Take a look at the scenarios below. Do any of them describe a recent experience in your accounting practice?
- You find yourself doing the same task multiple times, like repetitive auditing work using multiple systems. As a result, you end up getting bogged down in data and leaving your processes open to human error in a sector that’s very picky about details.
- You find yourself stuck in front of a desk in the office until the early hours of the morning to complete things like tax returns and month-end closings during periods of increased demand. It’s well known that overtime conditions can be especially gruelling in accounting firms.
- You find yourself having to onboard new employees in a dizzyingly complex array of systems and applications. For accounting firms, the training is never over, but that doesn’t mean it should dominate every process to the extent it ends up getting in the way of employee motivation and productivity.
If any of the above scenarios ring a bell, then it’s probably time for a change, and that’s exactly where workforce mobility and mobile device computing come in.The portable convenience of tablets and even smartphones has begun to impact productivity across almost every industry, and the accounting sector is no exception. It’s jump-started an enormously influential trend known as workforce mobility, whereby employees can now work almost anywhere, whenever they want.
People can now interface with both customers and business applications no matter where they are and which device they’re using. The time-sensitive tasks accountants need to handle every day can now be revolutionized with easy access to relevant information irrespective of location. Furthermore, administrators will gain operational efficiencies in keeping business technologies running and up-to-date.
Mobility and the consumerisationof IT refer an important trend whereby the line is becoming increasingly blurred between business and consumer technology as employees use their mobile devices for both work and personal use. However, mobility and IT consumerisation are little more than buzzwords without the applications that drive modern business activities.
A successful enterprise mobility strategy places priority on applications and the way employees use them. Empowering a mobile workforce requires a broad technology approach towards mobilising the applications that your staff use for managing accounting tasks and processes. It is critical to have a universal and integrated system that allows your team to access all the apps and data they use for work through a single login that ensures a seamless experience throughout.
How OneSpace Simplifies Application Mobilisation
Mobilising your accounting tasks and other core business processes is not an activity to take lightly. Taking the wrong approach can inadvertently cost more while severely hurting productivity. If you’ve ever struggled to interact with a poorly designed tablet or smartphone app or use complicated software through only a mobile browser, then you already know this pain.
The good news is that mature technologies, such as desktop virtualization services and cloud computing, are available to get the job done. These are the solutions that cutting-edge IT departments have already been using for almost two decades. OneSpace utilises proven and reliable technologies that have a long history in delivering applications to desktops and laptops anywhere witha network connection. Today, they use that same approach to simplify application delivery onto mobile devices as well.
OneSpace was built to offer a complete solution for accounting firms from the ground up. Realizing that accountants are not necessarily IT professionals too, OneSpace is designed to make mobilising your applications simpler than you might think. Here are five ways it achieves that:
Mobilising apps doesn’t necessarily mean developing new ones
There’s a common misconception that mobilising applications means having to build completely new ones from scratch to work with other devices and operating systems. However, while the operating system (such as Android or iOS) might be different, the solution itself need not be.
Remote app-delivery solutions can extend applications from their native Windows environment onto any user device, regardless of operating system. Those devices can be desktops or laptops or barebones machines like thin clients or zero clients, whichlargely depend on a remote server for handling computing workloads. Today, they can also be mobile devices like tablets and smartphones.
With OneSpace, these user endpoints are just other devices. That means software can remain running in its native format and operating system, and all that changes are where they’re delivered and how they’re accessed. For example, imagine being able to access and use, without restriction, industry-leading accounting software like MYOB and Reckon APS on any device and operating system.
Even without customisation, OneSpace incorporates optimisation tools to intelligently recognise a mobile device to do things like automatically pop up a virtual keyboard for text entry and make interface-navigation features like buttons and menus larger for easier touchscreen operation.
Mobile application delivery isn’t something you have to do alone
IT professionals have been using remote workspaces to securely deliver applications for decades. While the latest mobile device might seem like a new concept, the underlying remote workspace services, clients, protocols, and best practices remain the same. After all, a tablet or smartphone is really just another computer in a different form factor. That existing experience greatly reduces the risk and difficulty in delivering applications to mobile devices. In fact, in many cases, the applications you’ve already workspace-enabled are automatically ready for secure mobile device distribution.
