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Cloud accounting suppliers line up for Software Satisfaction Awards

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18th Mar 2009
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As the deadline for entries looms closer, technology correspondent Jon Wilcox looks at some of the Cloud solutions aiming to carry off the 2009 Software Satisfaction Award for web-based accounting.

Cloud computing continues to permeate every aspect of business. Accountancy has traditionally lagged behind sales/marketing and HR in adopting web-based applications, but competition is still stiff in this rapidly growing part of the market.

While the web-based KashFlow application won the small business accounts category in 2008, Liquid Accounts narrowly took its web-based crown and the category that is likely to be just as hotly contested this year. These 2008 winners will also under pressure from the likes of Cloud newcomer Sage, if its SageLive offering gets off the ground in time, and Danish developer e-conomic.

Web-based accounts results 2007 &nbsp 2008 &nbsp +/- &nbsp
Liquid Accounts - &nbsp 3.90 &nbsp ◄ &nbsp
Kashflow 3.81 &nbsp 3.89 &nbsp ▲ &nbsp
e-conomic - &nbsp 3.85 &nbsp ◄ &nbsp
Pearl Office - &nbsp 3.84 &nbsp ◄ &nbsp
Aqilla - &nbsp 3.81 &nbsp ◄ &nbsp
Xero - &nbsp 3.78 &nbsp ◄ &nbsp
Sage 50 Accounts Online 3.09 &nbsp 3.50 &nbsp ▲ &nbsp
NetSuite 2.94 &nbsp - &nbsp ◄ &nbsp

The accounting SaaS space is highly competitive, but web-based accounts shouldn’t focus on beating one another, according to e-conomic CEO, Torben Rasmussen. Instead, those in the cloud should be working together to show the online accounting as a true and viable alternative to tradition.

“I don’t see our SaaS competitors as rivals; I see them more as partners, because we have to show the rest of the world that you can do online accounting, that you don’t have to buy a CD-ROM and install something. It’s a matter of explaining to the rest of the world that this will actually work, and then they can be free to choose,” he says.

When it comes to getting a view on global attitudes to SaaS, Rasmussen looks no further than the UK. However, he suggests one explanation for the slower shift towards SaaS accounting compared to other sectors. “Instead of seeing opportunities, perhaps people are seeing challenges... There are a huge amount of people that will see the potential,” he comments. Despite only launching in 2008, e-conomic made great headway at last year’s Software Satisfaction Awards, landing in a very respectable third.

Entries for this year’s awards must be received by the end of March, with the ceremony taking place in October. Further details on how to enter are available on the Software Satisfaction Awards 2009 website.

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