Snow disrupted a third of accountancy practices as the Self Assessment tax deadline loomed

27 Feb 2013

New research from IRIS reflects growing importance of cloud-based technology for accountancy sector

Datchet, Berkshire, 27 February 2013 –January’s snowy weather impacted the business operations of a third (34%) of UK accountancy practices in the run up to the Self-Assessment online tax returns deadline on 31st January– one of the most important tax dates of the year. With many practices using on-premise only software packages, working from home was not an option.

The new figures released today by leading accountancy and payroll software provider IRIS Software Group, come just days after it was revealed that HMRC will be issuing 850,000 fines of £100 to each of those who missed the deadline.

The research shows that being tied to office computer systems alone not only causes problems during adverse weather. Nearly a quarter (23%) of accountants said they always or regularly work late or at weekends from the office, as they are unable to work from home. An additional 48 per cent said they occasionally do the same, illustrating that nearly three quarters of accountants are tied to their office computers.

Phill Robinson, CEO of IRIS Software Group, which works with more than half of the UK’s accountancy practices, said: “The snow earlier this year serves as an important reminder of why continuity planning is essential. HMRC deadlines wait for no-one, so even if you and your staff are unable to make it into the office, it’s imperative to have back-up plans to make sure your clients and your own business do not suffer as a result.

“Working practices are changing. People use consumer technology at home and on-the-move, and they want to be able to work in the same manner,” he continued. “Cloud-based technology offers staff the ability to work from any location at any time. IRIS already has a number of cloud apps such as IRIS OpenSpace document exchange and approval which has enabled 1,200 practices to share 20,000 documents online. Our strategy is to provide accountants with a choice of how to run their business applications: in the cloud, on-premise, or a combination of the two.”

For more information, please visit: www.iris.co.uk/openapps

About the research

The research was conducted via the IRIS OpenPortal between 1st and 15th February 2013 and involved 1152 accountants in practice.