accounts to Companies House. As well as core compliance filing, you can import data from a wide range of bookkeeping software providers, tag returns with critical iXBRL data and automate a lot of your financial reporting.
Don’t forget about your team too – train them up on any new systems you implement, and build a culture around progression and upskilling to ensure your firm is up to speed with the latest regulations.
What’s your verdict?
Fear of change is understandable, but embracing new technology is vital to stay ahead in this industry. Cloud technology not only increases efficiency and improves compliance, but the benefits it offers (multi-user access, real-time changes, etc.) are too good to ignore.
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