Data storage on a cloud storage system has overtaken other file storage technologies as the most common method of data management available for large companies. It stores information from multiple sources in one location, allowing company personnel easy access to any file they need. For many organizations, this also includes their VAT management.
The emergence of cloud technology has brought about questions regarding privacy and personal security. But are these fears really plausible or are they just myths? Here are some of the major questions people have raised about the cloud, accompanied by useful information that might bring clarity and help soothe your fears:
Question #1: Is cloud data storage secure enough for your company?
The cloud is actually an incredibly secure place to store data. According to Systems and Software Inc, when companies have reported hacks to their cloud, these have usually targeted their password system—not the cloud itself. The cloud is protected by multiple levels of encryption, which makes it incredibly difficult to remove data directly from it. The threat is more likely to come from a less reliable source such as an account with an easily hackable password.
By providing a central location for all the relevant files, the cloud greatly simplifies the process of VAT recovery, allowing multiple people access to the pertinent information. Cloud technology also enables you to manage data more efficiently than old-fashioned bookkeeping.
Question #2: Will the cloud contain enough space for all your files?
In some ways, this is the cloud’s biggest advantage. While cloud data is still stored on traditional servers, these are located at a remote location rather than a personal device. This ensures that data stored on the cloud does not affect the speed of your internal systems.
Also, because of the way cloud computing servers are set up, they end up compensating for one another. If one server is down, the data will be automatically transferred to a working server so that it does not slow down the flow of information in your company. In addition, cloud computing systems are constructed in a way that allows data to be moved around based on storage needs without having to receive input from a human controller. Consequently, the cloud should theoretically always have space for your company’s data storage needs.
Question #3: Is the cloud internationally regulated?
Individual, federal, or multinational regulations, privacy requirements, and the ever-present possibility of a surprise audit ensures that your data won’t disappear into thin air. In some countries, if the cloud is being used for your company’s VAT management, there needs to be constant access to that information in case any internal or external audits are made.
The EU has taken the lead in cloud computing regulation. In fact, according to The Guardian, the first policies were set up in 2013, when Initial regulations were put in place to protect individual consumer data. Since then the policies have evolved to protect both consumers and businesses alike. While there is still not one traditional setup for data management in the cloud, the EU has set the early standards for cloud consumer protection, and it is likely that other countries and multinational organizations will follow suit.
Question #4: Can you get immediate access to your data?
Because of the possibility of audits, your access largely depends on how your company manages VAT transactions. While VATBox is one of the many VAT solutions that can help organize your information and sort out complications, if an auditor comes, they can’t be kept waiting because you don’t have access to an external cloud server at the moment.
One thing you do have to be aware of with the cloud is the possibility of misplacing data. This is not synonymous with hacked data; rather, this is information that may get buried amongst other files or get misplaced on the server. Therefore, even if you outsource your cloud computing services, it is worth having an in-house systems manager to oversee both internal and external data management.
Question #5: Can you prevent your data being shared on other companies’ servers?
This understandable concern, as all companies have sensitive proprietary information. If your company handles VAT management for many international transactions, that data obviously needs to be protected in-house. As The New York Times reports, a company can choose to maintain a “private cloud” and restrict access to only the necessary personnel. If you can’t set up a private cloud, you might want to select which data should remain on your company’s internal servers and what can be shared on the cloud.
However, if a private cloud is not an option for you, sharing a data center shouldn’t be rejected out of hand. It has proven to be just as safe, and while no security system is 100% impenetrable, the cloud, in general, is a reliable alternative to standard servers.
VAT Management on the Cloud
VATBox has taken all your concerns into account, and developed technology that is secure, reliable, and meets all your VAT management needs. For more information, check out our article on how VATBox measures up to the EU’s security standards.
If you would like to learn more about automating your VAT processes, VATBox can help. VATBox’s automated technology has helped businesses around the world improve their VAT recovery rate. VATBox’s technology provides complete transparency to the VAT recovery process and always stay up to date on the latest technology and regulation changes. VATBox can help ensure that your company is always in compliance with the latest VAT laws and always has access to the most current VAT-related information. Request a free demo here.