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SMEs discuss software adoption

1st Nov 2013
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Cloud adoption has seen a significant uptake from accountants in recent months, but how are small-to-medium-sized businesses working with it?

In the second of four video interviews with SMEs, as part of a look into the 21st century client/accountant relationship with cloud accounting software firm Exact, we delved into this issue.

Jiten Modhwadia, senior sales executive at Exact, said that for SMEs, technology adoption hinged on a few different factors.

“Accessing information online quickly and easily, collaboration and a single view into the major constituents to help you understand how your business moves forward - they’re all factors that encourage new technology adoption in SMEs,” he said.

The two SME owners, Pat Wood, founder of online t-shirt business TruffleShuffle and Richard Pendlebury, chief executive of charity Emmaus Bristol also shared their experiences with technology.

Both Wood and Pendlebury’s companies have in-house web designers that customise technology as needs change.

But in terms of accounting packages, both are looking for different things.

“I’m a Kashflow user,” Wood said, “And we use Excel, which is more than enough for our needs as we do no invoicing, that’s all done directly online, all we need to record is our income from credit card companies and our outgoings,” Wood said.

But Pendlebury has many different sources of income and said that he requires accounting software with instant results.

“We adopt technology quite quickly, and our main reason for this is our competition. We’re increasingly using iPads and iPhones and upgrade our computers every three years as they’re too clunky,” he said.

“We use Quickbooks which I think is still quite basic but produces good information. We’re only just starting to use the cloud for documentation as we have found email inadequate for sending large files,” he added.

Pendlebury said he would like everything on the cloud, but the only barrier for him would be being unable to access his data if, for example, the internet was to be unavailable.

“We deal with people who are homeless and have their personal files online - we have duties under legislation to protect their data so this would be a problem,” he said.

Wood added that working in the cloud is ideal for him because he’s able to work on the same files from work and home.

But his accountants, a top 10 firm, haven’t been the most proactive in making the most of this opportunity, as they have not been in touch with him for 11-and-a-half months.

Therefore, he’s speaking to a firm of a similar size who have suggested that he and they collaborate in the cloud - and he’s going to go with them.

To find out more about the SME’s views on technology and how they would like to work with their accountants in the cloud, visit our Exact video hub.

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