Over time, web technologies have evolved from simple websites and emails to something more sophisticated and dynamic like social media sites, wikis, and blogs. New media has changed the quantity and the quality of the information that is produced and received by people and companies. Nowadays, every firm should use the latest web technologies to reach their business development goals.
At first sight, I couldn’t find any links between new media and accounting as this situation was perfectly described by the sentence: new ways of doing business and old problems related to accounting. But I was wrong. All these new ways of doing business make the accountants develop themselves and find the right solutions for new problems. Crowd funding is a very good example. This is a good solution for financing the new projects, but once the money appears, we should thing about the way of registering them in the business and of course, about taxes. It is a new problem for the accountants who have to be prepared and know how to solve it. This is just a small example of how new media can influence accounting.
The most important change is still related to cloud computing. This new technology has definitely made a change in the way accounting information is prepared, used and analysed. The concept is very simple. All the software programs are on the Web. They don’t have to be brought, managed or installed. All the information is stored in the cloud.
Accounting can benefit from cloud computing in different ways. First of all I would like to mention that the upgrades, maintenance and administration of the system are not the firm’s responsibility. The software is continuously updated, so that everybody could use the same version. As all the information is in the cloud, the firm shouldn’t bother about keeping it safe.
Another convenient thing is that the information can be accessed from any part of the world, anytime as long as the internet connection is available. Users can reach the financial information using smartphones, tablets and any other device that allows that.
Something that is very important for accounting is the backup. If something goes wrong with the system or the software, the firm might lose all the data and this could be a total disaster. Cloud computing has a solution for that. There is an automatic secure cloud backup. In this way, the companies don’t need to worry about doing the backup regularly and the accountants will not be so stressed any more.
Cloud computing can also help the users exchange large files without using emails, as the data can be accessed by many people at the same time. In this way, the accountant will not lose time doing copies, sending huge amount of information via email just because people from other departments don’t have access to the needed information. At this moment the accountant is just becoming a secretary that has to make copies rather doing her job. All these distractions can lead to mistakes that could be hard to correct. With the help of the cloud, the accountant will not be interrupted from analysing the data as anybody who is allowed to access the information and needs it, could do that in a very simple way.
The accounting software in the cloud can also help a company to have fewer errors in the documents. This could be possible because the accountants and the managers would not cut and paste the information in spread sheets and financial applications. In the cloud, the information is the same for everybody.
All these facts that I have mentioned above are positive influences of the cloud computing on the way the accountancy could be done. But we shouldn’t forget about the negative effects as well. All the important information will be somewhere in the cloud. A company’s client files, tax returns, balance sheets, income statements could be stored perhaps in a different country. There could also be a high risk of hacking this information. This is the company’s decision whether they want to move their information in the cloud or they don’t. Still I could not deny the huge help that the accountants could receive just by keeping all the documents somewhere else except their desks.
This is the internet world and the new media. It offers a lot of help and information, but at the same time we have to be very careful if we don’t want to get in trouble.