Innovations in technology are constantly changing the ways businesses in numerous sectors throughout the country are doing business, and accounting firms are coming to grips with the fact that the cloud and virtual workspaces are something they need to learn how to use.
According to a recent survey conducted by the American Institute of CPAs, 40 percent of CPAs believe they have to help their clients begin using new technology, while 11 percent of CPA firms are already completely in the cloud.
"We're at a defining moment in the accounting profession," said Erik Asgeirsson, president and CEO of CPA2Biz. "It's now possible for small- and medium-sized businesses to tap powerful technologies that make them more productive and offer faster, better insight into financial decision-making."
CPA firms must help clients embrace cloud
During the recent survey which was released at the Digital CPA: 2012 CPA2Biz Cloud User Conference in Washington, D.C., only 17 percent of CPAs said they don't do very much in helping clients embrace cloud, mobile and other emerging technologies. This is in part to many of these firms not having someone at the company that can aid in teaching clients to use the cloud and other innovations.
"Most of these companies need a tech-savvy business advisor to help them take advantage of these opportunities, and that's a role CPAs are uniquely qualified to fill," said Asgeirsson.
CPAs need to make the jump to the cloud
There are several benefits that cloud adoption can present to CPA firms, and the research compiled a list of some of the top advantages seen by the respondents, which include the ability to work from anywhere, no concerns about software updates, improved disaster recovery, increased productivity, greater collaboration with clients and better visibility into a firm.
"The CPA has always been a surrogate CFO to small businesses," Geoffrey Moore, author of Crossing the Chasm, a book about software adoption cycles, told CFO magazine before the recent conference. "But frankly, if all [the CPA knows] is the tax laws, or bookkeeping and compliance issues, that’s not all I need.
Understanding how the cloud can benefit CPA firms is something that owners at every business need to give some attention. While the migration to the cloud is inevitable for nearly all firms, owners must be sure to buy the necessary cyberliabity insurance policies to protect the the online solution.