Why accounting firms shouldn’t resist cloud adoption

Firms that embrace the cloud have major advantages over those that don’t. So, why aren’t more firms all in on cloud adoption? They should be. Learn why.

minute read

Last Updated May 20, 2024

Category Cloud hosting

A diverse group of people gathered around a conference room table discussing cloud adoption.


Forward-thinking firms have learned that accounting works better in the cloud. But what about those firms that haven’t fully embraced running applications and storing data in the cloud? What are they waiting for? It turns out that some of the reasons for their resistance to cloud adoption could be misguided.  

Of all the compelling reasons for firms to move to the cloud, one jumps out: Clients want the cloud. In a survey of SMB clients of accounting firms, BILL found that 64% would leave a firm or stop referring it if it didn’t operate in the cloud. Almost 80% said they would drop or not refer a firm if it didn’t keep up with the latest technologywhich is far easier to do in the cloud than elsewhere.  

Still, some firms are not sure about the cloud. While most firms have some data and apps in the cloud, many have resisted moving to a hosted model in a significant way. Those stragglers have real and legitimate concerns, but the cloud and the firms that use it ultimately answer every question.  

Your firm needs to be fully committed to the cloud. Why? Because it will actually make a lot of your worries go away. 

Why firms are hesitant about cloud adoption  

An image reads: The firms most invested in technology reported generating 39% more revenue per employee than other firms.

A recent Rightworks survey of accounting firms found that most of them, 57%, have 75% or more of their data and applications in the cloud. But that leaves a surprising 43% that have less than three-quarters of their data in a hosted environment. Nearly a quarter of respondents said they have less than half of their data and apps in the cloud.  

Those who haven’t committed to cloud adoption yet are missing out on opportunities. The cloud is valuable for accounting firms; 76% of respondents said they found the value of the cloud high or very high. The main advantages of the cloud cited by firms were support for remote workers and enhanced cybersecurity. Almost 90% of respondents said technology has had a somewhat or very positive effect on levels of efficiency and client service.  

And then there’s the real kicker: The firms most invested in technology reported generating 39% more revenue per employee than other firms. Unfortunately, those at the forefront of technology represented only 16% of firms surveyed.  

So, why are other firms hesitant to fully embrace the cloud? As it happens, they answered that question, too. And while their concerns were understandable, they’re generally misguided or unfounded. We’ve listed those concerns right here.  

Lack of technical expertise and resources in the firm  

Far from being a reason to resist cloud adoption, this is one of the best reasons to embrace it. Running applications and storing data in the cloud requires very little from the firm in terms of expertise or resources. In fact, that’s exactly what your cloud partner provides: expert professionals managing your apps and data in top-tier facilities. The more data and apps you move to the cloud, the less work you have to do to secure and maintain them.  


Yes, cost is always a factor for any new investment. But consider this: IT costs are unpredictable outside the cloud. A cyberattack, natural disaster or other event that threatens or destroys data could cost your firm dearly both financially and in terms of reputation. Even without a catastrophe, it’s hard to know how much functions like server maintenance and application updates will cost. In the cloud, you pay a manageable and predictable monthly fee that’s a simple line item in your budget. Plus, you can easily scale as your firm grows. Ultimately, the cloud is cheaper than alternatives—and it can help your firm boost revenues, too.  

Lack of understandable choices 

It’s hard enough shopping for a refrigerator, much less looking at options for an important investment for your firm. But there are some simple ways to check out cloud providers. One is G2, a well-established, unbiased and impartial website with user reviews. (Yes, Rightworks has won multiple awards from G2.) Talk to colleagues from other firms. Attend conferences if you can, either in person or virtually. Change is never easy, but getting information about the cloud and cloud providers is relatively simple.  

Internal resistance to new technology  

This is a tough issue to address since the situation is undoubtedly different for every firm. Accounting is a profession that’s aging faster than others, which could lead to some hesitation about adopting new technology. If you want to champion cloud adoption, remember its benefits: cybersecurity, easy access to information for the entire firm in multiple apps, predictable costs, time and resource savings. And don’t forget: Firms fully committed to technology generate 39% more revenue per employee than those that aren’t.  

Lack of time 

Moving to the cloud at its most essential level takes virtually no time at all. Your cloud provider can move your apps and data remotely. All you do is log out and log in again. You can call a cloud provider such as Rightworks and literally have your data and apps in a hosted environment the same day without disrupting your firm. From there, moving all of your data and apps is easy. You really don’t have to do much at all.  

Current technology hampers moving to the cloud 

Here again, the situation will be different for each firm. But for the most part, the cloud replaces the in-house technology you’ve been updating and maintaining yourself. You can get rid of your in-office server. Most computers and other devices can access data in the cloud. If you don’t have an internet connection, that might be a problem. But if you do, you can connect to the cloud from anywhere and at any time.  

The time to fully embrace cloud adoption is now 

An image that reads: The more committed to technology you are, the greater your ability to generate revenue.

Fewer than 20% of firms are technology leaders, but those leaders fare demonstrably better financially than followers. The more committed to technology you are, the greater your ability to generate revenue. And there’s no better way to be a technology leader than to fully commit to cloud adoption. There’s really no good reason to hesitate or delay. 

Check out the full Rightworks accounting technology survey 

Subscribe to our blog

Get Rightworks articles delivered straight to your inbox.