More and more small businesses are using cloud accounting solutions for their businesses – and increasingly demand their accountants do the same. So how can you make use of the cloud to better service your clients and improve your practice?
According to Intuit research, 88 per cent of British SMBs expect their accountants to embrace cloud-based solutions, with 58 per cent willing to pay more for the privilege. The report, ‘The changing role of accountancy’, also found only 37 per cent were currently offering cloud accounting solutions – thus missing out on valuable opportunities to connect with clients as a trusted business partner, rather than just a number cruncher.
What is ‘the cloud’?
Computing in the cloud allows shared data, information and resources to be provided to computers and other mobile devices as and when needed. Cloud-based technologies, therefore, are increasingly useful to businesses owners that work on the go.
Benefits of cloud accounting
Using a cloud-based accounting solution, like Intuit QuickBooks, holds many advantages for accountants, and not just because clients may demand it:
Less paperwork, more time
Cloud accounting mean you no longer have to sift through reams of information for each client – you can see it all at the click of a button. You can also manage all aspects of a business’s finances in one place – for example, payroll figures flow into your accounting software automatically, removing the need for multiple software programmes or Excel spreadsheets.
The beauty of the cloud means this can be done on any device, anywhere, anytime – saving you time to focus on how best you can serve your clients and offer added value, rather than getting bogged down in paperwork.
Secure backup of information
Everything is backed up to the cloud, which means you won’t lose the data if anything goes wrong on your firm’s computer systems. And you certainly won’t have to reconstruct it. All you have to do is take the time to understand where these backups are stored and how you can access them in the event of an emergency.
Better understanding of clients’ business needs
Because you and your clients are connected in the cloud, you can see the business’s figures in real time, rather than retrospectively, and can act or advise accordingly. This enables you to be a true business partner to your client, not just someone who helps out at tax time.
Increased revenue opportunities
With so many small business owners willing to pay more for cloud-based solutions, this is a great opportunity to increase profits for your practice – especially with 65 per cent of SMBs being prepared to pay for additional consulting advice and 72 per cent for project financing and reporting.
Keeping up with your clients
With the incredible diversity and affordability of cloud solutions, it’s a no-brainer for today’s start-ups and small businesses to use them from the very beginning. And in this globalised, fast-paced technological world, the modern accountant needs to keep pace with their clients whenever and wherever they are.
See how one cloud accounting firm used QuickBooks to improve the way it works with clients with our Gascoynes case study.
To find out how cloud accounting can benefit both your practice and clients, sign up QuickBooks Online Accountant for free.