As you decide which CRM solution is the best fit for your accounting firm, you must choose whether to go with a cloud-based CRM system or an on-premise solution.
Read on to learn about the specifics of each type of system!
Cloud-Based CRM Solutions
In order to access a cloud-based CRM, all you need is an internet connection. Users connect to a cloud-based CRM via laptop, desktop, or mobile browser. Additionally, many cloud-based CRMs offer, or are in the midst of developing, a smartphone app. Cloud-based CRM solutions are a good choice for firms with remote teams.
The company that develops a cloud-based CRM also hosts it. Therefore, the developer deals with any updates, management requirements, or system issues. This is helpful for businesses with smaller IT budgets or fewer IT resources.
For many small- and mid-size businesses, pricing structure is the big draw of a cloud-based CRM solution. This type of CRM generally charges a monthly, per-user subscription (usually with a required minimum number of users and a year-long contract). Up-front costs are generally minimal, though most CRMs do charge a setup fee.
Cloud-based CRM developers consider ensuring cybersecurity a top goal. Unfortunately, due to the fact that data communication via the internet is a core component of this software, cloud-based CRM solutions are by nature less secure than on-premise systems.
On-Premise CRM Solution
To access an on-premise CRM, users must be just that—on premise. While the downside to this is a lack of mobility, having an on-premise system eliminates any potential internet connectivity issues. Since the CRM lives on a company’s servers, internet outages are no obstacle to access.
Because on-premise CRM solutions are hosted on a company’s internal servers, they require more IT attention than cloud-based solutions. While implementation and management requirements are quite high, the upside is an increased ability to customize CRM configuration to best fit organizational needs.
While on-premise CRM solutions come with a bigger up-front price tag, the fact that the system only requires a one-time purchase rather than an ongoing subscription can mean cost savings in the long-run. However, the cost of ongoing maintenance requirements should not be forgotten. Generally, bigger companies that can handle the up-front purchase price benefit from not paying a renewing, per-user subscription fee.
Since on-premise CRM solutions only transfer data between internal servers and devices, they tend to offer better security than cloud-based systems. Additionally, large companies that must comply with industry-wide security standards generally have an easier time doing so with an on-premise system.
Choosing the best solution for your firm really comes down to understanding your unique needs. A cloud-based CRM is generally best for small- to mid-sized organizations without an in-house IT department. Bigger firms—those with the necessary IT infrastructure and a budget big enough to handle the large up-front cost—can take advantage of the long-term cost savings and greater customization that an on-premise CRM solution offers.
ABLE is an award-winning SaaS CRM platform that is ideal for CPA firms. It’s built by accountants and for accountants. To find out how this CRM solution can keep your costs low and your accessibility high, schedule a no-obligation demo!