Sponsored Content

Accounting professionals’ views on cloud computing have evolved significantly over the past decade.


At first, many in the profession viewed the cloud with scepticism, citing concern about security, reliability, compliance, cost, and the ability to maintain control over sensitive financial data, which is at risk of data breaches, unauthorised access, or data loss.

The accounting industry is also heavily regulated, with strict rules governing data privacy and confidentiality (such as the Protection of Personal Information Act) and may be hesitant to move to the cloud due to uncertainties about whether cloud providers comply with these regulations and how to ensure compliance when data is stored off-site.

They may also feel they have less control over their data when it’s stored in the cloud compared to on-premises solutions. They worry about vendor lock-in, data accessibility, and the ability to customise their systems to meet specific client needs.

Cloud services are also reliant on internet connectivity, which raises concern about potential downtime or service interruptions. Accounting firms need their systems to be available around the clock, especially during critical periods like tax season.

Costs are another big concern: While cloud computing offers potential cost savings through scalability and reduced infrastructure maintenance, there are concerns about the long-term costs of cloud services, especially as usage grows or when considering hidden costs like data transfer fees.

And then there’s navigating the complicated process of legacy systems integration: Many accounting firms have invested heavily in legacy on-premises systems, and moving to the cloud would require significant effort and resources to integrate these systems with cloud-based solutions.

Growing confidence

Increasingly, these concerns have been allayed. As the technology has matured and proven to be advantageous in business and in life, confidence is growing in its value. If you still have doubts about the cloud and how it can help your practice, Sage Accounting has news for you.

Most of us already use the cloud every day without giving it a second thought, to store, share and access files conveniently, from anywhere and at any time. 

We use Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer, or Microsoft OneDrive to collaborate and share files from any device (with an internet connection). Cloud-based services such as Gmail, Outlook.com, or Yahoo Mail store and manage our emails on remote servers, allowing us to access messages from any device.

Working on documents collaboratively and remotely using cloud-based productivity suites like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) or Microsoft Office 365 enable multiple users to edit the same document simultaneously from different locations.

And who can imagine a world without streaming services like Spotify, Netflix, or YouTube, which offer vast libraries of videos and music, which users can enjoy on-demand?

A whole new world

If using the cloud’s so commonplace, imagine what the technology is capable of in accountancy practice. Here are some ways in which the cloud can help elevate your business:

Remote access and flexibility: With Sage’s cloud-based accounting software, accountants can access financial data from anywhere with an internet connection. This allows for remote work capabilities, flexibility in managing client accounts, and the ability to collaborate with team members, regardless of location.

Real-time updates and collaboration: Cloud accounting enables real-time updates of financial data. Multiple users can collaborate simultaneously, which enhances communication and teamwork among accountants, clients, and other stakeholders. Such real-time collaboration reduces the need for manual data entry and facilitates quicker decision-making processes.

Scalability and cost-efficiency: Sage Accounting’s solutions operate on a subscription-based model, allowing accounting practices to scale their software usage according to their needs. Our entry-level package for small business owners and sole traders helps them get their books covered at an affordable rate, starting from just R200 per month, including VAT. Such subscriptions eliminate the need for large upfront investments in software and hardware.

Automatic updates and backups: Cloud-based accounting software offers automatic updates and backups, which help ensure that the software is always up-to-date with the latest features and security patches, while also providing peace of mind that financial data is securely backed up and protected from loss.

Integration with third-party applications: Cloud accounting software can integrate with a wide range of third-party applications, such as payment processors, payroll systems, and CRM software, which helps streamline workflows, reduces manual data entry, and improves overall efficiency by centralising data from various sources in one platform.

Enhanced security: Sage Accounting’s cloud-based solutions offer robust security measures, including encryption, access controls, and regular security updates to protect sensitive financial data from unauthorised access, data breaches, and other security threats.

Client service and accessibility: Cloud accounting enables accounting firms to provide better service to their clients by offering access to real-time financial information and reports. Clients can log in to the cloud platform to view their financial data, generate reports, and collaborate with their accountants, fostering transparency and trust in the client-accountant relationship.

By leveraging cloud technology in your accountancy practice, you can streamline operations, improve client service, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving industry.

For more information, visit Sage here. DM


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted