Kacee Johnson, Cloud9′s EVP, has been recognized as one of the 2012 and 2013 “Top 40 Under 40” Executives by CPA Practice Advisor. Overseeing its marketing, sales and business development operations since early 2009, Kacee has led Cloud9 Real Time growth to over 5,000 users and climbing. Recognized as an industry expert on the subject of how businesses can implement and utilize Cloud technologies, Kacee is a regular speaker and commentator at accounting and technology events nationwide.
Prior to the Cloud,enterprise resource planning (ERP) was a promise that was never delivered on to all but the biggest companies. The advantages oft trumpeted by ERP consultants and application makers, including the mapping and connecting of all staff, projects, finances and locations in the business, were mostly out of reach for SMBs.
Cloud Based ERP Software Hosting - …- That Was Then This Is Now …
Two decades ago, ERP was not a widely understood concept. In the 80s, Enterprise Resource Planning saw its first evolutionary advancements. However, the overall intent of ERP technology has always been consistent: Connecting all of the people, financial and business data in an organization from all departments and locations.
With few providers offering insurance-focused cloud services, cloud computing is yet to be widely adopted by small insurance companies. Changes are afoot however as, increasingly, small insurance companies are becoming aware of the huge potential benefits of the cloud.
According to Anthony Burke MBA at JMR Consulting, “Cloud computing for smaller insurance companies levels the playing field in terms of access to technology and software. Cloud computing gives smaller insurance companies the sorts of facilities that previously only the biggest insurance companies could afford.”
“The transition from local desktop and local server-based operations to cloud computing and SaaS (software as a service) is possibly the greatest shift in information technology since the advent of the commercialized Internet in the early 90s.”
While the advantages afforded by law practice cloud services are many, several issues arise relating to the relative security of the newer cloud-based systems versus traditional, on-premises setups. In a law firm context, the use of Saas (software-as-a-service) cloud computing raises ethics issues around storing confidential client data.
The advantages of migrating traditional desktop and server-based software to ‘the cloud’ are numerous for law practices of all sizes. Law Practice Cloud Services typically reduce or eliminate altogether the large advance licensing and server payments, offer markedly reduced consulting and deployment fees, and eliminate the never-ending “upgrade hamster wheel” typically associated with conventional desktop and server-based applications. Cloud-computing also offers “anytime/anywhere availability,” an increased level of access, and compatibility with both Windows and Mac operating systems.
Cloud Services for Law Firms now include legal practice management solutions, document management and data storage, secure document and information platforms, hosted secure email exchanges, digital dictation services and billing/time tracking. Cloud-based SME platforms are innovative, economical and increasingly viable for legal practices of all sizes.
Cloud Services for Law Firms Advantages
Law firm cloud computing advantages include reduced overhead due to decreased IT costs, increased ease of IT maintenance and support,
Taking advantage of law firm cloud computing allows attorneys to focus on providing legal services while the cloud provider updates, upgrades and maintains the practice management, accounting, time tracking, and other applications on both a regular and emergency basis.
How can small business cloud servers add immediate real value to a small business or professional practice?
Small Business Cloud Servers technology has ushered in new possibilities to enhance small business IT processes by leveraging cloud computing technology at a rapid pace. From unleashing untapped IT resources with cloud based servers, to allowing staff members to use their personally selected BYOD smart devices for work, to reducing IT costs operating and maintenance costs, operating from the cloud allows businesses to remain focused on core business objectives.
There are a myriad of ways in which small business cloud servers can accelerate small business value. A qualified cloud service provider can assist your small business to implement best practices for your specific needs, your customers, and your overall operational model.
Small Business Cloud Servers Lower IT Costs
Small Business Cloud Servers allow small companies to rapidly scale and explore technologies that are needed when they are needed, while foregoing the total cost of owning and maintaining such technologies.
Cloud9 is proud to be an Intuit .“Authorized Innovator”.(and Commercial Host)
Of all the hundreds of applications and software makers that Cloud9 Real Time facilitates with its array of dynamic private cloud solutions, none is more indicative of our own surprising success than Intuit.
Suddenly Intuit is being acknowledged everywhere, from FORTUNE’S 100 best places to work list (#19 ), to Forbes most innovative companies in the world list (up 27 spots from last year).
What makes Intuit such a great place to work? “The financial application maker uses its culture to invoke innovation,” says the FORTUNE snapshot, “with ‘idea jams,’ formal rotation programs for new employees, and four hours of ‘unstructured time’ per week for employees to work on projects of their own choosing.”
“And in recent years the Company’s executive management have recast a once big stodgy 30 year old tech firm, with $4.1 billion in revenue and $17 billion in market valuation (similar to Yahoo‘s, but with far less fanfare and drama), in the image of a Silicon Valley startup: fast-moving, embracing uncertainty, and continually learning.
Everyone is taking note of the consolidation of the CPA profession into megafirms as we see major mergers of equals (e.g. Reznick-Cohn, Clifton-Larson). The AICPA showed a decrease in the number CPA firms over the past five years from 47,000 to 43,000.
But might there be a counter-trend reversing that tide, hidden by the retirement of the baby boomers who own many of those small firms?
Futurists often say that for every major trend, there is often a series of counter trends that move in the opposite direction. We may be seeing that right now in the CPA profession. Tom Hood executive director and CEO of the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA) thinks so -
While cloud accounting and reliable accounting hosting platforms are in hot discussion throughout the industry, some real life examples may be apropos.
