A Guide to Switching to Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

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There are many reasons a business decides to leave the traditional on-premise accounting system for the cloud. Whether it’s a cut the IT budget or the “everyone else is doing it” phase, companies want to do more with less. The best advice is to exhaust all efforts to ensure a switch is even necessary. Businesses should know that there is no way to grow the current technology and that accounting platforms in the cloud are going to be the right fit.

On-Premise vs. Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

On-premise accounting solutions will offer small to medium-sized businesses control over their entire system, internally-stored data, dedicated IT staff and large upfront investment. Accounting platforms in the cloud give business the ability to do away with licensing costs and infrastructure requirements while a third party does the work for a lower cost. Accounting software in the cloud not only makes it easier to access important data, but it also cuts down on costs.

There are Key Phases to Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

A business should first clearly understand its objectives to moving to a cloud-based software solution and know its needs. If the business is time sensitive in that day-to-day operations are conducted instantly, a possible delay in network connectivity in accounting platforms in the cloud may not be the best answer. If a business requires the utmost confidentiality, accounting platforms in the cloud wouldn’t work because a third-party, inevitably, has access to that private information.

Start Off Slow With Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

After all that, if a business is still wanting to make the switch to the cloud but isn’t 100 percent sold on the idea; there’s always baby steps. Begin with a low-risk back office application; maybe something non-strategic. There are many accounting platforms in the cloud, from APIs, configurations, networks, pricing, service level agreements and storage infrastructure. Finding an expert or at least experienced person to work with in the search for a full-time cloud solution could be a viable option.

Because cloud accounting is a different approach than traditional on-premise technology, it should be treated as such. Most small to medium-sized business owners and staff have never experienced something like this, so give both a chance to evaluate the capabilities and benefits of the accounting platforms in the cloud. This can give those users a chance to test functionality and performance levels of difference applications.

Final Steps When Switching Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

After all the necessary due diligence, it’s time for beta testing and proof of concept pilots with the chosen vendors. Beta testing is simply a second phase of the products functionality. While the software has gone through all of its pilot-test phases and triumphed, it still needs to pass businesses safeguards. A proof of concept is the stage in the game that a vendor demonstrates the product.

Using Accounting Platforms in the Cloud

Accounting platforms in the cloud are in place and ready to go. Business owners and staff should then take steps to manage and monitor tools to access the new cloud accounting software. In order to make the accessibility options easy to use, companies will want to enable a relatively easy security interface. Some business could use cloud-based services on a productivity standpoint alone or use them for storage.

As more and more content and files take up server space, web-based solutions look more and more appealing. Salesforce.com, Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365 are good for the productivity aspect while Dropbox, Apple and Mozy provide good storage options. As for accounting platforms in the cloud, look at Amazon and Verizon for simple web hosting capabilities.

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