There are tools for all sizes and needs.
By Jody Padar
The Radical CPA
We've said the backups and the intangibles outweigh the little annoyances. But what specifically will you gain from moving to the cloud?
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1. It will help you go paperless. The cloud had helped me rethink my entire document management system and my firm is now 100 percent paperless. The problem with document management systems today is that they’re very static for working in a fluid environment. I have yet to find a technology that addresses this issue to my liking.
2. You’ll have a farther reach for recruiting. You now have the ability to recruit worldwide. Virtual firms are hard work. Keeping track of a few team members who work remotely, even if you aren’t a 100 percent virtual firm, can present some obstacles. It’s a challenge to manage people when they aren’t sitting in front of you. Most firms have trouble managing people a few cubes away. You’re going to have to up your game in hiring and management. As firm owners, we can do a better job at this. How are we going to change our management style so that we can welcome employees from all over the world and truly become global firms?
3. It will help you rethink workflow. Upload important documents and emails into files and then delete them out of your inbox. Just do it! The problem with email is that people hoard it and then information is not shared with other people in the firm and it just gets lost.
4. It gives you mobility. What does any cloud do? It gives you real time anywhere at any time access, as long as you have an Internet connection. If our Internet goes out we have hotspot backups, which are WiFi-driven.
5. It supports new firms. Most cloud software is sold in a subscription-based model. You get started and you start paying and you don’t have this huge upfront cost to start. This removes the barrier for those wanting to start a new firm. You can also add new customers and scale your subscription up as you bring them on. That’s a critical benefit from a cash flow perspective.
6. It forces communication to be different. The cloud makes everything user-friendly. We can now run our firms off of iPads and tablets. We use Skype, GoToMeeting, Lync, video conferencing all on a regular basis. This will become the norm. Take advantage!
Cloud Accounting Tools For Everyone
There are a lot of choices out there in the accounting software world. Some of them include Xero, QuickBooks Online, Sage One, Kashoo, Wave, and FreshBooks. Do some research and figure out what will work best for you and your firm.
Cloud Software for Small Business: The QuickBooks Customer Replacement
If you’re looking at cloud accounting packages, and you are a smaller firm that serves the zero to $10 million market, the above mentioned trial balance software will work. If you brought it up with the vendors and told them the size of the company they would say that many small business over $10 million could still utilize their trial balance software.
Small Business Over $10 Million
If you’re looking at serving the small business market over $10 million in sales, there are trial balance software packages such as Intacct, Netsuite, and Financial Force.
Management Resources In The Cloud App Store
Accounting software is online but now you have several apps that can connect to them so you can run your proprietary business. Look in the app store; that’s where you’re going find the tools to help run your business. But be careful, when you start connecting a bunch of apps together your monthly fees will become pretty expensive. If you’re not paying for an internal network, however, then you’re cutting costs.
Accounting Process Add-ons
What are the accounting process add-ons?
- FreshBooks offers invoicing. My favorite thing about FreshBooks for invoicing is that you get your scheduled C Filer or an S-corp that doesn’t need a balance sheet just using FreshBooks and then you don’t have to think about getting them organized at tax time. They have all their income and expenses in one place.
- Bill.com offers payables and receivables; their offering, connected to a trial balance package will allow you to work as a remote controller with significant insight into your customers’ cash flow.
- ZenPayroll has picked up where PayCycle left off. Although still a young company, they have developed a great customer-focused payroll product. If they continue to enhance the accountant interface, ADP watch out!
- HubDoc is a great external, dynamic portal. It was developed as a portal with the customer in mind, as opposed to many portals, which are not customer-friendly at all. I don’t care what portal you use, none of them are customer-friendly. HubDoc is different; technology pulls bank documents and receipts in without any human involvement and customers can also put documents in and then we have access to them.
- From a scanning perspective, Neat Receipts is pretty cool!
- CCHAxcess: This is our tax, workflow and document storage suite. It is hosted by Simplified Innovations and it is our true center of function.
- Avalara allows for the practitioner to be the sales tax compliance expert. Calculations and filings become easy.