You have made the strategic business decision to migrate your firm to the cloud. The benefits to your firm in terms of productivity, increased efficiencies and new revenue streams are clear, however, this is only half the journey.
There is no mistaking, the cloud will transform the way your firm manages both the business and your clients, so it’s essential that your small business and entrepreneurial clients join you on this migration to cloud accounting.
For most small businesses and entrepreneurs, accounting and financial management is a daunting but crucial component to success. Most have limited knowledge of the cloud and the benefits for their business, many still have lingering fears over cost, compliance and most of all security. The process of your firm’s migration, is the perfect opportunity for you as accountants to educate your clients to the vast benefits of the cloud and transform the way they operate their business.
The 2015 Cloud Readiness Survey for Australian Accounting Firms revealed a mix of factors driving and hindering the move to cloud software. Some of these include security and data protection, higher productivity, mobility, better device support and pricing. It is not surprising that end users share similar sentiments when faced with moving to cloud accounting software.
So how do you get your clients on board? Here are five common concerns accountants hear from their clients and the best ways to respond to reduce client fears and help them embrace the cloud:
- I’ve never used the cloud and I don’t know how to: Most people these days actually use the cloud every day without knowing it. From email accounts to online banking, cloud accounting is just as simple to use. If you are uploading photos to Facebook or paying your bills online, you are already a cloud user. It’s only a small leap to take your broader business into the cloud.
- Once I put my sensitive business data on the cloud – Anyone can get it: Cloud apps are actually safer and more secure than your desktop. Most use the same level of online security as online banking. Data backed up on the cloud is much more reliable and safer than internal servers which can easily get damaged or even stolen. As accountants servicing many clients, security is of the utmost importance and we would never recommend a solution that has not been rigorously tested and proven to be secure.
- I’m a small business and I do not need expensive software: Online accounting solutions are extremely affordable, with Sage One for example, costing as little as $15 per month. It may be a new cost for you, but the time savings accumulated across the full year will be well worth the investment.
- I’m just a small business and I do not need a complicated program: The beauty of online accounting solutions is that they are scalable and easy to use – for large as well as very small businesses. Whether you are just tracking your expenses or invoicing customers or your financial needs are much greater, these solutions grow with your business. And as your accountant, we have 24/7 visibility on your business and finances and can offer advice at anytime from anywhere.
- I do not have time to keep up with the work required to manage a cloud solution: Once you have completed the set-up which can be done in 20 minutes or less, and which we can help you with, you will be amazed at how little time it takes to stay on top of your finances. All of the time you spend manually entering data will become automated giving you more time to focus on your business.
Change is scary and new technology can be even scarier. Small business owners just need to understand that the cloud will benefit their business from both a financial and efficiency perspective. As their trusted adviser, why not take this opportunity to introduce your clients to a proven and innovative way of doing business in the digital age.
If your clients need some handy tips and tricks on how to manage their finances online, click here for some advice from Dominic Myssey at Myssy and Co Accounting http://go.sage.com/KBBFinancialTips
Moral hazards in member bodies
By Chris Hooper, Accodex
Process standardisation trumps automation
By Mark Sands, BOARD Australia
Tips for mergers and acquisitions of accounting fees
By Jamie Davison, Carbon Group