The advent of cloud technology has changed the entire IT landscape. Gone are the days of the bulky and expensive legacy hardware system. According to a report by Gartner, the worldwide public cloud services market is projected to grow 17.5 percent in 2019 to total $214.3 billion, up from $182.4 billion in 2018.
Like any other profession, the accountants and tax preparers are also eager to test out the capabilities of the cloud. But, shifting the tax application and data on the cloud also comes with a bit of apprehension.
If you are a tax professional, here are some questions you should ask yourself to analyze whether hosting your tax software is the right solution for your business.
1. Is your tax data secure?
You very well know the criticality of tax data. It contains some of the most confidential information about the clients, which, in any case, should not fall into the wrong hands.
Last year, the IRS issued the list of “dirty dozen” tax scams to look out for in 2019. With these tax scams at large, you should ask yourself the question of whether your data is safe in your local system. Do you have the funds to build a secure infrastructure for your data?
If not, you can consider moving your tax application and data on the cloud of a reliable third-party provider. A competent provider deploys security measures like data encryption, multi-factor authentication, and Intrusion Detection and Prevention for unauthorized access.
Keeping your data safe should be your number one priority, and hosting the tax software on the cloud offers you just that.
2. Do you have issues in collaborating with your clients?
One of the most pressing issues that the tax professionals encounter is collaborating with their clients. Conventionally, the correspondence is carried out through emails, where the tax preparers have to ask for the clients’ documents through emails. The clients send the required documents through emails, leading to a long thread.
With the help of cloud hosting, you can share all the required documents easily. Cloud offers a common platform where the clients can store all the documents, which you can access using the authorized credentials.
It helps in saving both you and the client’s valuable time.
3. Can you access the data outside of work?
No matter how advanced your tax software is, it is of no use if you cannot access it. Sometimes, the tax preparers need to access the tax data at odd times, and this situation only worsens during the tax season.
However, if you choose tax software cloud hosting, you can access your data from any location at any time. As the tax software and data are hosted on remote cloud servers, you need an end-point device and internet connection to login to the cloud portal.
This adds immense mobility to your tax process and helps you serve the clients belonging to any time zone.
4. Is your local setup cost-efficient?
How many systems have you deployed in your office? How much does it cost you to maintain the office IT infrastructure?
If you are bothered by all these questions, you should consider moving your tax process on the cloud. Cloud hosting practically eliminates any requirement of high-end hardware in your tax firm. As the tax software and data are hosted on the remote cloud environment, you can access it with your smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
Moreover, you do not need to spend on upgrading your hardware as you can also purchase refurbished tablets in wholesale and the cloud provider takes care of it. You can pay the wholesaler as per the resources you use and not a penny more.
5. Do you use any additional software with your tax software?
No tax process is complete without the use of additional third-party add-ons that offer functionalities other than the tax software. There is a plethora of software for CRM, data management, and time tracking.
However, there are numerous of hardware restrictions while integrating these add-ons with the tax software. As the local hardware resources are limited, you have to upgrade it to integrate these add-ons.
If you are using a considerable number of add-ons with the tax software, cloud hosting is the right choice for you. With your tax software on the cloud, all the add-ons can be integrated seamlessly without any hardware restrictions.
6. Are you fed up of the local IT issues?
You must be encountering a good number of IT issues in your office daily. Sometimes the storage drives get corrupted, other times the application hangs. To fix these things, you have to hire a dedicated IT team.
However, with tax software cloud hosting, the providers offer round the clock support on call, chat, or email. All you need to do is contact them, and all your issues will be resolved in a jiffy.
7. Do you take data backup?
It is good practice to take regular data backup of all the client data. However, if you are doing it on the local servers, it is not as effective as you think. In times of a cyberattack, your entire network can get compromised, or your locality could be affected by a natural disaster.
In contrast, cloud service providers keep your data safe in top tier data centers. Also, if there is a disaster in your area, it would not affect the data.
Optimize Your Accounting Process
The cloud environment can enhance the functionality of tax software by offering additional benefits. However, it does not mean that you decide to migrate your tax process on the cloud without proper research. Go through all the cloud service providers in the market and choose wisely.