Why embrace going paperless and cloud based you may wonder? Well, being a practice of the future, I’d say we have a pretty good take on it.
The following listed items were described by The Entrepreneur Magazine to be invaluable and should be considered in deciding whether or not the transition to the cloud would be beneficial for you and your business.
1. Your data can’t get lost
As data is sitting on the local drives on computers or even external drives around the office, very little is preventing an employee (or anyone else for that matter) from walking out the front door with it. Nevertheless, be it a malicious act or Murphy’s Law – the data will be lost.
2. You can access your data anywhere
A great boost to productivity is the fact that cloud-based documents can be accessed from anywhere. This is especially useful if you have a mobile workforce, since it allows them to easily share files with colleagues who are hundreds of kilometers away.
3. Everything gets backed up…and then backed up again
As long as you choose a cloud service provider that can be trusted, you can rest easy in the knowledge that all your important documents will be backed up multiple times and stored on redundant servers. So a broken computer or stolen laptop is no longer an issue. Your documents are safe, regardless of the state of your official hardware.
4. Email attachments become a thing of the past
Let’s be honest, emails aren’t that secure. Anyone having access to your phone (which is syncing with your email address) has access to certain documents. By placing your documents in the cloud and sharing it with entrusted people is far more secure as the trusted parties need to provide login credentials to access them.
Moreover, sharing documents via the cloud is just plain easier than trying to email large attachments
5. You’ll actually know where your documents are
There is nothing more frustrating than to try and figure out where urgent documents have been stored and if it is in fact the latest version of the document. Cloud storage solutions allows for a proper folder structure to be created that offers proper indexing of your documents and even different permissions for staff access, depending how important / confidential the information may be.
Although these are all great benefits and can definitely contribute greatly to any business, our transition to a paperless and cloud based environment was driven by one key word – Efficiency!
Cloud technology allows for optimal collaboration as well as integration opportunities, to the extent of streamlining – and even automating in certain instances – so many internal processes. We have tried and tested, and our efficiency sky rocketed as a direct result.
How does our typical process now work and how does it affect you as our client?
- Firstly, we have replaced a manual, email driven process with a cloud based program that automates our internal request to you for your monthly information to be handed over to our office for processing. The system keeps track of which documents we have received and those outstanding will automatically be followed up daily, until we have a complete set of records to process. This eliminates so much manual back-and-forth emails that we can now focus on the actual task at hand.
- We have replaced the physical process of handing over or having a physical file collected, with all information electronically being uploaded onto a dedicated and secure Dropbox folder where your account manager has immediate access to your information.
- Through the use of Xero as our dedicated cloud based accounting system, we have eliminated the need for duplicating sales invoices that you may have already generated in another 3rd party program, such as Word or Excel. You now have the ability to send quotes and sales invoices directly from Xero which means we can offer you a more cost-effective service.
- We have sped up the accounts payable process massively with all the information being readily available in electronic format. Time savings equals greater efficiency and productivity which in turn translates into a much rosier bottom line.
- Bank statements are fed directly into Xero on a daily basis which again eliminates so much of the manual processes that it’s crazy. Bank recons can now be performed daily and requires very little effort.
- Our turnaround time for reporting purposes has now greatly improved and this has the result of reporting in closer to real-time as ever before and leaves us with ample time to advise you on how to grow your business and not simply submit your tax returns.