Navigating the Transition to Cloud Accounting: Best Practices for Accountants

by Dave Heistein, CPA, Profitwise Accounting | June 27, 2023

The use of cloud accounting is on the rise across all types of businesses, and accountants are tasked with staying on top of this trend. If you're an accountant looking to transition from traditional systems to a new cloud accounting solution, benefits include the following:

  • More robust security measures. Cloud accounting platforms have data backups, encryption and multi-factor authentication options available, making sharing data and collaborating on projects much easier and more efficient.
  • Always up to date. The cloud provider automatically includes changes in accounting rules and tax rates, and new features are also added without you needing to do anything.
  • Streamlined workflows. Cloud solutions automate tasks, freeing up time for accountants to focus on more high-value tasks, such as analysis and strategy.
  • Accessible from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection.
  • Ease of collaboration. Multiple users can access and work on the same data simultaneously. This can be particularly useful for businesses with multiple locations or remote teams.
  • Flexible and scalable. Traditional accounting software is often limited by the capabilities of the computer it is installed on. But cloud-based software can scale up or down depending on the business's needs. This makes it easier for organizations to adjust their accounting software to accommodate growth or changes in their operations.

By using cloud software, accountants can benefit from automatic backups and secure data encryption. It is more flexible, scalable, collaborative and secure. This can especially benefit businesses with limited IT resources.

Find a Provider

The first step is to do your research and find a high-quality cloud accounting software option. Important features to look for include the following:

  • Multi-user access for remote employees
  • Customer relationship management so that client information can be easily accessed and updated
  • A secure platform that meets the necessary compliance standards

Prepare Your Data

It’s important to thoroughly clean and organize your data before transferring it to the new system. This includes removing duplicate files, correcting any errors, ensuring proper formatting and verifying data accuracy.

Additionally, be sure to include all relevant data: financial data, customer data, vendor records, payroll records and inventory data. Identify any data that is no longer required or is outdated and delete or archive it to prevent unnecessary storage costs.

Assess Security Needs

When you navigate the transition to cloud-based accounting systems, you will need a solid security plan. Since you will be relying on cloud providers to store sensitive data, you must ensure your firm's bank accounts and financial information are well-protected.

Start by evaluating your organization’s current financial position and the level of security risks that you may face. Determine what information needs to be protected and who should have access to it. This includes identifying the types of data that should be classified as confidential or sensitive and defining the extent of their accessibility.

Once you clearly understand your security needs, develop a security plan that meets those requirements. This should include all policies and procedures that will help safeguard your information from outside threats, like access controls and password management.

Monitor Performance

Regular monitoring of cloud-based applications helps to identify performance issues such as slow system response time, downtime and network latency. These issues can be caused by various factors, such as overloaded servers, inadequate bandwidth, software bugs or even human error.

Furthermore, monitoring the cloud-based system's performance can help businesses protect their financial operations. These systems are vulnerable to security threats such as cyber-attacks, data breaches, and intentional or accidental data loss. With regular performance monitoring, you will identify any potential security threats early. Then, you can take the necessary measures to mitigate them.

Dave  Heistein

Dave Heistein

Dave Heistein, CPA, is the co-founder and managing partner of Profitwise Accounting. He is an advanced QuickBooks Pro-Advisor and Instructor with more than 18 years of experience in finance, tax and operational management.

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