There might never have been a more difficult time to run an accounting firm than right now. How can you meet the challenges your firm faces? There’s no single magic formula, but cloud accounting can help—a lot.
Hiring great employees, securing data and improving client service are priorities for firms of all sizes right now. And dealing with those issues is as difficult as it has ever been. The numbers are not favorable for accounting firms.
Numbers around the profession point to the need for cloud accounting
Consider some statistics currently floating around concerning accounting firms and the profession as a whole.
Hiring and retaining employees
According to recruitment firm Robert Half:
In a recent Caseware survey:
- More than 90% of respondents said finding talent for their firms was challenging.
- Almost 90% identified retaining talent as a challenge.
Complicating things further is the fact that demand for accounting services is growing, so your firm is going to need more staffers in the years ahead. The market is set to expand at a combined annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% through 2030. The CAGR projection for the US economy as a whole is about 2%. That means there will be an outsized demand for accounting services in the decade to come.
Communicating with and serving clients
Clients want your firm to embrace doing business digitally, but not all firms have been able to adapt.
More from the Caseware survey:
- Firms identified “communicating with clients virtually” as the number one challenge they face.
- Virtual communication beat out even security and hiring as an issue for firms.
- The number two priority was “using new technologies.”
A recent Thomson Reuters survey identified client service as the second-biggest priority for firms, right behind efficiency.
Of course, cybersecurity remains a constant concern for businesses of all kinds. Accounting firms are certainly no exception and, in fact, are in the crosshairs of cyberattackers because they handle sensitive client information. Numbers show why cybersecurity is a preoccupation.
You need to make your firm more efficient, more appealing to potential employees and definitely more secure. There is no magical solution to the problems firm owners face, but there is one decision you can make to move your firm forward and face your challenges head-on. That decision is practicing cloud accounting by moving your applications and data into the cloud with a trusted partner.
How cloud accounting enables your firm to address challenges
With cloud accounting, your employees and your clients have secure access to data and applications from anywhere and at any time. You can get more done in less time and respond to clients quickly and efficiently. And you can do it all while easily budgeting for a monthly fee that covers everything.
Hiring and retaining employees in the cloud
With burnout claiming the careers of thousands of accountants, the cloud delivers efficiency that enables your employees to get more done in less time. How? When your firm runs applications in the cloud, manual processes become a thing of the past. The days of taking tax information by paper or PDF and manually keying data into software are over.
You can share information with your clients in a secure online environment where data can feed directly into your favorite tax applications. Plus, with employees able to work on files at the same time and from anywhere, version control is no longer a problem. All of that means employees can focus on doing their jobs, no matter what their jobs are. Working faster and more efficiently leads to getting more done in fewer hours.
With good accountants becoming harder to find, your firm is and will continue to be in competition for employees. Cloud accounting enables you to build a culture of efficiency and enable employees to do the work they want to do while still being able to clock out after a reasonable number of hours.
Improving client communication and service with cloud accounting
Legacy (basically, old) technology wasn’t built for the modern era of accounting. Standard email and outdated paper-based processes are slow and insecure. An online environment in the cloud gives your employees and your clients a safe space to collaborate in real time.
When you communicate with one of your firm’s business partners, you expect efficient and timely responses. Your clients expect the same of you. With workflows running and data stored in the cloud, your firm can always have the right person taking care of the right task with the right client.
The better you can communicate with clients, the more work you can take on without spending more hours working. Cloud accounting gives your firm the ability to scale—to take on new business without hiring new employees or overworking the ones you already have. More clients mean more revenue and stability for your firm, then, without raising costs or wrecking your culture.
Keeping your clients’ data safe with a cloud partner
Your clients’ data is the lifeblood of your firm. It’s critical to be able to collaborate and share the data quickly. But if you’re not sharing it securely, you’re putting your firm and your clients’ businesses at risk.
Email is a minefield if you’re not running in the cloud. The overwhelming majority of security threats still arrive at your firm via email, and the pace isn’t slowing. In the cloud, you can communicate via secure email or in an online environment. Without the cloud, you’re on your own.
If you’re running a server in your office, it’s just about impossible for you to adequately keep your firm safe. Cybersecurity has to move at the breakneck pace of cyberattacks, and non-experts simply don’t have the time or experience to keep pace.
The right cloud provider will store your data in enterprise-level data centers and offer 24/7/365 US-based support. Your cloud partner has access to cybersecurity technology and expertise that goes far beyond what you could realistically hope to bring in-house. Plus, you and your employees don’t have to spend time worrying about cybersecurity. You can get on with serving clients and doing your jobs. Again, you benefit from efficiency.
Expertise matters in cloud accounting
You know that accounting firms have needs that other types of businesses don’t. Rightworks has served as a trusted partner to accounting firms for more than two decades and now provides cloud services to more than a quarter of a million users. The Rightworks OneSpace Firm product provides the accounting-specific cloud services your firm needs and delivers all the benefits of running your firm in the cloud.
Rightworks is 100% focused on accounting like no other cloud provider. You know that running an accounting firm isn’t easy. But running one in the cloud with Rightworks enables you to meet your challenges head-on and prepare your firm for a more stable and efficient future.
Make your life easier when you move your firm into the cloud. Get started today.