2015 Advertising Opportunities - Find Out More!

What Accountants Must Know Before Choosing The Right Cloud Application Vendor

With the recent worldwide popularity of cloud computing, it is expected to gain more momentum with more and more industries making use of such technology. The accounting profession can experience the most benefits because the accounting field processes a lot of data which can be housed online through cloud computing. However, not every accountant knows cloud computing and it is but expected that they have doubts as to the integrity of the technology. As such, this article hopes to explain the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing with regards to the accounting profession.

Accountants can benefit from cloud computing because it eliminates purchasing software and servers, and maintaining and running them. The old technology infrastructure which requires all software and servers to be housed in the accountant’s office is now being replaced with a more robust and inexpensive technology known as cloud computing. Cloud applications are run through the web. An accountant just needs a computer or a laptop and an internet connection to be able to run accounting applications.  The software and server are managed not by the accountant but by the cloud application vendor. Typical applications available for accountants include full ERP (enterprise resource planning), payroll, and tax software. The accountant need not purchase a license to use the software. He/she just needs to pay subscription fees.

Many accountants are hesitant to use the cloud computing technology because they don’t know the benefits of moving to a cloud environment. One of the benefits of cloud computing is that the accountant doesn’t need to install a software in his/her computer. He/she just has to remotely access his/her application anytime, anywhere. If he/she has employees, his/her employees can access the same application and data. As long as there is internet connection, the accounting application and data can be accessed wherever and whenever.

Instead of paying an annual fee or a license fee, an accountant can pay monthly subscription fees for the use of accounting cloud applications. Some vendors charge on a yearly basis and some also charge fees on a per user basis. Cloud applications are usually cheaper than the traditional applications because cloud computing allows a lot of users to share storage and server. It should be noted also that although several users can use the infrastructure, it is designed in such a way that users can only access their own data. Because of cloud computing, there is no need to maintain IT personnel and costly hardware in-house.

Accountants who switch to cloud computing also pay minimal, if not zero, maintenance or hardware costs because the responsibility of maintenance is shifted to the cloud application vendor. Because the vendors sell the service to a lot of users, the share of the accountant to the total maintenance cost becomes minimal.

The main concern of accountants, however, is the security not only of their data but of their clients’ data which is understandable because they are dealing with financial records of their clients. Therefore, an accountant must exercise caution in dealing with cloud application vendors. He/she must ensure that the vendor’s data center has the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) Service Organization Controls Report which provides the guidance for the data center’s internal control. A vendor which has been examined by AICPA is evaluated stringently on its service or system control that it offers to its users. The data center’s infrastructure, software, personnel, data, and procedures are all examined to ensure that each component pass the stringent measures of AICPA.

In choosing a cloud application vendor, the accountant must make sure to ask for a copy of the AICPA reports to ensure that the data center has passed all the requirements of AICPA. There are also applications available such as the Comodo HackerGuardian or McAfee Secure which can be used to check daily the cloud applications’ security. The vendor website must be able to show the logo of this third party monitors together with the date stamp which shows when the data center has last been checked.

The accountant must also check for the data center’s downtime and the ease at which users can have access to their own data. He/she must ask the vendor about unscheduled and scheduled downtime. Such downtimes are often included in the contract and vendors are often penalized if actual downtimes go beyond what is stated in the contract.

With the power of cloud computing, accountants will surely benefit a lot from it. Researching about cloud computing can help them get rid whatever apprehensions they have regarding cloud applications. It is the purpose of this article to somehow alleviate the accountants’ fears regarding the new technology.

By Florence G. de Borja

Writer, accounting grad with 13 years experience in IT software development and implementation

Follow Us!

CloudTweaks

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks.com is recognized as one of the leading authorities in cloud computing information. Most of the excellent CloudTweaks articles are provided by our own paid writers, with a small percentage provided by guest authors from around the globe, including CEOs, CIOs, Technology bloggers and Cloud enthusiasts. Our goal is to continue to build a growing community offering the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more...
Follow Us!

5 Responses to What Accountants Must Know Before Choosing The Right Cloud Application Vendor

  1. […] “The accounting profession can experience the most benefits because the accounting field processes a lot of data which can be housed online through cloud computing. However, not every accountant knows cloud computing and it is but expected that they have doubts as to the integrity of the technology,” opines IT veteran Florence G. de Borja at CloudTweaks […]

  2. […] Accountants must be able to view cloud computing as a big opportunity for them to step up and take the lead in empowering a new phase of business insight in order to understand that they can change the SME’s performance. However, this shift is not an easy one because it will also entail a change in culture and attitude. Accountants do not just adopt cloud computing but must also incorporate a new approach in working which will minimize administrative processes which are repetitive and which will eventually free up gifted individuals so that they can share their knowledge and expertise with the market. // // […]

  3. It is a very major responsibility of an accountant to choose the best service provider for the hosted QuickBooks. A good service provider will keep on updating the accounting software timely and would not let a CPA face any threat. Testimonials from the existing clients is very beneficial in letting you choose the best vendor.

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic: Disaster Recovery  Business downtime can be detrimental without a proper disaster recovery plan in place. Only 6% of businesses that experience downtime without a plan will survive long term. Less than half of all businesses that experience a disaster are likely to reopen their doors. There are many causes of data loss and…

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

Cloud Infographic – The Future Of Big Data

The Future Of Big Data Big Data is BIG business and will continue to be one of the more predominant areas of focus in the coming years from small startups to large scale corporations. We’ve already covered on CloudTweaks how Big Data can be utilized in a number of interesting ways from preventing world hunger to helping teams win…

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

Cloud Computing Offers Key Benefits For Small, Medium Businesses

A growing number of small and medium businesses in the United States rely on as a means of deploying mission-critical software products. Prior to the advent of cloud-based products — software solutions delivered over the Internet – companies were often forced to invest in servers and other products to run software and store data. The…

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things

Cloud Infographic – Monetizing Internet Of Things There are many interesting ways in which companies are looking to connect devices to the cloud. From the vehicles to kitchen appliances the internet of things is already a $1.9 trillion dollar market based on research estimates from IDC. Included is a fascinating infographic provided by AriaSystems which shows us some…

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery

Cloud Infographic – The Power Of Cloud Disaster Recovery Preventing a Cloud Disaster is one thing. Recovering from a disaster is a whole other area of concern. Today’s infographic provided by CloudVelox outlines some best practices and safeguards in order to help your business make more informed decisions. About Latest Posts Follow Us!CloudTweaksEstablished in 2009,…

Featured Sponsors

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Moving From Email Into The Cloud

Mobile Collaboration In The Cloud Imagine that you, as a manager, are told by the powers that be that you have to find “efficiencies” within your department that will result in one million dollars of savings annually. You struggle with this. You send an email to everyone on your senior team. “Where can we save…

Cloud Logo Sponsors

hp Logo CityCloud-PoweredByOpenstack-Blue square_logo_100x100-01
cisco_logo_100x100 vmware citrix100

2015 Advertising Opportunities - Find Out More!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter