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Cloud computing allows sharing of computing resources over the Internet. Information is stored in the cloud, remotely, instead of on a physical hard drive or server. Once implemented, employees no longer need to work inside the office; they can access information from remote locations as well, if they are connected through the Internet. They can also work as a team without being physically present at one location.
It is a new model of software service delivery that uses the Internet as a network to exchange information. In practice, cloud computing is all about services and not products, delivered over the Internet network. The advantage of the cloud is that it allows for centralized sharing of services, which in turn results in faster deployment of software, in turn leading to significant time and cost savings for business owners.
Cloud computing has already taken business management by storm; it is likely many companies are using some form of the cloud unknowingly, in the form of private networks.
Accounting and Cloud Computing
Accounting is seen as a traditional discipline where implementing cloud computing may seem like a distant dream. However, the reality is that accounting is already being touched by cloud computing.
There are many practical considerations that encourage the adaptation of the cloud for accounting purposes:
– Cloud computing results in scalable solutions.
– Cloud solutions can take off without a large capital or investment; provides better returns on investment.
– Reduces costs and time efforts in researching, establishing, and maintaining applications.
– Cloud solutions allow the system to be updated regularly.
– Cloud solutions result in increased adaptability of the system so that any new changes are reflected automatically and also initialized effectively.
All of these converge onto one truth: the cloud speeds up your accounting processes and helps make them much more accurate and error-free. This means your other equally vital functions, such as that of sales, can take up the majority of attention needed.
Further, integrating cloud computing into your existing systems is relatively easier. This is because it has application program interfaces that allow for seamless merging with existing or new systems. You can build up or strengthen existing applications on the same platform.
This also has significance for the small and medium-size business owners. They can outsource the entire function of accounting over the cloud with a host of benefits, including immense cost and time savings. The implementation of cloud is dependent on the vendor, hence, for a small or medium business, conducting accounting business over the cloud makes immense sense. Once you entrust the responsibility to a vendor, it is also the vendor who supplies interim IT and other support as required. So you save up significantly on infrastructure as well as on manpower hiring, training, and retention costs.
Security concerns are also easier to handle within a cloud. Since a single vendor is responsible for the system end-to-end, the vendor takes full responsibility for the application. You do not need to deploy several different security applications to take care of your data and information.
Further, the adaptability that is inherent within cloud systems ensures that the regulatory changes accounting is subject to get absorbed easily. Most of the current software is unable to adapt rapidly to changes and requirements that are the catchwords today.
Another big advantage of cloud computing for the small or medium sized business is that one can begin harvesting benefits without the need to invest a large amount of money or capital in the beginning: a fact that holds a big promise for small and mid-sized businesses.
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