Moving your accounting firm to the cloud

I get asked all the time to recommend an accounting practice solution that is functional, but doesn’t cost the world.  The problem that most accounting practice owners/partners face is the flood of applications in the market to service the industry.  There are some well-known brands such as Xero, MYOB, BGL and Reckon to name a few, but seldom do these applications work in conjunction with each other to provide a simple solution that fits the needs of a practice.  There are few options for firms in keeping up with the times:

Searching for a hosted server solution.

This effectively moves the server from being on premises to the cloud but allows the practice to function as normal.  The restrictions on this option are:

  • There is no strategic level of integration between apps
  • High reliance on IT providers or cloud server providers
  • Not really utilising the strength of operating in the cloud as you effectively are still using non-cloud based apps

Setting up a number of cloud-based apps.

This means that the practice makes a conscious decision to only use cloud-based apps and users would need to open multiple windows in their browser, as opposed to a number of applications.  The restrictions on this option are:

  • Requires a strategic level plan to ensure that apps integrate
  • Requires having an admin that manages subscriptions

In my experience, having a well thought out plan on which apps to use not only now, but in the long term provide the best solution.  An example practice might look like the following:

  • Xero – for processing of financials using ledger files and client bookkeeping files
  • Xero Practice Manager – for CRM and WIP processing
  • BGL Simple Fund 360 or Class – for processing of SMSF
  • Box or One Drive – for a cloud based document manager

The only server that would be required in an example practice like this would be to run the printer drivers for shared printers.  The benefits are the scalability and integration level.  The apps used as example above have integrations that allow each to ‘talk’ to each other quite successfully.  This means that the practice need only ensure that they have a decent internet connection to ensure the optimal speed of access.

As you can imagine, there are so many different options when it comes to running your practice in the cloud.  Bizee Management Solutions offer real world experience in these matters to help navigate practices through this minefield.  Contact us today so see how we can help you.

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