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Three top benefits of the cloud for accountants

6th Feb 2024
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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If you’re an accountant contemplating investing in cloud accounting software, a quick google search will yield tens of reasons to make the switch. And, while it’s true that there are many benefits of cloud accounting software, trawling through them all can get overwhelming - especially as some have more impact than others, depending on your priorities.

We’re here to cut through the noise and outline three benefits that we think are most important for accountants to be aware of when making decisions about their tech.

1. It facilitates hybrid-working

The accounting sector’s recruitment issue is no industry secret (you can read our take on how to start tackling it here). In a nutshell, though: it’s widely acknowledged that it’s hard for accounting firms to hire, train, and retain the right people, with the right skills, to do the right jobs.

One of the best things about making yourself cloud-based is that you’re no longer restricted by location when it comes to hiring. If your team can work from anywhere, provided they’ve got a laptop and an internet connection, it doesn’t necessarily matter whether they’re based in Rotherham or Rotterdam - they’ll be able to get the job done.

By broadening the area you’re recruiting from, you’re widening your talent pool - in a way you just can’t do if you’re expecting people to be at an office-based desktop full-time.

Which brings us onto hybrid-working.

Like it or not, hybrid-working - where your team switches between their home and the office - is the expectation nowadays. The pandemic accelerated the UK’s working from home culture, and the flexibility it created is something employees are keen to hold on to. 

An improved work-life balance has become the rule, rather than the exception - and that becomes harder to offer if you’re not operating on the cloud. 

2. It’s a huge boost to data security

When you use cloud software, all your firm and client data lives online - on secure servers - rather than on your hard drive or physically in your office (paper files, we’re looking at you!)

There are several reasons why this dramatically increases your data security.

Firstly, if your work and client data are stored in the cloud, rather than at a physical location, there’s far less risk of losing or damaging it. Paper files can be misplaced, natural disasters or fires can destroy work or records, and audit trails for information sharing are hard to manage and maintain.

When it’s in the cloud, though, you know your files and data will stay where you’ve saved them - meaning you’ll also minimise downtime if something does go wrong with your physical location. 

Secondly, while no software is 100% safe from the online hacks and breaches you’re probably wondering about, cloud-based software is considerably safer than traditional options for the following reasons: 

  •  Your data will be backed-up securely, mitigating the risk of loss or damage we talked about above 

  • Cloud software generally uses encryption to move and store data - which means it’s re-written into a code that’s essentially indecipherable to anything other than the intended user or platform 

  • Cloud software creates activity logs (that usually can’t be switched off) to keep a record of activities and/or changes to specific transactions. Nothing can happen to your records without you knowing about it. 

3. It makes collaboration painless

When you start using cloud software effectively, you say goodbye to confused version control, emails bouncing around with different drafts, and chasing people for various bits of missing information.

Instead, collaboration becomes seamless.

With the cloud, anyone you choose to share access with will have a real-time view of your data, document, or project. That means both your colleagues and your clients can input their suggestions, add information, and review progress while you’re still working on things. They’ll become aware of changes as they happen, rather than you having to manually notify them.

Above all else, that’s great for efficiency. Being able to mention people specifically in comments, assign them tasks or draw their attention to specifics, and make use of different access levels, so people can only change what you need them to, saves a huge amount of time and reduces the need for back and forth.

When things run more smoothly, you’re likely to get greater buy-in to what you’re trying to achieve. So, with the right cloud tools in place, collaboration from clients who’ve previously been tricky to pin down might become a different story. And those teams that have become siloed? It’s about to become easier to get them working together again.

Get started with cloud accounting

At Bright, we’re all about the cloud.

From our payroll software, BrightPay, to our practice management software, BrightManager, we’ve got a suite of tools to help you do just about anything.

If you’re interested in bookkeeping software or accounts production software, we’ll soon be introducing BrightBooks and BrightAccountsProduction to the UK market, so keep your eyes peeled!  

If you’d like to discover more about Bright’s cloud solutions, we’d love to hear from you.   

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