5 reasons accounting is better onlineAdele Chazin
As the business world adapts to the remote-work model necessitated by the COVID-19 outbreak, we’re all rethinking the way we do business.
Among the most important questions for nonprofits experiencing a sharp increase or decrease in demand: How do we maintain our business-essential processes if our physical location changes, or as we move towards a dispersed, remote workforce?
As one of those essential functions, accounting should be top-of-mind as your nonprofit goes remote. At Chazin & Company, we’ve helped dozens of nonprofits modernize their accounting practices with a cloud-based system, resulting in a cascade of benefits.
The advantages of a remote approach to accounting are numerous, but five of the most urgent benefits of housing your accounting function in the cloud are:
- Succession. If you need to hand over the accounting function to someone new temporarily or permanently, it’s much easier to provide a login and a password than it is to transfer a system that lives on someone’s desktop or a physical server.
- Security. Quality cloud-based accounting products have built-in security structures that meet high standards for keeping your information safe.
- Accessibility. When accounting software lives on someone’s desktop or a physical server, others can only access it with a remote-access setup (likely requiring an IT expert). Cloud-based systems usually accomodate multiple users, typically for very little or no extra cost.
- Cost. Though online subscriptions aren’t free, you’ll no longer need to pay for server maintenance, IT assistance, or software updates.
- Disaster preparedness. When the next emergency hits, you won't have to worry about how you will access your accounting data and continue this critical function.
In the present crisis, of course, there’s more reason than ever to cut out the cumbersome (and potentially in-person) steps involved in depositing checks or cash with your bank. A desktop scanner is a good start: They’re inexpensive, easy to use, and the back-up you need is automatically saved and accessible through your onlin ebanking services, which is also a big advantage in terms of ensuring compliance.
While cloud-based accounting software and applications can help you improve your compliance by including structures for separating duties, how you share data should also be addressed. Email should not be used, and some mainstream file sharing services are not as secure as you might think – so be sure to do your research before deciding how you are going to share privileged information with colleagues.
Ready to learn more? Find out about best practices, our top recommendations, and more in our upcoming webinar on Virtual Accounting Practices on May 20.
Adele Chazin is principal at Chazin & Company, a GCN business partner.
Chazin & Company is an outsourced accounting firm for nonprofits, offering a unique and respected approach to the audit process. By providing auditors with a comprehensive, electronic package prior to the audit, auditors work efficiently and independently, resulting in fewer client disruptions and lower audit costs.