Cloud computing has eliminated geographical borders, allowing accountants and small businesses to serve customers around the world. It has also broken down the technology silos that chained them to their desks and storefronts.

Improving efficiency

With cloud computing, a small business owner or their bookkeeper can run payroll or accept customer payments for goods and services using a tablet.

With a smartphone, a small business owner can take a picture of a receipt, attach it to a transaction in QuickBooks and automatically share that information with their accountant.

"The percentage of U.S. small businesses using cloud computing is expected to more than double, from 37 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2020."

This ability to leverage cloud computing to accomplish everyday business tasks will continue to grow and reshape how small businesses and accountants serve their customers and share financial information with each other.

In fact, the percentage of U.S. small businesses using cloud computing is expected to more than double, from 37 percent in 2014 to 80 percent in 2020, according to the study, “Small Business Success in the Cloud,” from consulting firm Emergent Research and Intuit.

Staying on top

With the help of cloud-based technologies, small businesses are more efficient, better able to meet their customers’ needs and stay on top of the financial health of their business. These technologies also help accounting professionals stay better connected to their small business clients with the ability to gain insights into their real-time data that lead to consulting opportunities that help their clients achieve greater success.

Accounting firms and small businesses that do not embrace this technological shift risk stagnation and potential failure.