Hey You, Get onto My Cloud!

Cloud strategies mean different things to different people.

By Randy Johnston
Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

I can make this very simple. Do you or your clients need to work someplace other than the office? For most of you, this answer is simple. Yes!

The next question is also pretty simple. Do you need to run traditional desktop solutions, or is a solution available that runs in a web browser?

MORE TECH:  Soloists, Small Firms Must Take Software Seriously  |  How the Smallest Firms Can Make Better Technology Decisions  |  Soloists, Small Firms Cite Tech Challenges  |  Soloists, Small Firms Cite Top Challenges

 

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If everything in your world runs in a browser, then any computer will work, and you can be done reading this blog post. However, if you have any desktop solutions that you need to run remotely, you will need a hosted option for that application. You can host applications privately or publicly. READ MORE →

SURVEY: How Different Sizes of Firm Approach IT Spending

Money pouring out from a notebook computerPlus 4 IT rules to live by.

By Randolph P. Johnston, Leslie Garrett and Brian F. Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Many practitioners think CPA firm information technology is easy, and the really hard work is done with people who have large databases, etc.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Ins and Outs of Email, Document Storage | Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012 | Accounting Firms Add New Service Lines | Why Every CPA Firm Is a Tech Company at Heart
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Nothing could be further from the truth, as it would be normal for a staff tax preparer to have as many as 12 applications open at once. Very few things are as important to your firm’s effectiveness and efficiency as the reliability and effectiveness of your technology.
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SURVEY: The Risks of Subscription-Based Software

Businessman working on laptop with binary code in the backgroundPlus 7 key findings on SaaS, remote access and more.

By Randolph P. Johnston, Leslie Garrett and Brian F. Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

While subscription-based software has significant advantages, it also has some significant risks that need to be considered, including contingency planning, data backup, and data extraction and export when ending the relationship.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Ins and Outs of Email, Document Storage | Cloud Software Improves Financial Reporting | Accountants Quit Trying to Manage IT Themselves | How Top Tech Vendors Are Failing CPAs in the Cloud | Master Change, Master the Future
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Firms should have a clear plan for how they will operate if the cloud service is down for a day or more, including having enough data offline to permit manual preparation of payroll, invoices and other time-sensitive transactions.
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SURVEY: Ins and Outs of Email, Document Storage

Businessman touching virtual buttons in server roomJudicial rules are another consideration.

Key Findings

  • Thirty-eight percent archive email by storing it locally or on the PC or a local server.
  • Forty-four percent have no document retention policy for purging digital files.

By Randolph P. Johnston, Leslie Garrett and Brian F. Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

There are practical solutions for email archiving and document retention policies available to firms of all sizes.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012 | Accountants Quit Trying to Manage IT Themselves |Workflow Management Concerns Many Firms | Accounting Firms Add New Service Lines | How Top Tech Vendors Are Failing CPAs in the Cloud | Master Change, Master the Future | Why Every CPA Firm Is a Tech Company at Heart
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We know that 56 percent of firms have email hosted outside the office. While all firms have the option to either run a solution in-house or to have a third party handle this obligation, the firms who use hosted email could also utilize add-in services for this task.
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SURVEY: The New Software Scramble

Server rack floating on a cloudFirms switching programs more often than ever. But is that a good thing?

Sample finding: The number of firms subscribing to Office 365 is increasing 20% a year.

By Randolph P. Johnston and Leslie Garrett
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

We are seeing a high level of dissatisfaction among most firms with their software, and more firms have been changing software in the last three years than all of the switching we have seen in the previous three decades combined.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Operating System Updates Cause Headaches | Accounting Firms Add New Service Lines | Why Every CPA Firm Is a Tech Company at Heart
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We are concerned that many firms are signing long-term contracts for desktop solutions at the same time that some software is migrating to being hosted online.
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SURVEY: Four Computer Hardware Issues to Master

technology eye Digital Plus 11 related key findings.

91 percent now work with two or more monitors

By Randolph P. Johnston and Leslie Garrett
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

While many people believe that computer hardware is a commodity, the quality of the hardware and the way you deploy the devices can make a significant difference in how well your firm works.

We will discuss here four issues associated with computer hardware: replacement cycles, the brand of the PC you purchase, monitor trends and scanner software.

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SURVEY RESULTS: Windows 7 and Windows Server 2012

Abstract illustration of binary data flowTips for minimizing the damage, especially from "upgrades" you weren't expecting.

Key Findings

  • Thirty-two percent use Windows Server 2012, and 24 percent use Windows Server 2008, which is an 8 percent decrease in the use of Windows Server 2008 over prior year results.
  • Sixty percent are using Windows 7 (64-bit) as their primary desktop operating system, 17 percent are using Windows 8 and 12 percent are using Windows 10, which is used most commonly among solo practitioners (27 percent).

By Randolph P. Johnston, Leslie Garrett and Brian F. Tankersley
The Accounting Firm Operations and Technology Survey

Choosing an operating system for your firm’s computers has a number of implications; it is not as obvious as one might think.

MORE FROM THE SURVEY: Accountants Quit Trying to Manage IT Themselves |Workflow Management Concerns Many Firms | Accounting Firms Add New Service Lines | How Top Tech Vendors Are Failing CPAs in the Cloud | Master Change, Master the Future | Why Every CPA Firm Is a Tech Company at Heart
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There are issues surrounding your choice of an operating system that may be surprising to those who have not been following the IT trade press, including the following:
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