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Editor's Corner: Cloud Reality Check

Jul 8th 2016
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Rather than beat a dead horse, as the phrase goes, I’m just coming out to say cloud is reality and you as firms, as businesses, can either accept that this is how work is being done or not. It really depends how you want to run things and work with your clients, but it’s here and it’s not going away.

With that out of the way, last month one of our main running themes (we’re not a publication so we don’t really do features, we do themes) was about what going to the cloud really looks like from a usage, security, technology and practical point of view. By our count it was one of our more trafficked content areas and we rounded it out with a Twitter chat, featuring practitioners who have experience in many matters concerning the cloud.

The fact is, although the term has been bandied about for the better part of the past decade, there’s still many looming questions surrounding this way of doing work. Again, it’s not so much ‘Why’ but ‘How’ and “What” as in, what makes the most sense for me as a practitioner to put there/do there?

So as I mentioned, along with a whole series of articles and blogs (which you can see here) we rounded out the month by hosting a chat with Jose Antunes, CPA with WithumSmith+Brown; Josh Zweig, CPA, co-founder LiveCA; and Julie Carman, Senior Director, Global Accounting and Consulting Segment at Intapp. All have varied experiences in the cloud and over an hour, shared them with our engaged Twitter followers.

Some of the main takeaways from that conversation were:

  • You simply can’t ask too many questions about moving to the cloud
  • Get to know the vendors you are working with and their policies, even if you have to personally visit the facilities that host yours and your clients’ data
  • It’s never too late to learn, particularly from your those in your own profession who have been doing it for the better part of a decade already
  • Nothing is 100-percent secure, but it is far more safe than in your own office or hosted facility
  • Pay attention to client needs and utilize what makes the most sense

Now, some of these findings may seem “basic” or well-covered, but a large number of firms and individual practitioners are still not entirely confident in what exactly to do or ask when it comes to cloud. It’s a discussion that needs to continue among your colleagues and with those who have some experience with applications or service providers…perhaps even with the service providers themselves.

Believe it or not, they’re not all out to try to sell you anything. In fact, many vendors vying for the attention of accountants simply want to establish trust and a dialogue for the betterment of their own practice or the clients they serve. But, as we see in many aspects of society today all the facts in the world may not sway opinions that simply don’t want to be. Such is your prerogative, however if you did happen to miss the Twitter chat and are curious about what was asked and discussed we have provided the full stream below.

Until next time, let’s all keep the conversation going!

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