The Cloud in finance: it works
Why are accountants the laggards when it comes to Cloud computing, K2 analyst Kate Hanaghan asked the finance panellists at the Business Cloud Summit on Tuesday.
The answers ranged across several themes that will be common to AccountingWEB members: an inherent conservatism; reluctance to let core company data go out on to the internet; and what i-nexus chief operating officer Rex Harrison called “a culture of recommendation”.
“In terms of the systems that our professional advisers said we should use, we were being guided away from Cloud solutions,” he said. “We had to tread our own path. They may have wanted us to use those applications, but they made things more complex for us.”
Richard Anning, head of the ICAEW’s IT Faculty, echoed a comment that had been raised early in the day at the summit: “Is accounting at the front of the queue for the problems we’re trying to solve?”
AccountingWEB member and Cloud consultant Richard Messik expanded on the role security plays in the accountants’ mindset. “Security is a very big issue when you talk to accountancy professionals, but it’s an exception rather than fact. Along with a reticence to adopt new technology, there’s a tendency to look for negatives rather than positives.
“Most people latch on to security because it’s an obvious point. But when you talk to firms and ask mid-size firms about their data security and back-up processes, you’re probably faced with a bit of a blank look. The point could be made that security is actually far better in a Cloud environment than on-premise.”
As Harrison and Gordon Montgomery of The OnBoard Partnership partnership expanded on their experiences with Cloud applications, it became that web-based applications could deliver a lot of benefits for businesses.