In part 1 of our post on “the cloud”, we discussed what the cloud is how many of us use it already. Our second part will focus on safety issues and using the cloud for accounting.
Is it safe?
Security depends solely on how much money the company puts into it and how important the information is. If you use a reputable hosting company your information is going to be safer than if you had your information on your laptop or an external hard drive.
Yes! Most online servers are very safe. Companies such as your bank or online products use massive server farms to host their data. These server farms are sometimes huge building that house hundreds of servers. The servers are maintained and watched by an IT group and your information is secured with encryptions that are near impossible to hack.
Do accidents happen? Yes, look at Target.
People are sometimes very hesitant to use a cloud based service. We hear a lot: “what happens if the server crashes, I’ll lose all my information!” or “What if the power goes out where the server is located?” and “What if someone breaks into the server and steals my information?”
Here is what I like to say to people, which I believe really helps: Those are all very valid concerns.
First off, there are so many safe guards in place that you won’t lose your data or have it stolen. The information is stored on a server at hosting company, then there are one, two, and sometime three other servers all backing each other up in case something gets lost. It’s almost impossible to lose your information. This is how companies like Iron Mountain (currently the 712th largest company in the FORTUNE 1000) make their money. They ensure your data is safe and that you can access it.
Secondly, I understand that it gives us a piece of mind knowing where our data is physically. It’s on the hard-drive of my computer and backed up on an external hard-drive. But what happens if someone steals your computer or your external hard drive? What if there is a fire and you lose both of those? You can’t recover it at that point. A server hosting company has safeguards in place to prevent the loss of your data. If you have a fire at your home or office you won’t lose any of your data.
Accounting and the cloud.
Thankfully, the invention of cloud computing has made it easier than ever to keep your accounting up-to-date and accurate. Companies such as Xero and Quickbooks have online products. Their products pull your bank transactions to make accounting easier than ever before.
This cuts the accounting cost of company greatly. Instead of needing an accounting department, you can hire someone for a fraction of the price to work remotely. Why pay a book keeper $10-$15/hour, 40 hours a week or a staff accountant at $45,000 a year, or spend over $100,000 or more on a controller or CFO when you can hire an outside accountant for fractions of what you’d pay a full-time employee?
Cloud computing has made it possible for you to get a CPA experience for less than a bookkeeper. Experience that will help you run your business successfully.
Outside accountants can work on your books, reconcile your accounts, run financial statements, analyze reports and give you everything you need all from their own office. You won’t need to expand and bring in an accounting department, no need to increase your expenses when you can save that money to grow your business.
Photograph courtesy of: https://flic.kr/p/9FbAiu