Mobilizing the Cloud for Small Business Accounting
by Terri Eyden on
By Michael Callan, CPA, cofounder of Swizznet
It wasn't that long ago that small and medium-size business (SMB) accounting software resided on a PC – and only on a PC. Today, with more than 1.3 million Intuit QuickBooks users alone accessing the online version of QuickBooks, it's time for every accountant to take a look at what Cloud computing can offer for streamlining the process of everyday tasks. When coupled with mobile devices, the Cloud offers the freedom of anywhere/anytime availability that can be hugely beneficial to in-house financial teams as well as consultants.
In a recent American Institute of CPAs (AICPA) white paper, Accounting Services: Harness the Power of the Cloud, based on research by Dr. Geoffrey Moore, the AICPA strongly endorsed the move from paper to digital, recommending that members harness the power of pervasive computing: "The key investment to fund is a technology transition focused on aggressively displacing the use of paper and on-premise PC hosting in favor of digital workflows hosted in the Cloud. Paper is the anchor that keeps CAS [client accounting services] practice margins at unacceptably low levels, so driving it out of the system is fundamental to building a sustainable business."
I'd go one step further. While it's called Cloud computing today, in the very near future, it will just be the way we do business. And mobile technologies will play a key role in amplifying the Cloud's usefulness by enabling accountants to exchange information with their teams and/or clients on demand, 24/7.
It's already happening. Now that the full power and data of applications like QuickBooks are available to users on a mobile phone or tablet, businesses are taking the opportunity to rationalize their internal processes. For example, a construction firm or plumber can create and enter a quote or invoice while on-site using a tablet, rather than taking down data, going back to the office, and creating an invoice there. Not only does this save time, it minimizes the need for double entry and reduces mistakes, thereby improving overall data accuracy.
You may like these other stories...
You probably don't want to think about how many times you access the File menu in Excel 2010 or 2013. Personally I think Excel 2010 has the best possible File menu arrangement, other than having Print Preview grafted...
Following other recent high-profile hacking events, investigators discovered yesterday that hackers broke into the draft work paper files of several famous CPA firms. Revealing images of the scantily clad documents have been...
For bitcoin users, the taxman cometh. And you best know how to calculate taxes owed on what the IRS calls convertible virtual currency.In March 2014, the IRS issued Notice 2014-21, which declares virtual currency will be...
Upcoming CPE Webinars
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.
This webcast will include discussions of important issues in SSARS No. 19 and the current status of proposed changes by the Accounting and Review Services Committee in these statements.
Amber Setter will show the value of leadership assessments as tools for individual and organizational leadership development initiatives.
Many Excel users have a love-hate relationship with workbook links. For the uninitiated, workbook links allow you to connect one Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to other spreadsheets, Word documents, databases, and even web pages.