Hey What’s Up with Cloud Computing?

Lately, I’ve been reading all about this thing called computing in the “cloud”. 

Well, until today, all I could say was “huh”?

But, now, I’m ok with this whole “cloud” thing and, I understand the implications for us.  You know, we accountants.

The JofA, that’s Journal of Accountancy for all you lay “folks”, has a great article about cloud computing and the implications for accountants and auditors.

If you’re like me and you’ve been wondering what all the fuss was, take a look: http://www.journalofaccountancy.com/Issues/2010/Oct/20102519.htm

Having read the article, I’m returned to yesteryear, when I was young and idealistic, well at least I was younger and I had my hair.  Back in those days, whenever they were, I remember that these places existed called “service bureaus” and these service bureaus maintained large IBM main frame computers (anyone remember the IBM 370s and 380s).  These Service Bureaus would allow other companies to use their main frames for significant batch processing tasks at a reasonable cost.  Of course, over time the reduced cost of computer time and processing space and the emergence of desk top (and now laptop) processing eliminated the need for renting time and space from Service Bureaus.

Well, I analogize cloud computing to the old Service Bureau approach.  The difference is that now I guess the user is working through the internet to get their tasks done and I imagine the tasks are much more complex than simple batch processing.

Anyway, thanks to Alexandra Deflice, the article’s author, and the JofA for clearing up my confusion.

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About docjonz

I am an Associate Professor of accounting at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY. Additionally, I have more than 30 years of professional accounting experience in various capacities including auditing, accounting standard setting and corporate accounting policy.
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