Cloud computing seems to be all of the rage these days. What is cloud computing? It is defined as a distributed computing over a network, where application can run on many connected computers at the same time.
For finance professionals, the most relevant type of cloud computing is Software as a Service (SaaS). SaaS is defined as a solution that includes turnkey infrastructure, software, maintenance and updates and support that is licensed on a per user per month basis. With the SaaS business applications market expected to reach $32 billion this year, cloud accounting is quickly becoming the new norm for many businesses.
Companies have already started to move many of their core business functions, including email, office productivity, CRM, project management and payroll to the cloud. For example, industry experts say that Microsoft’s office productivity suite, Office 365 has 1.2 billion users and growing.
Yet, despite the significant benefits offered to move your company’s financials to the cloud, some are reluctant to do so. The reason most often given for not making the switch is security of their data. When their finance systems are installed in their office, they feel more comfortable that they can physically see the server that their data resides on.
They can touch it physically. However, there are significant risks that they expose themselves to every day. If your finance system is still installed “on premise”, ask yourself these questions:
- When was the last time the data was backed up?
- When was the last time that the backup integrity was tested? If you were to have a catastrophic failure, will your backup restore successfully?
- What happens if you were to have some weather related event, like a flood? Is your backup also stored offsite in a secure facility?
- How are you protecting your data from malware, ransomware and other viruses? If any one person on your company’s network clicks on the wrong email attachment, it could compromise all of your accounting data since it is not isolated from the other computers on your network.
For cloud financial vendors, protecting your data is absolutely critical to their business. If they were to suffer any kind of data intrusion or loss, they would no longer have a business. How do they make sure your data is safe and secure?
- They spend millions of dollars protecting and backing up your data.
- They use redundant, parallel data centers so that even if one were completely destroyed, your data is still safe.
- They employ “white hat” hackers to try to break their intrusion and security protocols.
- Their data is completely isolated from email threats.
- The employ armed guards, biometric security and intrusion detection to make sure no unauthorized persons can physically access your data.
If you’re considering switching your financials to the cloud, you will see these six critical benefits.
- Better Cash Flow – You no longer have to make large, upfront capital investments in expensive servers, database licenses, infrastructure and implementation. Those costs are shifted to the cloud vendor and you simply pay for what you use on a per-user, per-month basis.
- Improved Access – If you’re a business with multiple locations or remote staff, you will need to make even more capital investments to facilitate remote access. Cloud accounting includes the ability to access the software anytime, anywhere, on any device (PC, Mac, Tablet, Phone) in the monthly subscription.
- Greater Scalability – As your company grows, with an on premise solution you bear the responsibility to manage and increase infrastructure capacity and performance. Cloud accounting grows with you. Simply purchase a subscription for those new users and pay for nothing else.
- Faster Deployment – Since cloud based financials don’t have to be installed and configured, they require less effort to implement in comparison to traditional premise based financials.
- No Maintenance /Updates Costs – Your cloud accounting subscription includes the seamless installation of upgrades and enhancements. You no longer have to pay maintenance and professional fees to maintain your accounting system.
- Cost Savings – Cloud financials cost less than on premise solutions in the long run. You can click here to download an actual analysis we did for a client (we removed their name and product) in response to a request to compare the annual costs of upgrading their QuickBooks solution.
If you have any questions or would like us to work with your to provide a complimentary assessment of your current finance system, please contact us.