Ayr-based accountancy firm Sinclair Scott has entrusted its core software and office systems to the internet as a pioneering customer of the online IRIS Hosting service.
While Cloud purists quibble about whether or not a service based on running traditional desktop applications via Windows Terminal Server counts as software as a service, Sinclair Scott partner Andrew Sinclair had no such qualms.
“I wouldn’t have gone with any Tom, Dick or Harry. We went with IRIS because we were comfortable with them and they were the key to our business. There was an element of trust there and I still know if there’s a problem, I can ring one of their directors and they’ll get it sorted.”
One reason Sinclair is able to do this is because his firm has a habit of adopting new technologies early. When we last covered the firm on AccountingWEB.co.uk in 2008, it had switched over to more paperless operation using the IRIS Practice Management module. It’s in the supplier’s interest to ensure that its reference site users are happy.
For Sinclair Scott, the main driver for adopting hosted systems was staff utilisation, and the unwanted presence of a PC server in the corner of the office. “We’re all chartered accountants. We’ve got to be efficient. The changes we’re making are to be more efficient and serve an increasing number of clients with same number of staff,” Sinclair explained.
As far as the hardware issue goes, he explained: “We’d got to the stage where our server needed to be replaced. Conceptually I always felt it was wrong to have it in our office. When I switch a light on, I don’t have an electric substation in our office. I understand how computers work, but don’t have a great interest in technicalities. I want staff to come in, switch on their PC and it all works. Let someone else run back ups and mirrored drives.”