The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way our entire society works, forcing everyone to reduce their number of social interactions. Non-essential businesses are now nearly entirely online-based, with many companies finding that working remotely can be even more efficient than working in offices.
For accountants, this move online has exposed inefficiencies in traditional accounting, which was largely outdated even before the pandemic struck. For those still using legacy systems, the pandemic should be looked at as a catalyst to change to more modern systems – most significantly, the cloud.
Accounting in the cloud allows accountants to eliminate outdated, manual, and paper-based processes, while enhancing controls and visibility. If you haven’t already switched to the cloud, now is the time. This article will cover some of the benefits accountants can enjoy from moving their work to the cloud while showing exactly how to do so.
Cloud accounting makes an accountant’s life easier
Working from the cloud is imperative for nearly every profession – and accountants are no exception. The most prominent of its benefits is the fact that accountants can access the necessary documents from anywhere in the world with an internet connection, making team collaboration and flexible working a walk in the park.
Traditional accounting often requires you to be tied to your desktop as your software and data are all stored on a local hard drive, restricting your ability to work flexibly. Cloud accounting software changes this, allowing you to work on any platform – even mobile devices – so long as you have the correct log-in information. With cloud services, you or any member of your team can access information with ease no matter where you are.
An additional benefit is the improved security of cloud services. The only people who are allowed access information are designated members of the accounting team, meaning that your important accounting data is locked until accessed by a team member.
Cloud accounting systems also take much less time and care than traditional systems. Because updates are done automatically, there is no need to waste time backing up your system and applying updates. They also vastly reduce the amount of paperwork that needs to be done because paperless invoices are able to be easily routed to the right team members for approval, wherever they are. This also has the added benefit of reducing additional costs such as printing, mailing, filing, and storage.
Here’s how you can make the change to the cloud
The pandemic should make every company move their accounting processes to the cloud. However, many who have spent years growing comfortable with old processes think that it’s difficult to do so – but they couldn’t be more wrong. Moving to work outside of the office and on the cloud is simpler than ever.
The first step should be setting a strong foundation for remote work. Because this pandemic has forced everyone to work outside of their normal comfort zones, it’s crucial that remote work setups function as needed. To do so, you should first make sure that you and your entire team have a process for updating their computers to the latest operating systems. This way, everyone will be able to work quickly and efficiently from the comfort of their own home. You also need to check the speed of your internet connection as work and home internet connections can vary drastically. You don’t want to waste time waiting for information to load.
With the foundation in place, the next step is to download the specific cloud-based accounting software you need. Depending on your industry, there are several different kinds of software for you to choose from such as payroll to AP automation and everything in between. This makes it easy for various members of the team to log in from anywhere around the world – a critical function during the pandemic.
Security is another important aspect when dealing with any vital information. Fortunately, cloud-based programs have built-in security options that help restrict access to information more than traditional systems. Only those with access to the account are able to access the documents, while the cloud architecture acts as a secure online vault. For further security, VPNs work to deter hackers while two-tier authentication systems add an additional layer of security to your system.
Adapting to the remote work on the cloud
Switching from working predominantly from the office to the home has no easy cut-and-paste formula. Some people excel at working from home and find themselves even more productive, while others struggle without the structure of an office setting. Therefore, it’s important that you and your team take advantage of tools to make sure everyone is working as smoothly as possible.
Time management is crucial for anyone to be successful. In the office setting, it’s easy to know when you need to finish a task – and you’ll likely be reminded by your supervisors. While working at home, it’s important to download some kind of time management application, which will help you and your team organize and keep track of time spent on projects. Setting workforce requirements through these apps will help make sure that everyone is completing their tasks at an efficient pace. Communicate with your team to make sure that everyone is on track.
Working remotely can also reduce team morale for those used to forming office relationships with their coworkers. Therefore, it’s important to keep everyone connected. This can be done through virtual coffee breaks and social events with your team. This way, everyone stays motivated and in contact with each other even while physically distanced. Especially in these hard times, it can really make a difference.
The coronavirus has caused every accounting team to vastly change the way they operate. Luckily, with the help of the cloud, accounting teams are able to stay efficient and flexible now and into the future.