The only step that’s required is for the user is to download and install a mobile app from the device’s app store. With a flexible, on-demand application delivery platform, it’s possible to dynamically select the best method to deliver applications, based on the user, application and network. The applications themselves may be centrally hosted in a remote or in-house data center, allowing people to use an entire virtual desktop environment much like they would use a standalone workstation computer right in front of them. Furthermore, mobile device users can seamlessly access the applications they need with a consistent, high-definition experience on any device and in any location.
Tablets can offer a superior experience for the right application.
Admittedly, not every application may be well-suited for the tablet experience, but there are plenty of everyday accounting tasks that are, such as reviewing financials and paying bills. On the other hand, filling in complex tax returns and writing long emails might be better accomplished through the traditional keyboard-and-mouse experience. Others are perfectly suited, and may in fact offer a superior experience, on a tablet. For example, mobilising accounts payable lets you pay bills any time, no matter where you are without having to shuffle invoices between desks and different systems.
A central benefit of OneSpace lies in its flexibility to deliver any application to any endpoint with an experience that best fits the specific device. An application delivered to a user’s desktop can maintain an optimised look and feel when accessed on their smartphone or tablet device. Administrators can take this degree of flexibility even further by customizing their OneSpace-hosted apps to make use of device-specific features such as cameras and GPS, thereby taking full advantage of the unique capabilities of each device.
Your in-house network is no longer a performance bottleneck
Having to work within non-negotiable deadlines and ensure accuracy throughout, accounting firms cannot afford to be held back by faulting technology and subpar performance.
Network connectivity between applications hosted in a data center and remote devices has in the past introduced the occasional challenge. After all, having more devices accessing more hosted applications becomes more demanding on network speeds and available bandwidth. That’s why OneSpace is built on industry-leading technologies provided by Microsoft Azure, Telstra CSX and Citrix to offer an exceptional user experience on almost any device or network. This is particularly important on mobile devices that often access the internet through 3G/4G/LTE connections in which bandwidth limits often come into play.
OneSpace is backed by technology that offers comprehensive network security, traffic optimisation and high availability for hosted applications. It ensures that your applications can be securely made available anywhere across a wide range of network conditions. This is accomplished by proactively monitoring the health of key components, while at the same time balancing computing workloads and optimising incoming client connections. OneSpace integrates proven virtual private networking (VPN) capabilities as well to deliver secure remote access for hosted applications, even when using unsecured public wireless networks.
Mobility is merely another feature of modern computing
Success requires the right delivery platform. A comprehensive delivery infrastructure offers flexibility across the range of devices and use cases. OneSpace provides that foundation for traditional desktops and laptops as well as thin clients, zero clients, and even mobile devices. This support for a multitude of devices illustrates the fact that mobility has become a core characteristic of modern computing.
Mobilisation activities needn’t involve bleeding-edge technologies. With its integrated single sign-on and flexible delivery model, OneSpace offers a simple yet powerful platform that allows you to better manage your critical business applications securely for use either in the office, at home, on the move or almost anywhere else.
Mobilising applications will make life immeasurably easier for your accounting firm by allowing your team to take their work with them, rather than being confined by the limitations of the traditional computing experience. That way, they’ll be able to get a head start on the day’s work while using their mobile devices on the commute and catching up with tasks back home. OneSpace provides the platform you need for securely connecting your devices and applications for a seamless user experience throughout.
The ability for employees to work anywhere at any time using any device isn’t just a new trend – it’s now a necessity for future-proofing your accounting practice. It’s not just about improving productivity, either. It’s also about reducing downtime and being able to continue your operations even when there’s a disruption back in the office, all from the enhanced security and accessibility of a centralized, hosted IT platform.
With unparalleled security, minimized downtime, greater accessibility, cutting-edge IT and a fully adaptable computing environment, you’ll have everything you need to set your practice up for future growth.
How Can OneSpace Help?
OneSpace is a cloud-enabled virtual workspace tailored specifically to the needs of accounting practices. Not only do we provide extensive industry expertise – we also guarantee a 99.9% uptime, enterprise-grade security, integrations with leading apps used by accountants and work anywhere-anytime accessibility. If you’re ready to get started on your cloud journey, talk to one of our experts today.