Cloud is a “rip off”, claims Accountz
The chairman of Accountz software has ignited a storm of controversy by claiming that Cloud computing is a “rip off”.
As a way of attracting attention to his company, this week’s provocative press release from Quinten Pain of Accountz was a masterstroke. In it he claimed that the Cloud was being used to rachet up software prices and that web-based software is not as well suited to accounting as other, more mobile activities.
“There’s a lot of hype about Cloud computing, but in the accounting sphere, it’s not really an advantage. Small business owners don’t manage their accounts in the same way as they check their email. They don’t grab five minutes on a train to enter invoices into their purchase ledger, or work out their VAT return,” Pain said.
But the reaction from Cloud developers has been fierce. On BusinessZone.co.uk, Darren Fell, managing director of Cloud accounting provider Crunch, responded: “Aside from the obviously self-serving faux-outrage to flog Quentin Pain’s software, his analysis of the SaaS market is remarkably wrong-headed in many respects.”
Fell argued that the Cloud was all about providing service as well as software - customers who don’t like the up-front payments required for traditional desktop software pay a monthly fee instead to get all future updates, with no installation needed and technical support added in. Because web-based systems are universally compatible, they can operate on different computer systems as well as tablets and smartphones.
“I can only assume Mr Pain is a man who carries a printer and carrier pigeon around with his laptop, as last I checked an internet connection was required to email an invoice,” Fell added.
Pain shot back: “My point is simply that accounting using a web-based service costs around £2,000 over 10 years, whereas a desktop solution (which doesn’t have a subscription) costs considerably less, with the added benefit that you get to keep your data and the software forever.
“You can quote on things like printing and make a joke of it… but how many people in business actually issue an invoice on say, the train?”