The IT dinosaur - still trying to scare, confuse and stop the inevitable.

Written by Michael Smith on the 21st of July, 2014

Re-engineering what you do in the cloud may need a fresh mind to put the pieces together

We were delighted recently to be invited to speak to an association of independent accountants about the concept of practice management in the cloud. We work with a number of large and small accountants who derive huge benefits through Xero and other applications like Google Apps for Work ™, so have compelling case studies to share with those willing to listen.

When we arrived, it turned out that half the attendees were either in-house or independent IT managers which made for an interesting and enlightening experience!

And after a heavy-night in the Hotel bar, the IT brigade were not holding back which we discovered when we posed the question, ‘what is the cloud?’. The answer came back in the form of a heckle, ‘who cares!’. There followed the inevitable tangential debate with a budding ‘Edward Snowden’ over the Safe Harbour Agreement and general scorn pointed at proven cloud-based applications that accountants need to embrace to become a Modern Practice.

Here lies a problem - a proportion of the legacy IT community is highly resistant to change even though it is inevitable. And why wouldn’t they be when either they see the cloud as a threat to a job or as an external, they make a lot of money on the back of hardware, license renewal and expensive support.

A recent survey suggests that accountants in the UK understand the need for change and are ready to adopt and adapt to new technology: 48% of clients want accounts available in the cloud; 65% of accountants have or will adopt cloud-based accounting; 42% believe that it will make them more competitive and 41% that it will reduce costs. And (for the benefit of the budding ‘Edward Snowden’ in our audience) only 13% are concerned about security.

References: Rene Millian (2014) Half of accountancy clients want cloud-based services, Cloud Pro; http://www.cloudpro.co.uk/saas/accounting-and-fina...

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