Using Cloud Service Providers to Improve Tax Season
November 9, 2017
To say tax season is stressful for a CPA firm is certainly an understatement. Accountants work 60 hours – and more – a week leading up to tax deadlines. As CPAs are working their way toward tax season this year, it might be time to assess if they are leveraging their technology to the point where they’re working smarter and not harder.
Cloud technology was designed to improve our lives. This post explores how cloud service providers can improve the efficiency of small tax offices in time for a more productive tax season. How can the businesses that leverage cloud tech improve?
Cloud Service Providers Secure Access
The worst possible time to have a service outage is during tax season. But Murphy’s Law almost guarantees that a network server will go down, files will stop syncing, or any host of a variety of problems will occur.
Are you prepared? Get a free assessment of your IT architecture’s readiness for tax season.
Cloud service providers are in your corner. If accountants outsource their technology needs to a cloud service provider, they can stop worrying about all the issues that could go wrong. Cloud service providers can take care of the technology needs of a CPA firm in some of the following ways:
Today’s malware attacks are delivered through phishing emails. These emails look professional and official. All it takes is one click, and a virus can be downloaded into your critical files. Statistics show that these types of attacks are increasing, affecting businesses in all sectors and of all sizes. Ransomware, which has seen a huge increase this year, is predicted to see a huge influx of attacks in 2018. Ransomware works by infecting computers with a virus that locks them down. Hackers embed a message that says they’ll unlock the computers if the victims pay a ransom. If your CPA firm doesn’t stay abreast of the most recent security upgrades, or if your IT team isn’t diligent about backing up files and processes, the chances of falling victim to this threat are high.
Creating an IT disaster recovery plan for recovering from these events, monitoring networks to prevent breaches, and keeping operating systems and applications secure with updates are all part of the service that IT cloud service providers can offer. For more information, download the white paper: Managed IT Services For Small Businesses.
Accounting Web spells out the state of the technology readiness in CPA firms and it isn’t pretty. From unsafe technology practices like emailing tax returns to outdated operating systems and processes, accounting firms are gambling with crucial office functions by not optimizing and maintaining them. Accounting Web suggests, “Firms aren’t just gambling with client data and security, they are playing Russian roulette with their own business operations.” CPA Practice Advisor suggests that an hour of downtime costs CPA firms around $500 per every 10 employees.Cloud service providers can offer support to these financial firms, not only during the most crucial times for their businesses but around-the-clock coverage of breach and security monitoring as well as controlling the flow of information across the network. Having a 24/7 IT advisor in place will ensure that tax season will run smoothly because your crucial digital technologies won’t fail at a critical time.
- Data Storage
Scalability is one of the most important benefits of cloud service providers. Whether you’re using software or storing data, the cloud ensures that you can scale up as needed or reduce services when helpful.If you’ve ever been in a CPA firm at tax time, a common complaint is that the network slows down as capacity is diminished. Data capacity and internet bandwidth are strained during tax season when demand is at its peak. Most of the time CPAs just put up with these slowdowns, because creating more bandwidth is more of a hassle than they think they can afford.
That is simply not the case when you have a cloud service provider. Cloud services can be tweaked throughout the year, and not just at tax season. As usage peaks, the throttle can be eliminated, ensuring that storage, software, and downloads and uploads remain efficient.
Accounting Web says more than half of all accounting firms cannot view, access, or update client data remotely. These are unprecedented statistics in today’s digital architectures. Having the ability to dial into your data from wherever you are will improve the efficiencies of your firm. Cloud service providers can establish secure connections for wherever and whenever you want to work.
Ensuring that your CPA firm will be prepared for the upcoming tax season means talking with the TOSS team to see how we can improve your IT infrastructure so you work smarter, not harder.
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