Common data protection includes combining 256-bit encryption at login, along with enterprise-level firewalls, state of the art Tier III data centers with 24/7/365 on-site monitoring and security, and Network Operations Center (NOC) teams that monitor potential threats and sabotage at all times. These NOCs keep an eye out for unauthorized intrusions, plus weather situations and other events such as earthquakes and deploy redundancies of 2N or better on all systems, which helps ensure uptime and security even when disasters occur locally. Additionally, NOCs have independent and uninterruptable power supplies to ensure that users experience no downtime.
These are just some of the security aspects that must be considered, but others include managing users and ensuring that only authorized users have access to information, with administrators having the power to turn this access on and off according to need. In short, management of risk is no longer optional and control over “who sees what and when they see it” is a paramount consideration. Because of the built-in security features, when managed effectively, online accounting mitigates if not eliminates the risks of compromised financial data.
Another clear benefit of online client accounting, and one closely related to risk management, is redundancy. This simply means that financial information is backed up in the Cloud. With online systems, access to vital financial information is not dependent any longer on in-house computers and software that may (and eventually will) fail.
With automated backup in multiple locations, data is simply safer, and in the Cloud, the locations for storage are virtually limitless. Redundancy brings comfort to business owners who know that their information won’t be lost.
Finally, the result of this ease of access, sharing of information, risk management and redundancy, is much better recovery if something goes wrong. With online accounting systems, you can get the data back and get back to work quickly. Disaster recovery—knowing that information will never be lost permanently—is the endgame benefit of online client accounting.
Every decision in business depends on timely and accurate information. When disasters strike, regardless of their causes, a business professional can be assured that if he and his accountant are working together in the Cloud, access is assured, no matter what occurs.
Proof of the benefits rest in the opportunities this new technology represents. Online client accounting is safer, more accessible, automatically backed up and frees users from maintenance of programs. Wise business owners and their accounting professionals should use them to their full potential.
Robert J. Chandler is President/CEO of Cloud9 Real Time (www.cloud9realtime.com), and has more than 17 years of experience as an accountant as well as cloud computing. He received CPA Practice Advisor’s “40 Under 40 Award” in 2007, 2008, and 2010, and in 2012, Cloud9 Real Time received the publication’s Reader’s Choice Award for ASP-Hosted Solution Providers. Robert and the Cloud9 Team strive to offer the latest technological advances to the accounting and business communities, providing cloud services and application streaming of software and virtualization of the office. Mr. Chandler is writing his first book, “Together in the Cloud,” which will be released in early 2012. The above article includes protected content from that upcoming book and is used by contractual permission. Robert can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.