AP Automation

What’s The Big Deal About The Cloud? – A Real Life Look At Online Accounts Payable Software

October 22, 2014

Cloud tech improving work processes

A few decades ago, if you mentioned anything about “a race to the clouds,” people would think you were referring to the contest between the US and Russia to see who could be the first nation to put a human on the moon. Today, millions of us use the cloud every day without even thinking about it.  We store our pictures (aspiring internet sensations beware), our music, and our documents in it.  And, we can access these items from anywhere, as long as we have an internet connection. We distribute them with a flick of a thumb. (You can hardly blame me for wanting to share those priceless images of Uncle Fred dancing the cha-cha with a vacuum cleaner at last year’s family reunion).

Cloud-based or online accounts payable software is fast becoming cutting edge. If you’re accountants like us, your first thought is probably “is my stuff really safe in the cloud?” Well, using AP automation software to store and process your invoices on a cloud-based, hosted platform is safer than storing them on your own desktop or server. Unless, that is, you are fortunate enough to have on staff a highly trained, certified, professional IT security staffer whose only job is to monitor the safety and security of your accounts payables invoices 24/7. Chances are, unless you are a pretty big company, that person is not on your payroll. For any small or midsize enterprise, the cost of providing round-the-clock IT security is prohibitive and, in reality, just plain impractical. Even one full-time, certified IT security staffer working Monday through Friday and on call the rest of the week costs far more than most organizations can afford, let alone justify. The implementation, maintenance and updating of myriad layers of technology applications to provide a fully hardened defense against today’s cyber thieves is a daunting challenge.

Cloud-Based Accounts Payable Solutions: The Safer Accounting Alternative

In contrast, a hosted solution from a reputable provider with a solid track record will already have security measures built into their offering: In other words, it’s an integral part of the entire accounting package. State-of-the-art anti-virus, anti-malware applications are part of the bargain, as is a top-notch firewall. There are encryption layers, authentication protocols, and disaster recovery systems with geographically-dispersed backups far beyond anything you could ever replicate.  And, yes, those providers have a dedicated IT staff to ensure your online accounts payable security is vigilantly defended every minute of every day.

Maybe you’re worried that someone at the host provider has access to your AP records.

Actually, they don’t.

Standard security protocols are permission-based with what amounts to blind-drop passwords, so no one has that kind of access and, quite frankly, no one wants it because the liability is too great. For Canadian companies, it’s become increasingly important that their data is hosted domestically. The fact that Beanworks is hosted in Canada has actually proved attractive to many companies.

You’re right to worry about online security — after all, it’s your business. And, moving to online accounts payable processing might just give you one less thing to worry about.   Now, where did I store those pictures of Uncle Fred twerking…

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