Moving to the Cloud: Are you Still on the Fence?

You must know by now cloud technology is one of my favorite topics of conversation.

I mean, I talk about it all the time! I do this because it’s one of the most important tools out there for CPAs. It’s business and life changing.

While at the AICPA Engage in June, I interviewed John Barnes, vice president of product management at Wolters Kluwer.

It was cool to be able to talk to the guy who knows where the CCH cloud product is moving and the reasons why, if you haven’t started moving to the cloud, it’s time to seriously consider it. I was psyched for the Q&A, and I’ll admit, a bit selfish to get all my questions answered about the future of cloud. I had a lot of them!

John shared a ton of valuable information, however, the most important takeaways for me were around how CCH Axcess is moving forward in collaboration with our customers. Or said another way, a look to the future on how there will be greater integration workflows and exchanges between us, our customers and CCH Axcess.  Everyone on all sides has been waiting for this integration.  I, for one, can’t wait for it. I believe our customers will be happier and it will make our jobs easier.

In addition, during the interview John touched upon the future of artificial intelligence (AI) and what’s next in technology. To get all the benefits of the data extraction and the AI, your software needs to be in the cloud. What will we do with this data?  I’m not sure because I believe we don’t know what we don’t know yet. And we don’t really fully understand all the power of big data, but I know that I want to be ready when we can harness the information for our firm’s needs.

You can listen to the whole interview with John Barnes here.

How firms are integrating the cloud

I was also able to interview David Primes, CPA, and a partner at Sobul, Primes & Schenkel to hear about their experiences of using cloud software in their firm.  He was a raving fan of mobile work and how his whole team had embraced using these technologies over a period of years as they migrated their software program.  My biggest takeaway was how they see their early adoption of technology being a competitive advantage against other firms their size. Pretty cool!

You can listen to my interview with David Primes here.

Since people know I’m a cloud fanatic, I often get asked questions on where I see technology going and how it’s going to impact firms. Here are a few of the most common questions I get asked.

What do you see happening in the future of the cloud?

I see “cloud” or technology as just input into how a firm operates to create and deliver solutions for our customers.  The whole idea of “cloud” will go away as the data will become the focal point.  The cloud becomes the door to the data.  What we do with the data becomes the opportunity for CPA firms.  I can’t wait!

What do you think is the most important benefit of moving to the cloud? (Security, mobility, efficiency, integration, something else?)  

Today the most important benefit is efficiency, mobility and culture.   But tomorrow, I think it will be the opportunity to do more and realistically, have the option to add more value than regulatory compliance.  This will make us more relevant as technology drastically impacts our deliverable to our customers. What will we be able to do with the data? How will AI make our lives easier? I love thinking about this stuff!

Are firms that stay with on-premise software at a disadvantage? Why/why not?

Totally!  Usually when I talk about moving to the cloud, I relate it to me.  Why it makes my life better. It allows our firm to be mobile, to be more efficient, to help create work/life integration. But that’s all about me.  When you talk about the ability to work with data differently, now the benefits carry over to our customers. The more I think about how I can affect our customer, the more value I can bring to their business, the more opportunities there are for building my business, i.e. making more money.

I’m all about wanting good product better and faster.  Can’t wait to see what CCH comes up with next!

To learn more about why your firm should consider moving to the cloud, download the Jody’s latest whitepaper, “The New Firm Transformation: Technology, Growth and the Future.”

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST
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