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CCH Wolter Kluwer, an accounting research manager, conducted a research study in 2013. It was a national research study commissioned by CCH. The study was “Cloud computing – a matter of survival for the accounting industry?” The findings of the study were interesting and expected.

CCH’s study approves that the change to cloud-computing software or platforms for accounting services is well proceeding. Acceptance has now reached momentous levels among accountants and small business owners and is predominantly high amid younger groups. Future intents show that within two to three years, a mainstream of SMEs and their accountants will be managing their accounting on the cloud. For the accounting industry, the change to cloud-based computing offers some direct threats, but also long-term prospects.

Cloud computing will mechanize much of the low-level, managerial facilities that accountants have provided to small and medium enterprise clients for so long. This is not lost on business owners, who show they will consider replacing much of the work their accountant now does with cloud software. A decent number also say that they will deliberate replacing their accountants if they do not work with a cloud computing system. This fondness for cloud computing is increasing abruptly amid younger groups of business owners.

Cloud computing cannot replace an accountant, by any means.  However, accountants who have a wide knowledge of cloud computing will certainly be given preference in future jobs in small to medium sized businesses.

Before understanding the benefits of cloud computing, let’s through accounting and cloud accounting differences.

Cloud Accounting

Cloud accounting is the same as traditional accounting and bookkeeping procedures done on an accounting software. The cloud accounting software is hosted on remote servers, similar to the SaaS (Software as a Service) business model. Data is sent to the server into a ‘cloud’, where it is processed and sent back to the user. All application functions are done off-site, on the cloud, not on the desktop. The accounting functions are done online and not on the desktop software. The internet or another network is used for the process. Users access the cloud accounting software through a cloud application service provider. The software does not have to be installed onto a computer. It can be accessed from any place in the world, provided the cloud applications service provider is present.

Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses

1. You have access to your accounting and bookkeeping data anywhere and anytime in the world. You can spend time on other activities related to business operations or spend your quality time with family. You can go online to access cloud accounting software while sitting at home and stay updated with the accounting and bookkeeping functions in your business from the comfort of your own home. An up to date view of the financial status of your business enables you to make the right decisions at the right time

2. Go paperless in accounting and bookkeeping. This step is Eco-friendly, too. Paperwork takes a lot of time and resources for accountants and business owners. Small business owners need time to interpret accounting information. Accounting software makes it easy to interpret this critical information.

3. Cloud accounting software offers multi-user access.

4. A better relationship is built with your accountant. You can access accounting data online and give quality time to your accountant for discussion related to business bookkeeping.

5. Cloud accounting software is automatically updated.

6. Cloud accounting reduces upfront business costs. You do not face regular maintenance fees.

Conclusion

Cloud computing is the future of accounting procedures in small and medium sized businesses. Accountants must seek training to learn the cloud computing operations for their survival in accounting jobs. Cloud computing cannot replace an accountants. It only makes their jobs more efficient and time effective. The accounting industry is shifting from manual accounting to cloud computing in nearly all small and medium size entrepreneurships. This is the preference of business owners as well.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.

 

 

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In the past few years, new technologies have developed which have transformed almost every aspect of a business. The accounting industry was thought to be stagnant for many years, however, with the emergence of new technologies it certainly looks ready for disruption. There are a few drivers that must be seen in an industry before it dives into disruption.

What drives Disruption in an Industry?

Complacency

Complacency is one of the biggest signs that disruption is on its way, as businesses become mundane and instead of focusing on the future, boasts about their past accomplishments. This is an ideal opportunity for new players to come into the market and make an impact.

Frustration and Lack of Automation

Customers today are highly demanding and want better offerings. If existing practices in the accounting industry are not able to cater to their needs, they will look for some other option. Manual tasks usually take longer and frustrate the customers who want quick results. Automated solutions are in high demand in such an environment, which ultimately leads to disruption.

Innovation

Many new start-ups entering the market force the big players to either change their approach to innovation or acquire the emerging of new companies. Such a scenario can drive disruption in any industry.

When two or more of the above-mentioned drivers are present in an industry, it is set for disruption. Looking at the financial sector, we see that they are in play, one way or the other.

5 Trends Driving Disruption in the Accounting Industry

Customers want better connectivity

All service-based industries are opting for processes that are customer-centered and offer better value to them. With the advent of new tools and cloud technology, accountants are able to connect with their clients in newer ways, which builds healthy relations between both parties. All the business plans and future scenarios are discussed in real-time because of high-speed connectivity and problems can be solved as soon as they arise.

We can see this trend all around us as both service providers and clients have access to real-time information. It is all about information and whoever has access to the most relevant and rapid information has a competitive advantage.

Big Data

The advancements in business intelligence, big data, and machine analytics have far-reaching consequences in every aspect of the business. Big data allows businesses and decision makers to access an extraordinary amount of information and analytical tools to decide for their future.

Today, accounting professionals are using these tools to enter data, record keeping and analyze the future prospects for their business. Big data is a massive amount of consumer data and financial trends, which enables the strategists to view things from a broader perspective, allowing them to predict the future needs of their clients. The demand for business analytics professionals is on the rise because they are specialists in organizing big data and finding utilitarian patterns out of it.

Customization and specialization

It can be observed everywhere, as businesses are acquiring a taste for customization. This has been one of the driving factors to disruption in every industry, as clients only want to see or use the products that are fit for their specific needs. Social media users can choose to view content that they desire while smartphone users have access to the apps they want.

In accounting, this has resulted in an increased demand for specialized products instead of bundled packages. Businesses only want to pay for the specific services they require and cut costs on unnecessary services. If a company wants to outsource only its bookkeeping, the service providers need to oblige. Consequently, the accounting industry is seeing a shift in product offerings and price structuring of accounting software and other services to fit the need of their clients.

Mobile solutions

Smartphone usage has risen rapidly in the last decade and almost every business owner now owns one. This is one of the biggest challenges for accounting service providers as they must evaluate the kind of devices their clients use and then develop seamless apps for those devices. Many small business operators want to perform most of their accounting functions, like managing accounts, recording expense and tracking financial information on the move.

The accounting industry is coping with this challenge by equipping these clients with apps and portals specifically built for this purpose. The security features are becoming more advanced and user-friendliness of these apps is being worked upon continuously. Other value-added features like useful tips and advice are also helping service providers to attract new clients who want to keep track of their business on the go and stay on top.

Automation

We are witnessing the disappearance of manual data entries. Things like electronic documents, automatic imports and software solutions are becoming more of a norm. Businesses are better able to utilize their resources because of automation, as it saves them valuable time and cut HR costs. Real-time reporting is possible through automation and accuracy is improved significantly. Automation is going to be a key driving factor in the disruption of the accounting industry in times to come.

Check out America's Best Bookkeepers
About Complete Controller® – America’s Bookkeeping Experts Complete Controller is the Nation’s Leader in virtual accounting, providing services to businesses and households alike. Utilizing Complete Controller’s technology, clients gain access to a cloud-hosted desktop where their entire team and tax accountant may access the QuickBooks file and critical financial documents in an efficient and secure environment. Complete Controller’s team of  US based accounting professionals are certified QuickBooksTMProAdvisor’s providing bookkeeping and controller services including training, full or partial-service bookkeeping, cash-flow management, budgeting and forecasting, vendor and receivables management, process and controls advisement, and customized reporting. Offering flat rate pricing, Complete Controller is the most cost effective expert accounting solution for business, family office, trusts, and households of any size or complexity.