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How the cloud enables accounting professionals to support small businesses

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Will Buckley

Apr 14, 2020

Accounting professionals throughout the Americas are operating in unprecedented times with the impacts of COVID-19. With information changing daily on government stimulus packages, many of our accounting and bookkeeping partners are quickly adapting and helping their clients navigate through these tough times. 

Technology (especially the cloud) has enabled firms to seamlessly work-from-home and collaborate across the country. As well as find new ways to help their clients. Here are three reasons why moving your practice online allows you to better operate and support your small business clients during this time. 

Flexibility to work with teams and clients

Running your business on modern cloud accounting software brings flexibility for accountants and small businesses to access documents anywhere, anytime. This is especially critical now as many small businesses need to get accounting records up-to-date and accurate to understand how their business is doing or if they’ll need to apply for government stimulus programs. For firms that have shifted to a work-from-home model, many cloud communication tools such as Slack and Zoom allow teams to stay connected. Collaboration tools such as Dropbox or Google Docs remove the need for people to physically be in an office to complete their work.

Access to real-time financial information

Cloud accounting technology means that small businesses and their advisors can access their finances in real-time, giving them a much clearer view of their financial landscape and the opportunity to forecast business scenarios more intelligently. It can be daunting for small businesses to forecast scenarios on their own, but with the help of a cloud-based accountant or bookkeeper they can look at their finances together and create best case forecasts. As well as likely case and worst case forecasts of what will happen if this crisis continues for several more months.

More time to focus on advisory services

With cloud-based accounting tools like Xero, labor-intensive tasks become automated or streamlined. This saves accountants and bookkeepers a huge amount of time. Instead of spending time plugging in numbers, they can focus on advising small business clients and drawing conclusions about what’s going on in their business right now. While business owners are facing a lot of uncertainty and stress, the guidance from an advisor can help them make the best decisions possible for their business.

For accounting firms that are looking to change the way they operate, we’ve teamed up with Ryan Lazanis from Future Firm to provide the Digital Firm Assistance Package. This package provides a curated set of tools to help a firm adopt a digital model so they can best support clients in these times. Learn more about how to apply for the Digital Firm Assistance Package here

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