Experiences and practicalities of SaaS and Cloud Computing from an ardent supporter and user.
The Cloud is here - whether you like it or not
For those who are regular followers of my blogs, my passion for all things cloud will be well known. I have been writing for some time about how the Cloud is the way to interact with your clients and that accountants need to get on board or loose out.
I had the opportunity the other other day to speak at an Intellect seminar (thank you to David Terrar for inviting me.) The subject matter was introducing Cloud to beginners so to speak and yet in listening to the various presentations as well as making my own I can’t get away from the obvious thought - why wouldn’t any one use it.
The other day my attention was drawn to a blog from Rob Nixon - www.robnixon.com. He has written a piece entitled Cloud - friend or foe and I make no apologies for quoting from it below. The points he makes, make so much sense that it should be a mantra for all things Cloud related.
"Cloud accounting – friend or foe?”
…........First of all some facts:
The cloud accounting (or the original term is SaaS – ‘software as a service’) has been around for a long time. The technology has been available for at least 10 years.
Cloud accounting is where your (or your clients) data is stored on the internet (instead of a PC or server) so they can access it easily and efficiently.
As of today there are approximately 3-4% of small / medium sized businesses who use an internet (cloud) based accounting system.
The early adopters (the cool ones) have jumped on it and enjoy the simplicity and innovative approach to it.
Many of the late majority users will be currently concerned about security issues. They are the same ones that were concerned about internet banking security concerns and now they probably use some form of internet banking.
Every single accounting software maker (who started as a CD/Server/Hard drive system) are spending bongo bucks (technical term) to get ‘cloud ready’. In fact I know (from the horse’s mouth) that one prominent supplier is spending in the vicinity of $100M to get ready.
Around the world there are gazillions of dollars being poured into any sort of internet based computing systems. The venture capitalists and financial markets are backing this space.
Cloud accounting systems will not fix every issue you have with your clients ‘cleanliness of data’ – if they input incorrectly then you’ll get a mess like you do now. Muck in – muck out.
It is reported by the software vendors that at the accountants end you will have an efficiency gain of anything from 10% – 40% when your clients are using an internet based accounting systems. That means 10% – 40% less time on the same job.
When a client has their data on the internet it is easier to transport the data from one accounting firm or accounting software supplier to another. Click of a button.
Every week we are hearing of clients who have switched accounting firms because the other firm did not offer an internet based accounting system.
And the final fact:
12. This is going to happen whether you like it or not! "
Now there is nothing new in any of the above but the points made cannot, in my humble opinion, be overstated or reiterated too often. For those who get it, it is just common sense .....for those who don't, well wake up!
And I finish by making the following stement to those accountants who have not yet got the message:
If you are not using the Cloud to service your clients - you are not servicing your clients.