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Digita Virtual Office joins online race

17th Jun 2013
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The Thomson Reuters tax and accounting division unveiled a suite of hosted tools for UK practitioners at the Accountex event in London this month.

With IRIS and CCH energetically pushing the cloud agenda, Digita has repackaged its personal and business tax, accounts production, practice management and company secretarial tools within the hosted Virtual Office. Typical office productivity tools such as Microsoft Office area available to run alongside the suite, which was developed using an underlying framework devised by Thomson Reuters in North America.

“The environment has been stress-tested in the US, but the applications are Digita and the data is hosted in our servers in London Docklands,” said Max Thomas, the Thomson Reuters director for professional market strategy.

“There’s a lot of noise about  the cloud, but our figures suggest accountants are a bit behind the curve,” Thomas told AccountingWEB. “So we’re launching a way to maintain all that existing data. You can take that and access it in a Virtual Office environment that includes Microsoft Office and Exchange.

“Our NetClient [client portal] is an integral part of this. It’s integrated with our applications so you can expose a document to the client using the Document Create button in any Digita application. The create command sends it to document management and that process sends an email to the customer with a link to the document in NetClient. Once they’ve logged in, it will show them the documents you want to share.”

The Virtual Office represents the start of Digita’s journey to the web in the UK, he continued. “We’re starting with our existing software family and will take the advance slowly, and then we will drop in more web-based applications over time.”

The first such tool will be a website builder, Thomas added, which should be available later in the summer.

A Digita survey conducted with AccountingWEB of 1,300 accountants found that just 11% already use cloud or hosted solutions, with 4% planning to applications into the cloud over the next year. Digita managing director Andrew Flanagan is keen to encourage UK practitioners to follow in the footsteps of their US counterparts and to start adopting web applications.

“The cloud environment provides secure anytime, anywhere software access and holds the potential to bring about some of the most far reaching efficiency and productivity improvements ever seen in the tax and accounting profession,” said Flanagan.

“By centralising IT with Thomson Reuters, firms can be confident that they have chosen a technology partner with both the expertise and experience to offer the very best and most secure cloud environment.”

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