Digital technology has impacted every aspect of our lives from elections to the way we interact with friends and family. There’s an area that has been affected by digital technology the fastest – the business world.
The average enterprise company uses 1,295 saas applications. If this isn’t an example of digital transformation then what is? The challenge is that digital transformation can be a benefit or a drawback depending on how you approach it.
In this guide, you’ll learn more about digital transformation and how to approach it the right way so your organization benefits.
What Is Digital Transformation?
Digital transformation is the change of culture, processes, business model, or domain of an organization or industry. The changes occur through the adoption of digital technologies or digital technology-enabled processes.
Digital transformation has become even more prevalent since the outbreak of COVID-19. Industries that were vehemently against remote work have now become champions. Not by choice but by necessity.
Technologies that were irrelevant eighteen months prior have become indispensable. Yes, this is an extreme example but even if there wasn’t a global pandemic, it would be happening.
Beyond just using the latest technology and upgrading your systems, digital transformation can be considered part of your organizational culture. You’re willing to do away with legacy infrastructure and standardized processes no matter how ingrained they are in the organization.
The goal is to enable your people to work smarter and more efficiently. It allows you to continue to provide value to your team, your stakeholders, and your customers while staying competitive in the market.
That’s a goal businesses have had since the beginning of time. It is just called digital transformation now. – Read more
If you are an accountant, a CPA, or bookkeeper, or you have worked with any of these professionals, then there’s a chance you know about the importance of QuickBooks. QuickBooks Premier is one of the most used accounting applications in almost every small or medium business, offering accounting and bookkeeping services. It can be utilized to automate processes, accept payments, manage bills, and complete payroll functions.
The only thing that is missing from the unique functionalities of QuickBooks Premier is the ability to work remotely. Hosting your QuickBooks Premier on the cloud helps you use your on-premise application from anywhere. Looking at the COVID-19 pandemic, this has even become the need of the hour.
Therefore, this article will explore whether you should move your QuickBooks Premier to the cloud or not if you own a small business.
Should You Switch to QuickBooks Premier Hosting If You Are a Small Business?
Yes, it would help if you switched to QuickBooks Premier hosting. However, we understand that you need to evaluate whether this is the right decision for your small business or not. So, read on:
QuickBooks Premier hosting is nothing but installing your QB software on a cloud server. Once installed, you have the power to sign in to your software remotely. It also gives you the feasibility access your QB data from any device, such as your phone, computer, or laptop.
How is this model of accessing QuickBooks Premier better than your QB Premier Desktop?
QuickBooks Premier is designed with excellent features, such as automation for accounting calculations, more straightforward report generation, etc. But, the inability to access the application remotely restricts the flow of communication, hence reducing the business’s productivity.
Let’s compare the features of QuickBooks Premier with and without cloud hosting.
QuickBooks Premier Desktop
Hosted QuickBooks Premier
Your access to QuickBooks Premier is limited. You can use it on one or two desktops only; depending on your package.
The access to hosted QuickBooks Premier is amazing. Many users in your organization can access the app remotely.
Every dataset of your QuickBooks Premier is locally stored. This means your in-house security measures might be inadequate to mitigate modern-day attacks.
Every dataset is stored on a cloud server, which leads to better performance, quick access, and advanced security.
QuickBooks Premier without cloud hosting offers limited scalability. It also costs a lot of money.
Simpler scalability options are received with the cloud. You just need to give your QuickBooks hosting provider a call to scale (or descale) resources.
Limited number collaboration as multiple users cannot work on the same file.
Since everything is stored online, team members can easily collaborate and work on the same file simultaneously.
When you send data files, the data is not encrypted. This is often ignored because you don’t have a choice.
When you need to share data, hosting providers ensure that it is end-to-end encrypted.
Updates in the software are manual, which means hassle for your IT staff.
Updates in the software are automatic, and your service provider takes care of everything.
The risk of data loss is more.
Backups are regularly stored to help you recover in case of any emergency.
What Should You Know About QuickBooks Premier Hosting For Small Businesses?
We have already compared QuickBooks Premier with and without hosting. There are many other benefits that you get apart from remote accessibility with hosting. Let’s explore some of these in detail:
In a world where most of the population is active on various devices, why access your software on just one desktop?
QuickBooks Premier hosting helps you access your application on various devices, such as your tablet, mobile phone, or laptop. You can use it on Linux, Windows, or macOS. There’s so much possibility in this feature, as it gives your employees the feasibility to open QuickBooks at any moment in any situation to extract essential data.
Fewer Security Issues
The pace at which cyberattacks are increasing in the market is frightening. Organizations, especially CPA and accounting firms, need to secure their users’ sensitive information. QuickBooks Premier hosting only adds to your data security.
As a small business, you cannot look after data security all the time. QB Premier hosting offers features like:
Automatic intrusion detection and prevention for constant data monitoring
End-to-end data encryption for resting or transmitting data
Internal firewalls for access control
Additional support via antivirus, antimalware, etc.
