Cloud for Accounting

As innovative CPA firms seek new ways to enhance their service offerings to their clients and reduce risk to their partners, cloud computing and cybersecurity are the hot topics of discussion in 2018.

And while various technology advances have proven to streamline operations, provide efficient mobile computing solutions, and reduce costly network downtime for CPA firms around the world, each firm must evaluate their unique situation and the associate benefits and risks of technology investment before upgrading their work environment.

The Benefits Of Technology

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The modern CPA firm is mobile, efficient, and tech-savvy. Thankfully, you are no longer required to sit at a single desktop to access your critical case files, email, billing systems, and office telephones.

Cloud computing relies on centralized, hosted computers, servers, and phones to provide you with time-saving benefits, including:

  • Mobility: Access your servers, files, software, email, and telephones from a laptop or mobile device from anywhere around the world
  • Security: Centralizing your operations in the cloud provides redundancy, access control, and security that individual workstations cannot provide
  • Efficiency: Cloud computing provides flexible, scalable computing that minimizes your need to invest in expensive onsite servers and workstations that require maintenance.

Case Study: Accounting Firm: Big Need for Security!

Problem: An Accounting firm with multiple office locations was challenged with the need to make accessibility into their Office 365 tenant more secure. They were concerned with the means of how their staff were connecting and authenticating to Office 365 to access their applications and data from outside their corporate network. With the unfortunate rise in security breaches, they were seeking a proactive solution that could offer an increased level of security but still leverage itself to the resources of their staff without significant increase in cost.

Proposed Solution: NetFlow Technologies proposed Azure Multi Factor Authentication & Conditional Access. This solution would require its employees outside of the corporate network to use two step authentication using their BYOD devices (smart phones) to authenticate to Office 365. It would be configured to only require this when outside of the office network and this enforced policy would be setup for the different types of devices so the users could choose the method to which they would authenticate with.

End Result: After the environment was configured and successfully tested, the client was happy to report this feature was fully rolled out to their entire user base and were very pleased with the ease of use and administration. They feel this implementation has significantly hardened their security without burdening their end user productivity.

Reduce Costly Network Downtime To Near Zero

The average small business faces 18.2 of network downtime per year. For CPA firms with billable rates ranging from $200-$500+ per hour, the cost of idle associates, lost files, and inaccessible email climbs to thousands of dollars per hour, even every minute.

Thanks to redundant server options and business continuity solutions, you can reduce costly network downtime to near zero, retain files for 10 years or more, and satisfy all of your archiving and compliance needs with confidence.

Consolidate & Empower

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Gone are the days when a business must rely on multiple expensive servers and providers for multiple applications like email, phone, file storage, tax and audit software, Quickbooks and more.

Your technology provider can offer flexible, flat-rate solutions that reduce hardware maintenance and empower your staff, including:

  • File Sharing: Share files and restrict access to specific users, track views, and set time limits on accessibility, all from your mobile device, laptop, or workstation.
  • New Staff: Immediately restrict system access to terminated employees and counter parties, and add new users on a flexible licensing and computing plan, without having to wait for hardware deliveries, repairs, and setups.
  • Customized Support: Your technology provider can provide flexible support by leveraging partner relationships and worldwide engineering teams.

Is The Cloud Right For Your Firm?

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There are risks to migrating to a cloud computing platform. Primarily, your network’s speed and performance relies on the internet to perform. This means that you must have a speedy internet connection or the option to upgrade at an affordable rate.

You are also relying on third party providers to maintain and protect your systems in their data centers at a level that suits your performance and risk profile.

Embrace the future

Innovation is the currency of business – and an increasing number of healthcare providers are adopting new technologies, utilizing emerging tools to turn slow, inefficient processes into fast, robust systems. In healthcare, communication and data are essential to every aspect of the services you offer, and Microsoft Office 365 addresses the most fundamental issues you’ll come across.

At our firm, we leverage over 20 years of technology expertise to help your CPA firm build an action plan, risk profile, and investment roadmap to assist in your decision.

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