Cloud accounting has become a daily part of professional life. But has it all been plain sailing? And where is the trend leading us? This article sets the scene for June’s cloud reality check on AccountingWEB.
According to AccountingWEB’s archive of data, it’s been just over a decade since the first members started picking up on online accounting applications such as KashFlow and FreeAgent.
As we have reported extensively since then, around half our members now use cloud accounting tools of some kind in their daily working lives. The trend has been hailed as the most significant technological transition since the introduction of the PC in the early 1980s. NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson went even further in a recent speech when he said cloud represented the “last architecture” in the evolution of computing.
But we can see that many accountants and AccountingWEB members are still reluctant to make that move and a flattening adoption rate suggests that the bandwagon may be encountering some hurdles that are holding up its progress within the profession.
For the next month, AccountingWEB will be looking more closely at those issues on both sides of the Atlantic in what we are calling a cloud reality check.
Over the summer, we intend to present a clearer picture of cloud use within the profession. We’ll be talking to cloud accounting users, suppliers and sceptics to find out whether the tools are living up to expectations, and where any sticking points might arise.
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In spite of his occasionally overblown rhetoric, Zach Nelson does make a strong case that we are heading towards an era of utility computing where processing power is available on tap via the net. To become truly universal, however, technology also needs to accommodate the whims of contrary human beings and their working habits.
Getting under the skin of the cloud phenomenon means going into finance departments and accountancy practices to find out how they are using these tools. You can play a part in this research by adding your comments and observations to our series of articles. Also keep an eye out for case studies that show how accountants are making their firms cloud-ready, and what happens to them when they do.