4 myths about cloud software that accountants need to know about

It's natural to be wary of change.

It's especially natural to be wary of the unfamiliar – and it's perfectly sensible to be cautious with your business.

But that's no excuse for ignoring the facts.

Cloud accounting software has made managing finances more productive, affordable and convenient for hundreds of thousands of businesses all over the world. And yet there are still some accountants who have their reservations.

Here are just a few of the most common fears, concerns and misconceptions about the cloud – as well as plenty of reasons why they're just not true.

"The cloud is just another fad"

It's all too easy to start dismissing anything new and popular as "just another fad". But while the idea of cloud software might carry plenty of hype, it's certainly nothing new.

Amazon has been providing cloud-based storage and computation through its Web Services since 2002, and Salesforce introduced us to the concept of delivering applications through a website as far back as 1999.

In case almost twenty years of profitable cloud-based business isn't enough proof, let's turn to the experts. According to Gartner, a leading IT research firm, the worldwide market for cloud services is expected to exceed $200 billion this year, growing by nearly 17% when compared to 2015.

On top of that, more and more businesses are getting involved each year. A recent IDC survey of over 6,000 organisations from across the world revealed that 68% of respondents are using the cloud – a massive leap from just 42% last year.

So with a proven track record, continued popularity and sustained growth from year to year, it looks like this fad just might be here to stay.

"It's going to be pricey"

There are always going to be a few worries about the potential extra costs involved in changing to a new accounting system. But in practice – and especially in the long run – you and your accounting clients could actually start saving money by moving to the cloud.

Compared to traditional accounting software, paying for a cloud-based service means you won't have to worry about the costs of backing up your data, upgrading and maintaining your system, or paying the wages of any IT support staff you might need.

On top of all that, paying a flat monthly subscription means it's simple and straightforward to keep your spending under control – and with flexible providers like Xero offering a range of packages and levels, you can scale your cloud services up and down as you need them.

"My clients' data won't be safe"

Any good accountant knows that security and reliability are paramount in building trust with their clients. And any sensible accountant is bound to be prudent with their clients' data.

But when it comes to cloud accounting software, it turns out that an accountant's deepest fears aren't always justified.

A study of SMEs in the US by Microsoft directly compared the experiences of non-cloud businesses with those of businesses that had already made the leap.

The results? Their concerns simply didn't match up to the facts.

While 60% of non-cloud SMEs said that fears over data security were stopping them from adopting cloud-based services, a massive 94% of cloud-using SMEs found that they'd gained new security benefits that their in-house technology hadn't provided – such as keeping their systems and antivirus facilities up to date.

And while 42% of non-cloud businesses doubted the reliability of the cloud, 75% of businesses already on board with the cloud reported improved service availability – with 61% experiencing a decrease in the frequency and length of downtime.

"There's a big gap between perception and reality when it comes to the cloud," said Adrienne Hall, General Manager of Trustworthy Computing at Microsoft. "SMEs that have adopted cloud services found security, privacy and reliability advantages to an extent they didn't expect."

"I won't know how to get started"

It's not always easy to start making positive changes to your business – especially if you feel a little out of your depth. But as expert cloud integrators, we can guide and advise you through every step of the process.

We'll work with you to help you choose the right software, tailor it to your needs, link together the parts of your software into an integrated whole, and then train and support you and your team to help you get the most out of your new accounting system.

If you're ready to make the move to a more efficient, secure and cost-effective way of looking after your clients' accounts, arrange a free consultation with us today to find out how we can help.
If this has inspired you, check out our article '3 Questions Accountants should bbe asking their cloud accounting clients' for great tips.


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