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What CPAs Need to Know About Cloud Technology in 2021? – ReadWrite

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Cloud Accounting


We can’t argue with the fact that cloud computing received a lot of momentum in the year 2020 and is the reason why cloud computing is forecasted to increase to the revenue of USD 163 billion in the year 2021.

What does cloud computing mean for CPAs?

How can accounting firms and CPAs incorporate cloud technology in their business? Is their data at risk? Would they gain the power to serve customers better?

Start thinking of cloud technology as your business on the internet.

Everything from your applications to desktop infrastructure can be stored on the cloud in a remote server, and you can easily access it anywhere from any possible smart device with an internet connection.

You don’t have to go through the hassle of setting up on-premise technology architecture to achieve more processing power, better storage, and improved management. All you need is the cloud!

Of course, you can conduct your business on the cloud easily. With the advancements that we have observed in 2020, the next year is made for the cloud. There’s no doubt about that!

Here are some trends and facts that CPAs should know about the cloud in 2021.

1. The Rise of DaaS 

Desktop as a Service is where you get the workplace environment as an online instance. You don’t need an actual computer to access your desktop. You just need an internet connection and password to your cloud instance.

This means that CPA firms can use Desktop as a Service to purchase only as many desktop instances as they need at the time. They don’t have to go through hardware and software updates, which can put a dent in their pocket from time to time.

The simple idea behind Desktop as a Service in a CPA firm is that everyone gets to use the latest technology and new software. The security is centralized for every desktop, and communication is improved. It is a win-win situation.

You can reduce costs and increase efficiency. That’s the perfect combination that every CPA needs from their technology implementations.

2. Hybrid Cloud Adoption 

Since the cloud’s emergence, it has been a challenging task to select the right type of cloud: private, public, or hybrid. Every cloud hosting type has various benefits and a few drawbacks. As per the organization, some decide to go with public clouds, and others choose a private cloud for more controlled and streamlined working.

There’s truly no one-size-fits-all here.

However, what we can say about the hybrid cloud is that it improves performance, flexibility, compliance, and security. Everything falls in the right blend for a large number of organizations. Hence, service providers have also started reassessing their users’ needs, and CPA firms have begun migrating to the hybrid cloud.

What does that mean for CPA firms?

This means that you would be storing your data on a private or on-premise network for better control, but the public cloud would be utilized for content delivery. This blend helps you mitigate the security concerns and lower the costs of management.

In fact, there’s a growing demand for bare metal space, where CPAs would be allowed to put their existing systems on the cloud simply without going through pre-installation and implementation. This is still relatively new.

But, the overall idea of the hybrid cloud is gaining popularity in CPA firms and other industries.

3. Enhanced Storage Power 

Data is the oil that fuels our businesses, every business in literal terms. If you don’t have valuable data, your business activities would be vague. For example, without data, how would you know if you are generating revenue or improving productivity?

So, here, we can safely infer that CPA firms need to store huge amounts of data. When they use the cloud to process and capture this data, their hassle reduces. Storing this much data in-house or on-premise would only increase the chances of theft. On the cloud, such risks are reduced, and storage scalability is enhanced.

4. Remote Working 

As a CPA, you need to always stay available for customers as well as employees. You can’t miss calls or avoid sending details that your clients need. Even when you are physically not in the office, you have to cater to customers’ needs. But that is difficult! You can’t really cater to your customers when you are miles away from your accounting tools and data.

Or is that really the case?

With the pandemic teaching us a lesson the hard way, CPA firms are moving towards cloud hosting and hosting their accounting solutions on the cloud to improve their remote abilities. This implementation would only allow you to utilize your applications and data on any desktop and tablet.

For example, if you host QuickBooks on the cloud, you would be able to access it securely from anywhere, anytime.

5. Disaster Recovery 

When we entered 2020 over a year back, we never thought disaster recovery would become so important. The coronavirus pandemic shut us in our homes, and multiple other natural disasters disrupted our businesses. In this time, companies that had cloud implementations were able to improve:

  • Infrastructure

  • Security

  • Application portability

  • Networking

They could access their data remotely and still work for their clients. Even when the workplace’s data was lost due to a natural disaster, these leaders could recover it sooner than anyone.

In 2021, disaster recovery will become extremely necessary for organizations and CPA firms. They would put more effort into improving their disaster recovery and preparedness, and the cloud is the best way to do that.

 Conclusion 

In reality, every organization uses the cloud in some way or the other. But, complete adoption of this technology or moving your data to the cloud, or hosting an application like QuickBooks to the cloud is a big step for every CPA. We have discussed how the cloud will change in 2021 in this article to resolve all your doubts.

Image Credit: shutterstock

Sharad Acharya

Sharad Acharya is a technical content writer at Ace Cloud Hosting, a renowned accounting, and business application hosting provider. When not writing about the latest developments in cloud, VDI, and cybersecurity, he loves to watch movies and ride bikes. You can follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Politics

Fintech Kennek raises $12.5M seed round to digitize lending

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Google eyed for $2 billion Anthropic deal after major Amazon play


London-based fintech startup Kennek has raised $12.5 million in seed funding to expand its lending operating system.

According to an Oct. 10 tech.eu report, the round was led by HV Capital and included participation from Dutch Founders Fund, AlbionVC, FFVC, Plug & Play Ventures, and Syndicate One. Kennek offers software-as-a-service tools to help non-bank lenders streamline their operations using open banking, open finance, and payments.

The platform aims to automate time-consuming manual tasks and consolidate fragmented data to simplify lending. Xavier De Pauw, founder of Kennek said:

“Until kennek, lenders had to devote countless hours to menial operational tasks and deal with jumbled and hard-coded data – which makes every other part of lending a headache. As former lenders ourselves, we lived and breathed these frustrations, and built kennek to make them a thing of the past.”

