Cloud accountancy software – a Xero sum game?
It seems everywhere you look just now there is advertising for cloud accountancy products.
From adverts on TV to logos on the back of rugby referees’ shirts, cloud software is everywhere and the extent of its take-up can be evidenced by the large number of products available and the seemingly never-ending suite of applications being brought to market to plug-in to those systems.
Making Tax Digital was a major catalyst for the increase in the use of cloud software by accountants, accountancy practices and business owners.
However, there are benefits to adopting cloud-based products and keeping pace with the new technology other than the obvious compliance-based reasons.
Cloud-based systems enable users to access information quickly and easily and to transmit financial information securely and instantaneously. It also allows accountants and finance professionals to interrogate and analyse financial information, identify trends, spot problems and opportunities while providing more in-depth advice to business owners and other clients.
Another major benefit of cloud accounting systems is portability. This is especially true when it comes to staff recruitment and retention.
Employees are increasingly looking for the flexibility to work away from their home office, and a firm’s ability to offer this flexibility will often be a major factor in the decision-making process when it comes to accepting a job offer or not.
Equally, when it comes to retaining staff, having a culture of flexible working is a high priority for the modern accountant. A recent survey conducted by iMultiply for our forthcoming Practice Report saw over 70% of employees say they would consider a move for better work/life.
The use of cloud accounting is integral for this flexibility and it is increasingly expected that employers will be able to provide it.
As part of the same survey, we found that specific cloud accountancy software, whether that be a bespoke in-house system, which some of the larger accountancy firms have developed, or an ‘off the shelf’ product, was used by more than 60% of those surveyed.
In truth, that number is probably a lot higher when firms using the cloud-based products offered by the more traditional suppliers of accountancy software are taken into account.
iMultiply are hosting a breakfast round table in Glasgow on the 20th February where we will be sharing some of the key points from our recent survey, The Changing Landscape of Public Practice in Scotland. If you would like to attend please get in touch with Alex Allen, Head of Public Practice at iMultiply on 0141 648 9150 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.