There are numerous technological advancements being witnessed every day in this digital era. Therefore, it is essential for accountants to be as good with technology as they are with numbers. However, it can be difficult for accountants and CPAs to sift through these new technologies and take full advantage of their capabilities.
Technologies like the cloud simplify the accountancy practices for the firms by automating daily tasks, such as creating reports and collecting financial information, thereby increasing billable hours.
To help accounting and tax professionals know more about cloud technology, we reached out to Jasen Stine, who has been in the tax and accounting industry for over 20 years. He is responsible for setting training and education strategies at Intuit® Accountants. He is a thought leader, writer, and speaker on the fourth industrial revolution and the impact of artificial intelligence on the profession.
Jasen is a published author in Accounting Today and Intuit’s Tax Pro Center. He also recently implemented Natural Language Processing technology in Intuit’s educational programs that are currently pending patent. Feel free to connect Jasen via LinkedIn or Twitter.
Let’s hear what he has to say:
1. What is the current state of cloud technology, and how can cloud adoption be increased?
With the current environment, firms that had not yet adopted cloud technology were essentially forced to do so, and this is accelerating the profession’s trend to move to the cloud.
Tax and accounting firms are seeking out solutions that fit the needs of their firms by using a combination of purely online cloud technologies or choosing options like hosting solutions that allow them to work virtually while still using their favorite desktop applications. With any online option, it’s much easier to collaborate with staff and clients.
Additionally, there are abundantly more opportunities for software companies to build solutions that integrate seamlessly with each other, ultimately helping the firm’s workflow and reducing time-consuming tasks. As this continues, cloud adoption will continue to accelerate.
2. Why do you think some businesses are hesitant while moving to the cloud?
It seems that many firms that are hesitant to shift to cloud solutions express the desire to have very similar tools and functionalities as their current desktop solution. This is especially true for professional tax solutions because the processes built within the firm are done so to ensure consistent accuracy in their compliance work.
The reality is that the cloud solutions not only perform the work differently, but are built and designed to take better advantage of the capabilities they can offer that desktop solutions simply can’t do as well. One example of this is data entry automation.
As these advanced capabilities are built out, being open to changing processes will ensure that the firm can better utilize the cloud technology available and maximize its benefits for them.
3. How does the cloud help businesses secure and manage their data efficiently?
Data security is paramount. Companies that provide cloud solutions dedicate resources and hire experts to help ensure their technology is secure. The great part about that is that individual firms don’t have to invest quite the same amount of money and focus into this if they are not hosting the data themselves.
That doesn’t mean they can rest on their proverbial laurels about it either. It’s important to continue a strong partnership with a reputable IT firm to ensure your systems are locked and secure. When it comes to managing data, we will see a decreasing need for manual work in this area because technology, and in particular AI technology, will help to automate and organize.
4. Where do you find the biggest undervalued opportunities?
Taking advantage of the full power of the cloud products firms are using is probably the most widespread and undervalued opportunity. Many of these cloud technologies are built to completely redefine the work in new and exciting ways.
They are using a landscape of increasingly powerful technologies to create efficiencies never seen before in accounting and tax workflows. For firms to benefit from these powerful tools, taking the time to fully learn and understand them can save countless hours trying to fit cloud solutions into legacy workflows.
5. What excites and interests you most about cloud technology today?
We are living in an incredible time and age. Human beings are getting collectively and individually smarter by the day, if not by the minute. We are making unparalleled technological advancements that are unlocking the potential for those who can take advantage of them.
What we will be capable of solving tomorrow or next year will be miles ahead of what we have been able to solve over the last decade. The speed to which technology will advance in the coming years will be exponential, and it is exciting to think about all the ways we will help create enduring success for a firm’s clients with the aid of these technologies.
Editor’s note: This article originally published on Ace Cloud Hosting.