Cloud Hosted Accounting Software
Accounting software systems utilizing the Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery model have transformed business processes across many industries, including healthcare, customer service and government contracting. SaaS is a model where a provider hosts application software "in the cloud" and provides remote access to this infrastructure over the internet. SaaS offers many advantages, including lower upfront costs, higher availability and zero installation than on premise software. In the SaaS model, the provider supplies the necessary components to support the software, such as the database, storage, cyber security, servers, updates and maintenance.
Benefits of SaaS
1. Maintenance and Version Control -
- The provider maintains the servers, database and software.
- The provider also maintains and updates the security patches and the software.
- Because the provider is responsible for the hardware and software maintenance, clients are freed of the responsibility and costs of providing updates and for maintaining the IT personnel to manage updates.
2. Disaster Recovery -
- SaaS providers back up the data on a regular (nightly) basis.
In addition, clients may also back up their data on-premise, providing an additional measure of security and assurance.
3. Scalability - Hosted accounting service providers charge you based on the number of users or employees. However, should your needs increase or decrease, hosted accounting systems can scale up or down quickly.
4. Service Level Agreement - Hosted accounting service providers will typically guarantee that outage related issues will be dealt within a certain time frame and guarantee 95% or more up-time. If the hosted service provider fails to meet these requirements, they can be required to pay restitution to the client.
5. Access Anywhere - Because the accounting software is provided over the internet, employees can access the data and software in the office or remotely, via PC, phone or tablet.
- The recent COVID-19 or Novel Coronavirus epidemic illustrates the need for work to continue, even when employees can’t work from the office.
6. Compliance - Accounting and tax records are heavily regulated at the local, state and federal level. With hosted accounting applications, the provider is responsible for ensuring that the accounting software is up to date with all regulatory standards.
- Government Contracting businesses are often required to utilize Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA) compliant accounting software if they want to compete for certain types of government contracts. Providers of DCAA compliant hosted software will ensure that the software remains compliant with the latest regulations.
- NIST SP 171-800 governing Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) compliance can be met in part by SaaS providers offering multi-factor authentication for devices that are connected to a virtual network.
7. Automation - Hosted accounting software automates many of the accounting processes, saving your company time, effort and money.
- Hosted accounting software can automate processes such as invoicing and vendor payments.
- Hosted accounting software systems can also automate documentation, utilizing artificial intelligence to automatically categorize, file and append important accounting documentation, reducing processing time by up to 50%.
More and more government contractors are forgoing leasing formal office space and are keeping their overhead costs low by establishing virtual workplaces. With widespread adaptation of SaaS, the possibility of assembling a remote, work from home workforce is a reality, especially in these troubling times we are facing with the ongoing pandemic.