Technology has come a long way in the last 20 years. Gone are the days of the junior auditor lugging around a suitcase (with wheels if they were lucky) of client files for every audit. Green pens and balancing a trial balance on paper are all distant memories that most recent graduates know nothing about.
Programs such as CaseWare, MYOB and Xero are an excellent example of how far technology in the accounting world has come, meaning that conducting business with a client has become a more streamlined process. While close cross checking is still necessary, a lot of the raw data processing and calculations are now done for us with these programs. Most accounting software now has a ‘cloud’ function, meaning it is easily accessible at anytime from anywhere an internet connection is available.
The cloud is a form of internet based computing that provides shared computer processing and data storage resources to deliver software as a service over the internet. Multiple users are able to access their information at the same time from any location with the assurance that it will not be lost due to hardware failure. In addition, many have realised the significant cost savings of not having to run, maintain and upgrade an often underutilised server. Cloud providers also have highly secure servers and often provide ongoing software updates in the background.
Over the past five years, cloud computing has become a significant and defining technology, with banks, insurance agencies, technology firms and accounting firms amongst the many industries getting on board and taking advantage of cloud based offerings.
Benefits of using the cloud include:
- Clients may enjoy quick and easy upload of a large number of files simultaneously, saving on multiple emails with attachments that may get trapped in spam filters, blocked or sent to the wrong person;
- An adviser doesn’t need to transfer a file back and forth with a client across email or other online portals, or USB stick.
- Online viewing of any files you have uploaded (no need to have viewing software installed on each computer), or otherwise access to a common ledger and data set
- Your data is stored and backed up in secure data centres;
- Multiple people within the accounting agency can work together on the file at once with built in collaboration and version control.
If you would like to learn more about using the cloud, please consult your Accru contact.
By Samantha Pollock, Accru Melbourne