Cloud computing has touched nearly every point at which we interact with our world. Just one look at your smartphone and the extent to which we rely on the web to manage our daily personal and professional life becomes crystal clear. We don’t balance checkbooks; we log into mobile banking. We don’t pen letters; we open our favorite e-mail client. And when we absolutely need to be somewhere, our turn-by-turn GPS leads the way.
How cloud computing changes accounting world
Similarly, cloud-based accounting software has become the solution of choice for forward-thinking businesses that demand the precise organization and rock-solid security of their accounting data.
Loose the filing cabinets
So what makes the cloud the most secure place for your financial data? First, let’s consider the traditional way a bookkeeper or accounting firm would use for handling bill payments or financial records. Without the cloud, a business must provide an external office with an ample supply of corporate check stock and a signature stamp authorizing them to move money in their name. Not the best security measure and certainly a break in proper controls. Additionally, the company’s financial history is kept on paper in physical accounting ledgers. Practically speaking, these materials are stored in (often unlocked) filing cabinets and desk drawers where anyone could, if they chose, misuse.
In the world of cloud accounting – username/passwords and SSL encryption takes the place of physical papers that are easily tampered with and available to the prying eyes. While this might have been the only way to work in years prior, sticking to tradition today is the equivalent of keeping your money under your mattress because you’re unclear how bank security works. For those who do go digital, there is a common fallacy among business owners that keeping data on in-house servers as opposed to uploading it to the cloud is the safest way to go. Let’s explore why this is not so
The unmatched security of the cloud
Today, cloud-based accounting companies employ engineers whose sole job it is to ensure the protection of your financial data against attacks. These are individuals who have dedicated their lives to understanding how hackers think, and innovating measures to stop them before they get anywhere near your money or numbers. Not to mention armed security guards and state of the art fail-safe measures at the uber secret location where your 0s and 1s are being kept. Furthermore, these companies go through rigorous third-party reviews to verify that their protection measures are up to date with the latest security threats. These review boards are comprised of highly trained professionals who live bleeding-edge security. They think about it when they are relaxing at home, and they spend their days tinkering with algorithms to ensure maximum protection of your information. All told, keeping your data in a physical filing cabinet or an in-house server because you are concerned about cloud security makes about as much sense as operating on yourself because you are worried about hospital sterility. In the end, you open yourself up to far greater potential threats and sacrifice the incredible ease-of-use that comes with choosing a secure cloud-based solution.
Check out the full story
To learn more about the security aspect of taking your accounting to the cloud, check out this cloud accounting video panel by Accounting Today TV and Bill.com. The talk features commentary from our very own founder & CEO, Michael Hsu, Bill.com’s CEO René Lacerte, and others, and covers a range of perspective on the subject from usability, practicality, and security standpoints.