4 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Your Accounting Practice

According to predictions from research firm Forrester, cloud computing is going to increase to a $241 billion market in 2020 from $41 billion in 2011, reports The Wall Street Journal. As more and more individuals, small businesses, and corporations become aware of the benefits of cloud storage, the more likely they are to use it.

In a nutshell, cloud computing for your small business refers to any service which allows you to store, access, and edit your data in a remote and virtual environment, instead of on your own office location.

Cloud computing is becoming ubiquitous these days, including some services with household names: Gmail, Google Docs, QuickBooks Hosting and many accounting applications like Bill.com and others. On the business front, applications such as software as a service (SaaS), remote file back-up, file storage, and file synchronization are all considered "the cloud".

While cloud computing may seem too complicated or foreign for small business owners who prefer to concentrate on managing cash flow and growing their business, in reality, it's a growing tech trend used to reduce risk, save money, increase business capacity, access, and mobility.

Let's examine four major benefits of cloud storage for your small business:

1) Manages data loss risk. This is arguably the most critical benefits of cloud storage for your small business. Should your equipment malfunction or disaster occur, such as a computer crash, flood, or fire, you have the safeguard that your business's data is safe when it is stored through cloud computing.

2) Saves your business money. Cloud computing products can significantly reduce your software and hardware costs. Not only do storing documents on your computers and services consume hard drive space, but software products are expensive, including the additional licenses you may need.

3) Increases business capacity. Cloud storage can free up your internal storage space, which is particularly beneficial if your business is growing. Cloud storage essentially allows for unlimited growth -- a great solution and benefit for start-up companies.

4) Promotes mobility and flexibility. Cloud storage enables small business employees to access files while traveling, at a client's site, or from home. Important documents are readily available at your fingertips through your mobile devices: iPad, smartphone, iPhone, Blackberry, or Android tablet. Multiple people can work on documents, spreadsheets, or presentations even when they're not physically together.

About the Author

Hugh Duffy is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Build Your Firm, an accounting practice marketing and accounting website development firm.Hugh teaches a series of Accounting Marketing Workshops; writes an email newsletter reaching thousands of accountants; and is frequently published in various publications. He can be reached at 888-999-9800 x151, or at hugh@buildyourfirm.com. 

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