With QB Premier Desktop, your IT team needs to spend time updating your QuickBooks Premier version on every device or computer.
With QuickBooks Premier hosting, your software is automatically updated. The cloud service provider ensures that your software is updated and working with the latest features.
Disaster Recovery and Backup
Without cloud hosting, data backup and disaster recovery are entirely on your shoulders. Your IT team needs to regularly backup QuickBooks data and secure it properly. They also need to recover this data manually in case of an emergency.
In QuickBooks Premier hosting, backups are automated. This means that you don’t need to work on backing up your data. Your cloud hosting provider backs up your data automatically in geographically remote servers. This is why even during a disaster, you can easily jump back on your feet. You can quickly recover your QuickBooks Premier data and start working whenever your team is ready. This also ensures business continuity.
The cloud is value for money in every sense. As a small business, you can enhance the efficiency of accounting and bookkeeping functions with QuickBooks Premier hosting. Simply find the right cloud service provider and host your application on the cloud for improved access, better security, and much more.
Accounting businesses have access to some of the most sensitive client information, such as credit card details, yearly income, SSNs, bank details, and more. If it gets into the wrong hands, the information can be used for multiple illegal purposes.
Thus, a high level of cybersecurity can be a significant factor in differentiating accounting firms today. On the one hand, a firm with good cybersecurity might experience high business growth along with the trust of their clients. On the other hand, a firm with inferior cybersecurity might be crippled by multiple lawsuits and a downward growth trajectory.
Did you know that 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses? Thus, accounting firms should always be cautious.
However, learning the basics of cybersecurity and protecting your data from hackers is not rocket science. There are a few things that accounting firms should know and do to reduce the chances of getting their data lost to a cyber attack. Let’s look at 4 of them in detail:
Train Your Employees
Hackers consider employees to be the most accessible point to gain access to any business’s network. That’s why they either steal the access credentials from your employees or trick them into providing network access. It indicates that the employees are not aware of cyberattacks and need more training. Naturally, employees having access to more sensitive information would require detailed movement, but every employee should be capable of detecting a suspicious situation if there comes a need. It becomes vital for accounting firms because almost every employee has access to some form of critical information.
Employees should know the following things:
Emails asking login credentials or any other important information should be verified in person or over a phone call.
Emails (even from the CEO) asking for any form of money transfer should be confirmed first.
Emails displaying investment schemes that are too good to be true should be ignored.
Backup Your Data
Ransomware is a popular form of cybercrime. In such attacks, the hackers try to get access to your system and encrypt the data. This way, all the data is locked, and you won’t be able to access it. The information is unlocked by paying a ransom for the data in exchange for the decryption key.
However, backing up the data is an excellent option to prevent such attacks. So, even if a ransomware attack hits you, you have your data backed up somewhere else. Please note that not all data backup options are equally good. If your backup device is also connected to your system, there are chances that they will also be affected by the attack.
This problem can be solved by backing up your data on the cloud (only if) the service provider offers top-notch data security features with end-to-end data encryption. An external hard disk plugged in only while taking the backup (once or twice a day) is also a good option as the attackers cannot access it if disconnected.
Mobile Device Protection
Ideally, employees should not use their personal smartphones for official purposes. The main reason is that individual devices are not sometimes password protected or can easily fall into the wrong hands. Thus, it makes them vulnerable for hackers to steal the device or the information when the device is connected to a public network. Also, your employees can use the device for personal emails, increasing the risk of a phishing attack.
Businesses can tackle this problem by providing a mobile phone to the employees who need it for official purposes. As a business, it becomes your responsibility to encrypt the data on the device at all times. Also, please inform your employees that if the device is stolen/lost, the incident needs to be reported to the police and the company. If such an incident occurs, it would be best to secure all the information that could harm the company in any way.
There should also be clear instructions given to the employees that they should use the device only for official purposes and install no new apps without the management’s permission.
Invest in Technology
A new malware, viruses, and other hacking techniques are developed and deployed all the time. Fortunately, investing in the right technologies can help decrease the chances of new cyberattacks. For instance, technologies like AI, cloud computing, blockchain, etc., have shown promising results in thwarting cyberattacks.
Blockchain is gaining colossal momentum these days on almost every front. This is because it offers a near-impenetrable network where no information can be accessed or altered without verifying its authenticity. Cloud computing is also one of the popular methods for accounting firms to protect their data. They can host their favorite accounting software and business applications on the cloud. As a result, all their data is stored in secure cloud servers with premium security features like end-to-end data encryption, automatic intrusion detection, the latest antivirus and firewalls, and multiple security compliance adherence such as PCI, HIPAA, SOX, and more.
With the volume of critical information accounting firms has access to, it becomes their responsibility to store and handle the information with utmost care. Data security becomes even more critical in this digital age of rising cyberattacks. Thus, it becomes crucial for accounting firms to know the basics of cybersecurity and avoid a cyber attack.