The “cloud” is an all-encompassing term covering data and services that are accessed online. Most businesses will be using cloud services already for various things, such as email, file storage, banking, ordering from certain suppliers, sales and marketing ... the list goes on.
The cloud is here to stay and if used properly can deliver significant benefits to you and your business. In accounting terms we are definitely part of a new digital age, with online bookkeeping and accounts now the norm, online payroll following suit, and tools appearing all the time to make you and us more efficient. In many cases we can now prepare accounts from data held online, while you and your staff continue to use the system, without any disruption to your business cycle. No more backups on a memory stick and hard copies of everything! We can also move your data from a desktop Sage setup to an online Xero one overnight, with years of prior data and all your existing codes, contacts and balances seamlessly converted.
We should mention security in this section, including security of data, particularly in light of current data protection legislation. The Xero system we recommend has bank level security built-in but there is more you can do to help protect your data, particularly regarding passwords. We'd always suggest that you review such matters fully for your business, not just for the accounting side, and can recommend IT and legal support if needed.
The following sections give a flavour of the ways in which CMM are using the cloud to help deliver our services to our clients. We expect this to expand over time as the technology is developing fast!