FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here are some frequently asked questions to assist you in understand what we offer and how our service offering works. Please click on the + below for more information.
What is the cloud?
You might have heard about ‘the cloud’ and wondered what it meant. In simple terms, it’s a way of describing data and applications that are stored online.
As little as a decade ago, programs were run directly from people’s computers. Users installed the software themselves onto the hard drive, usually from a CD-ROM. The data created by that software was also stored on the hard drive.
But as internet speeds have increased and data storage costs dropped, all of that is changing. Now many applications run at least partly online, from remote servers. And the data they generate is also stored on those servers.
This is a major change, and it’s happening fast. IBM recently estimated that 90 percent of all the digital data ever created was generated in the past two years. Much of that data is being stored online.
Businesses all over the world are moving to the cloud. There are good reasons for doing so, which we’ll explain in this guide. Then we’ll look at cloud security and provide some useful tips that may help make your data – and your customers’ data – safer in the cloud.
This guide provides general advice on cloud security and isn’t intended to cover everything. After reading it, you should be more familiar with ways to secure your data in the cloud. But before you jump in, remember that nothing is ever 100 percent secure. Always get professional advice if you have concerns about the security of your data (whether in the cloud or otherwise).
Five key benefits of cloud computing
There are some significant benefits to businesses using the cloud:
- Lower IT costs but improved experience
Software upgrades, patches and backups are vital to keeping a business running. Cloud applications do most of this for you, saving on your IT support bill. And cloud software is often based on an affordable monthly subscription – not a big capital expense. Why manage IT in-house when you can have experienced professionals doing it for you?
- Faster updates
Cloud software is being developed all the time. New features are added and bugs are fixed as quickly as possible. This means you always have the latest software – no need to wait a year for the next version.
- Access from anywhere at any time
Cloud applications aren’t tied to a single desktop computer. You can access your software and data from wherever you happen to be as long as you have an internet connection. With most programs, you can use a laptop, desktop, smartphone or tablet. Many newer applications will run in a web browser on almost any device.
- Better business continuity
Power outages, fires, floods, burglaries, earthquakes – all of these are potential business risks. Cloud-based companies can recover faster from disaster than those with data stored on-site. They could be up and running within hours, instead of weeks or longer.
- Greater agility
Cloud systems are often able to share data or integrate with each other. This means you can process your information in new and useful ways. For example, cloud accounting software can integrate with cloud point-of-sale software. This means that your sales totals, stock orders and customer and supplier data flows easily between systems. You’ll be able to serve your customers better and adapt to their needs quickly.
How is the data stored?
One of the common questions people have about cloud computing is, “How is my data stored?”. In most cases it’s stored on servers in big data centers, which are secure and managed 24 hours a day.
And what about the journey between your computer and those data servers? Professional cloud applications use secure, encrypted connections. That means your data is encrypted on your computer before it’s sent to the server – and also when it comes back again. This means that nobody can listen in to what’s being sent or received.
Cloud software companies take data security very seriously and work hard to protect their customers’ data. So you might be wondering how data is ever hacked. It does happen, but it’s something you can help prevent. We’ll look at that next.
How Is Xero More Secure Than Desktop Software?
Because your data is not stored locally on your computer, your data is safe even if your computer crashes, gets lost, stolen or damaged. Your financial advisor or accountant can be given access to your account and this eliminates the danger of emailing data which could potentially be intercepted.
Problems with traditional accounting software
- The data in the system isn’t up to date and neither is the software.
- It only works on one computer and data bounces from place to place. For example, on a USB drive. This is not secure or reliable.
- Only one person has user access. Key people can’t access financial and customer details.
- It’s costly and complicated to keep backups (if done at all).
- It’s expensive, difficult and time consuming to upgrade the software.
- Customer support is expensive and slow.
Why the cloud and accounting software are the perfect match
You can use cloud-based software from any device with an internet connection. Online accounting means small business owners stay connected to their data and their accountants. The software can integrate with a whole ecosystem of add-ons. It’s scalable, cost effective and easy to use.
In the cloud, there’s no need to install and run applications over a desktop computer. Instead, you pay for the software by monthly subscription.
Sourced from Xero, click here to learn more
If I am a multinational company, how can I access BDODrive in other regions?
BDODrive is a global service offering and can be found at BDO offices globally.
How do I know if my business is the right size for BDODrive?
We don’t have a turnover threshold to work with you, we work with businesses who have a growth ambition.
What is BDOdrive?
In a world driven by technology and information, BDODrive is helping small businesses, entrepreneurs, trusts and individuals simplify important financial information and provide uncomplicated practical advisory services.
Who else has used BDODrive and benefited?
Grind is a group of six café-bars and three restaurants across London. They share their experience of being a BDODrive client and how it has benefited their business and their time.