What do you need to know about cloud accounting?

Why are so many firms moving to cloud accounting? Discover eight benefits of running your accounting firm in the cloud.

minute read

Last Updated June 11, 2024

Category Cloud hosting

An image of someone holding an electronic tablet with the image of a cloud on it and displaying numerous icons extending from the cloud to represent the benefits of moving to the cloud


Accounting is moving to the cloudand clients know it. In fact, they expect firms to embrace cloud accounting. And if their firm doesn’t, they’ll find a firm that does.  

Do you find that hard to believe? Well, in a recent BILL survey, 64% of small and midsize business clients said they would leave or stop referring an accounting firm if the firm didn’t use the cloud. Beyond that, 80% said they wouldn’t refer a firm that didn’t stay updated on the latest technologies.  

So, it’s likely that your clients want your firm to use the cloud. But what are the other benefits of the cloud for accounting firms?  

8 ways firms benefit from cloud accounting

Ultimately, the cloud enables your firm to run more efficiently and securely. It also lets you run your firm, instead of getting bogged down in manual tasks and IT management. The benefits of cloud accounting include these eight compelling points:  

1. Replacement of on-site servers 

Running an on-site server is difficult and expensive. Not only do you have to buy and maintain the necessary physical equipment, but you also need to find someone to manage and update it. That means conducting a thorough evaluation to determine whether your employees have the experience to properly implement and maintain a server to meet standards that are constantly and rapidly evolving. The truth is that most employees in accounting firms aren’t familiar with changing standards, so they probably don’t know how to optimize a server. After all, you run an accounting firm, not an IT consultancy.  

2. Experienced implementation and support 

Finding and hiring IT professionals isn’t easyand it’s certainly not cheap. And if you can find IT help, you need to keep those employees trained on the latest technology updates. Very few IT professionals can serve accounting firms effectively, because most of these pros don’t have experience implementing and maintaining accounting applications.  

With cloud accounting, you can minimize your concerns about IT support. The right cloud provider will keep your firm running smoothly with enterprise-class network professionals who have extensive experience working with accounting applications. Many firms that move entirely to the cloud don’t need IT workers at all. Plus, a cloud provider can deliver 24/7/365 support that no internal employee could reasonably match.  

3. Enhanced cybersecurity 

Cybersecurity is an ever-changing field, and businesses of all kinds are constantly under attack. One study from insurer Hiscox found that 51% of US companies experienced a cyberattack in 2023. One in five of those companies nearly went out of business—20% of victims said their solvency was “materially threatened” after the attack.  

You need protection against cyberattacks from experts who constantly update themselves on how to deal with the latest threats. While internal IT employees might be able to do basic operating system, antivirus and firewall updates, they rarely have the knowledge and resources to carry out essential security tasks such as implementing multifactor authentication and intrusion detection, or installing and updating prevention applications. A cloud provider offers security expertise that few businesses of any size could hope to match.  

4. Remote access by default 

Even though it’s now a fact of life, many firms still struggle to manage remote work. Making applications work remotely the same way they do in the office can be a challenge, and sharing data from any location at any time is nearly impossible without cloud accounting. Cloud-based applications are mobile by default, meaning employees can use them securely from anywhere without your firm needing to manage anything related to IT. You can work confidently from anywhere knowing that you, your employees and your clients have simultaneous access to the same real-time data.  

5. Depth of personnel 

Most firms with traditional onsite networks are understaffed in IT and would have a hard time replacing IT workers if they left the firm. That leaves the firms seriously at risk. Very few accounting firm leaders have the knowledge or desire to oversee ITthey are, after all, not technology professionals—and hiring IT workers is difficult. Cloud providers have layers of experts who can provide support to firms and maintain and protect their data and applications. Meanwhile, firms can spend their time and money recruiting and hiring accountants.  

6. Disaster recovery 

Ask accounting firm leaders what level of disaster recovery they want, and they’ll say instant recovery. However, when they hear about the extensive cost for disaster recovery, they usually don’t want to pay for anything more than an off-site backup. Cloud providers have extensive disaster recovery capabilities built into their services. Since cloud providers can spread the cost of recovery across clients, firms end up paying less to back up their data in the cloud than they would with an internal setup. Plus, cloud providers can offer both instant and granular recovery that most firms can’t possibly match.  

7. Support for growth or mergers 

Many firms are surprised at how difficult and expensive the process of upgrading an internal storage area network or adding remote user capabilities can be following an influx of new users from an acquisition or merger. Cloud providers have highly scalable architectures that allow firms to seamlessly add users and applications with virtually no effort. That makes cloud accounting ideal for firms that are on a growth trajectory. 

8. Support for demergers and new firms 

Another benefit of cloud providers is that you pay for what you use, similar to a utility bill. In the case of a demerger or a manager wanting to start a new firm, the cloud can ramp up applications and users in a fraction of the time it would take internal personnel to create a new network. A cloud provider can also get a firm started with a fixed monthly cost per user instead of a large initial capital outlay. A fixed monthly plan makes budgeting easier. 

Cloud accounting is the future—and the present 

If you’re running a traditional in-house IT infrastructure, you’re falling farther behind every day. Accounting firms have been replacing traditional server farms and IT departments with cloud providers for years, and the trend continues. Don’t let your firm get locked into expensive and possibly obsolete hardware and IT support. Consider what the cloud can do for you. 

Make your move to the cloud today. 

Subscribe to our blog

Get Rightworks articles delivered straight to your inbox.