The company said the latest funding round was oversubscribed and closed quickly despite the challenging fundraising environment. The new capital will be used to expand Kennek’s engineering team and strengthen its market position in the UK while exploring expansion into other European markets. Barbod Namini, Partner at lead investor HV Capital, commented on the investment:

“Kennek has developed an ambitious and genuinely unique proposition which we think can be the foundation of the entire alternative lending space. […] It is a complicated market and a solution that brings together all information and stakeholders onto a single platform is highly compelling for both lenders & the ecosystem as a whole.”

The fintech lending space has grown rapidly in recent years, but many lenders still rely on legacy systems and manual processes that limit efficiency and scalability. Kennek aims to leverage open banking and data integration to provide lenders with a more streamlined, automated lending experience.

The seed funding will allow the London-based startup to continue developing its platform and expanding its team to meet demand from non-bank lenders looking to digitize operations. Kennek’s focus on the UK and Europe also comes amid rising adoption of open banking and open finance in the regions.

Featured Image Credit: Photo from Kennek.io; Thank you!

Radek Zielinski

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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Fortune 500’s race for generative AI breakthroughs

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Deanna Ritchie


As excitement around generative AI grows, Fortune 500 companies, including Goldman Sachs, are carefully examining the possible applications of this technology. A recent survey of U.S. executives indicated that 60% believe generative AI will substantially impact their businesses in the long term. However, they anticipate a one to two-year timeframe before implementing their initial solutions. This optimism stems from the potential of generative AI to revolutionize various aspects of businesses, from enhancing customer experiences to optimizing internal processes. In the short term, companies will likely focus on pilot projects and experimentation, gradually integrating generative AI into their operations as they witness its positive influence on efficiency and profitability.

Goldman Sachs’ Cautious Approach to Implementing Generative AI

In a recent interview, Goldman Sachs CIO Marco Argenti revealed that the firm has not yet implemented any generative AI use cases. Instead, the company focuses on experimentation and setting high standards before adopting the technology. Argenti recognized the desire for outcomes in areas like developer and operational efficiency but emphasized ensuring precision before putting experimental AI use cases into production.

According to Argenti, striking the right balance between driving innovation and maintaining accuracy is crucial for successfully integrating generative AI within the firm. Goldman Sachs intends to continue exploring this emerging technology’s potential benefits and applications while diligently assessing risks to ensure it meets the company’s stringent quality standards.

One possible application for Goldman Sachs is in software development, where the company has observed a 20-40% productivity increase during its trials. The goal is for 1,000 developers to utilize generative AI tools by year’s end. However, Argenti emphasized that a well-defined expectation of return on investment is necessary before fully integrating generative AI into production.

To achieve this, the company plans to implement a systematic and strategic approach to adopting generative AI, ensuring that it complements and enhances the skills of its developers. Additionally, Goldman Sachs intends to evaluate the long-term impact of generative AI on their software development processes and the overall quality of the applications being developed.

Goldman Sachs’ approach to AI implementation goes beyond merely executing models. The firm has created a platform encompassing technical, legal, and compliance assessments to filter out improper content and keep track of all interactions. This comprehensive system ensures seamless integration of artificial intelligence in operations while adhering to regulatory standards and maintaining client confidentiality. Moreover, the platform continuously improves and adapts its algorithms, allowing Goldman Sachs to stay at the forefront of technology and offer its clients the most efficient and secure services.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Google DeepMind; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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UK seizes web3 opportunity simplifying crypto regulations

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Deanna Ritchie


As Web3 companies increasingly consider leaving the United States due to regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom must simplify its cryptocurrency regulations to attract these businesses. The conservative think tank Policy Exchange recently released a report detailing ten suggestions for improving Web3 regulation in the country. Among the recommendations are reducing liability for token holders in decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and encouraging the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to adopt alternative Know Your Customer (KYC) methodologies, such as digital identities and blockchain analytics tools. These suggestions aim to position the UK as a hub for Web3 innovation and attract blockchain-based businesses looking for a more conducive regulatory environment.

Streamlining Cryptocurrency Regulations for Innovation

To make it easier for emerging Web3 companies to navigate existing legal frameworks and contribute to the UK’s digital economy growth, the government must streamline cryptocurrency regulations and adopt forward-looking approaches. By making the regulatory landscape clear and straightforward, the UK can create an environment that fosters innovation, growth, and competitiveness in the global fintech industry.

The Policy Exchange report also recommends not weakening self-hosted wallets or treating proof-of-stake (PoS) services as financial services. This approach aims to protect the fundamental principles of decentralization and user autonomy while strongly emphasizing security and regulatory compliance. By doing so, the UK can nurture an environment that encourages innovation and the continued growth of blockchain technology.

Despite recent strict measures by UK authorities, such as His Majesty’s Treasury and the FCA, toward the digital assets sector, the proposed changes in the Policy Exchange report strive to make the UK a more attractive location for Web3 enterprises. By adopting these suggestions, the UK can demonstrate its commitment to fostering innovation in the rapidly evolving blockchain and cryptocurrency industries while ensuring a robust and transparent regulatory environment.

The ongoing uncertainty surrounding cryptocurrency regulations in various countries has prompted Web3 companies to explore alternative jurisdictions with more precise legal frameworks. As the United States grapples with regulatory ambiguity, the United Kingdom can position itself as a hub for Web3 innovation by simplifying and streamlining its cryptocurrency regulations.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Jonathan Borba; Pexels; Thank you!

Deanna Ritchie

Managing Editor at ReadWrite

Deanna is the Managing Editor at ReadWrite. Previously she worked as the Editor in Chief for Startup Grind and has over 20+ years of experience in content management and content development.

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