Accountants impacted most by the cloud

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Many businesses are taking aspects of their businesses to the cloud, but not many are impacted by this move as much as accountants are.

According to an article by Business IT Solutions (BITS), an Irish IT services & solutions company, accountancy firms with a variety of business clients will need to be competent in the use of a variety of software packages.

Gavin Dixon, Managing Director at BITS says of all the types of clients they deal with, accountants are interfacing with a greater variety of 3rd party software than its clients in any other sectors.

Accountants have always had to be versatile and tolerant of other ways of doing business in order to do what they do. They need to understand their clients’ many business systems and processes. IT solutions for accountants have to be just as tolerant and versatile.

An accountancy practice needs to manage its own internal IT systems and development while at the same time be able to deal with IT for their clients who likely operate in an array of IT configurations and systems. That can range from a client who wants or needs to keep everything in-house or a client who wants to connect to a cloud system. In IT terms, this can mean any number of options. However, core to any business practice is a robust network.

“Most business owners and managers know that the cloud has changed our idea of being up to date with how our business is doing, none more so than accountants. Not too long ago annual accounts had to be completed before anyone knew for sure how a business was performing. With cloud computing, businesses can have up to the hour, even minute, financial information that can be fully accessible and managed by their accountant. With CRM and ERP systems fully integrated and on-line, data being input live by mobile sales people, logistics, accounts, etc., a business owner can get a picture of the state of affairs in a given moment. This means that accountants are less about book-keeping and more about financial advice and consultation than ever before…

BITS says some of the benefits of the cloud is that it saves money, including a reduction in capital outlay for servers and physical space, reductions in energy bills, reductions in back-up systems, less IT support required on the ground, and automatic updates to software for the easy maintenance of compatibility.

Accountants also don’t have to leave their own offices and greater access to live data means better results for the client. They also have greater insight into real-time information which in turn allows for more informed decisions by business owners.

“Accountants can become consultants and advisors in ways to smaller businesses which until now have not been possible due to time and budgetary constraints.”

Read more here.