Brian Austin and Kim Hogan at CPA Practice Advisor magazine weigh in on the most pertinent areas to examine towards moving an accounting practice to a private accounting cloud. An important and potentially urgent matter of whether you should move your practice to the cloud, now or later, looms.
It seems that everywhere we turn these days we’re inundated with messages of moving to the Cloud. Sometimes it feels as though the Mad Men advertising powerhouse is hard at work in the Sterling-Cooper board room, coming up with new material to keep the accounting world drinking that Cloud Kool-Aid. We are just talking about software though, aren’t we? There can’t really be that big of a difference. In the end, we all get to the same place, right?
- Rob has recently been nominated for Small Business Trends’ 2012 ‘Small Business Influencer ‘ and you may vote for him HERE.
The Benefits Of Online Client Accounting
The Cloud has changed the world of accounting. This concept is not new—it actually dates back to the early 1990s—but the biggest growth by accounting firms starting to take advantage of this online technology has been within the last few years.
Robert J. Chandler
Today’s technology is used by more and more accounting professionals and business owners to accomplish their tasks with far more convenience and efficiency. These new methods provide mutual benefits as owners and accountants work together in the Cloud.
While most of the advantages have been around for some time, they are now finally being utilized as they should be. Consider four unique mutual benefits of online client accounting.
Business owners and practice managers are always vexed with discovering paths to evolve and improve their companies and to spin old challenges into new gold. They are also on alert for methods to effectively distinguish themselves from their competitors.
“One area that holds significant promise for companies in fast growth mode or emerging markets is the IT area. Organizations that are not heavily invested in legacy IT systems can leapfrog their competitors by investing in the newest and best available systems via the most current cloud computing models,”writes Tim Caulfield, a national thought leader of cloud and IT evolution and president of Cloud9’s San Diego data center.
Businesses that are able to assess and seize the power of cloud computing will garner increased revenue more effectively and will remove the obstacles in their business processes through improved transparency and interaction with vendors and clients.
Tim Caulfield continues: “Cloud computing is all about delivering speed, agility and cost reduction to IT and other functional areas within the enterprise. And while it is true that the basic allure of cloud computing is cost reduction there are several other key impacts cloud computing will have on your business environment.”
Increasingly, nonprofits, including charities, industry and trade associations, NGOs, chartered schools, and 501(c) religious organizations are transitioning their business, contact management, and accounting applications to cloud computing for nonprofits.
Cloud computing for nonprofitshelps to increase transparency and minimize costs, while gaining improved control over their finances and operations
Take for example the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute, a US-based 501(c) charitable organization founded and operated by descendants of Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi Worldwide switched from conventional desktop QuickBooks to a Cloud9 24/7 hosted plan in 2010.
Lynnea Bylund of Catalyst House, a Gandhi Worldwide board member, notes: “Cloud9′s tech helped us reduce the total cost of our accounting system by at least 40%, on an annual basis, while reducing stress and increasing access. At important moments myself, the institute’s chairman and our CFO can all assess a real-time accounting picture, each of us from different locations in the world, at the same time in the same file.”
Cloud Computing for Nonprofits
Cloud computing-based accounting, for example, provides two primary benefits that are especially attractive to nonprofit organizations. Continue reading →
Cloud based document management storage and cloud computing for the cemetery, cremation and funeral industries.
Business owners in the Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Home Services industry have a unique requirement in their data storage needs, as many records are considered permanent and have an infinite retention compliance to meet. The amount of data grows daily and with that, so does the liability and cost.
It is important to note that while Cloud Computing is used by businesses of all industries and sizes, this research and analysis will be focused on the Cloud Solutions for Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Service Providers. Because of this, the focus and special attention needed by after-life service providers in their technology solutions should not be minimized.
“The cloud is going to have a huge impact on job creation,” says Susan Hauser, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Worldwide Enterprise and Partner Group. “It’s a transformative technology that will drive down costs, spur innovation, and open up new jobs and skillsets across the globe.”
One way in which the cloud is helping companies to be more innovative is by freeing up IT managers to work on more mission-critical projects.
In this struggling economy, many employees feel fortunate to have jobs right now. Combined with Tax Season, you have a perfect storm for professional burn out. This is another scenario where cloud computing and cloud accounting can help!
More work while you’re at work is one thing, but a recent study by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also found that nearly 1 in 10 employees bring work home on weekdays. Couple this with the fact that Americans are among workers who receive the fewest number of vacation days per year—a meager 15 on average, compared to workers in France or Finland who get about 30—and you have a surefire equation for employee burnout.
Accounting firm server crashes, hard drive failures, disgruntled employees and of course the all too unfortunate natural disasters. When the storm hits – how prepared is your accounting practice and your clients?
Every accounting firm should have a Disaster Recovery Plan, here are the essentials to get you started:
1. Offsite backup of all accounting firm data. Tape backups are not reliable. Backups need to be regularly scheduled and automatic.
2. Know your accounting office functions. Being able to recognize what materials, procedures and equipment are essential to keep your business running is the first step to taking inventory of what needs to be recovered promptly.
3. Have a list of your accounting firm employees phone numbers readily available. Have a person in charge of contacting accounting clients during a disaster, communication is key.
Accounting Professionals are bombarded in literature, emails, conferences and by consultants to move to cloud computing for accountants. They think they know what it means and they know there are some benefits to the technology, but have a hard time grasping exactly how it can benefit their firm, and more importantly – their clients. In an attempt to gain a competitive advantage over their competition, they want to stay ahead of the game, offer the latest in services, technology and security while minimizing costs during a global economic downturn.* (The answer of course is Cloud Computing For Accountants)