Microsoft 365 is the company’s boldest subscription plan yet. According to ZDNet, an online publication for technology trends and news, 365 is “an integrated bundle of Windows 10, Office 365, and Enterprise Mobility + Security (also known as EMS, which includes Intune device management, analytics, and [limited] Azure Active Directory capabilities).”
Introduced in July 2017, Microsoft 365 gives subscribers access to Office productivity applications (PowerPoint, Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, Access, Publisher, Project, and Visio) and these other cloud services. The tech giant offers different bundles for its paid subscribers, including the following:
- Microsoft 365 Enterprise for companies with more than 300 users
- Microsoft 365 Business for small to mid-sized businesses with up to 300 users
- Microsoft 365 F1 for “firstline”/customer service and support workers
- Microsoft 365 Education for educational institutions, schools, and classrooms (includes Teams and additional classroom tools)
- Microsoft 365 Nonprofit for not-for-profit organizations
- Microsoft 365 Government for U.S. government agencies and contractors with controlled but unclassified information
Basically, Microsoft 365 is marketed as an all-in-one secure set of productivity applications and cloud services. It gives its users access to email and online calendars from anywhere and offers instant messaging, extra Office Web Apps, conference calling, and file sharing via the web-based Microsoft platform.
While Microsoft 365 works well for some businesses, it’s not the best option for most CPA firms. It doesn’t even include a specific bundle for accountants, and it’s nearly incapable with most popular accounting programs. This is why Microsoft 365 falls short for CPA firms.
It’s insecure. Cyberattacks are on the rise, the next biggest threat to the nation. Microsoft 365 doesn’t do its part to prevent cyberattacks on CPA firms, either.
The creative code that’s used by experienced hackers consistently adapts to cloud software. Smart hackers find a way. It doesn’t help that it’s rumored that most hackers have their own Office 365 account to figure out how to circumvent its security.
“For example, most attackers know that Microsoft’s Advanced Threat Protection does not monitor outbound or internal email, which is why so many attacks use compromised accounts,” according to Avanan, a cloud security platform in New York.
In short, Microsoft 365 doesn’t offer enough security for the sensitive information that CPA firms hold. Its security is like a stagnant wall, and cyberattackers are finding easy ways to move around it.
It’s not recommended by the industry. From consumer perspectives to technology thought leaders, no one recommends Microsoft 365 for accountants. Think we’re kidding? Check out the following recent articles that recommend great cloud software for CPA firms. (Microsoft isn’t mentioned once.)
- Recommended Apps For Accountants And Bookkeepers
- 5 Apps Young CPAs Should Know About
- The 5 Best Small Business Accounting Software And Apps Of 2018
- The Best Accounting Software For 2018
- The Best Small Business Accounting Software Of 2018
- Top 20 Accounting Software For Small Business In 2018
It’s unreliable. CPA firms need a reliable, secure service to exchange and input sensitive company information. Subscription users constantly complain about the reliability of Microsoft 365 in most of its cloud applications.
It’s called “baffling,” “annoying,” “barely adequate,” “barely tolerable,” “painful to use,” “disappointing,” “just plain inexcusable,” “a major disappointment,” and more.
Even when you encounter reliability issues, don’t expect their support team to answer you. It’s a gamble between time and quality, which is something that CPA firms can’t bet on.
Microsoft hasn’t been a great advocate for CPAs. In 2009, Microsoft released the Microsoft Accounting Software. It targeted small businesses with 1 to 25 employees and was discontinued within a year.
Today, it rebranded Dynamic 365 for Finance and Operations to Dynamics 365 Business Central. Business Center offers an Accounting Hub in an early-release functionality and supplements basic CPA necessities.
Yet still, Microsoft is giving this vital function to every business only as a branch of an underdeveloped cloud program.
If you’re looking for a secure, reliable cloud service for your CPA firm, there’s a lot to consider — and it isn’t Microsoft 365. Let Cetrom help with our webinar about cloud computing for CPAs. Click on the button below to get started: