Accountants bank on cloud to cut costs

A pair of glasses and a calculator placed on a pile of forms

The cloud has boosted its fan base in the form of the accountancy profession, with more than half of accountants saying they intend to use cloud to improve their business’ profitability and efficiency.

Reducing internal overheads, such as travel and data input costs (48 per cent), improving service and increasing customer satisfaction (44 per cent) and providing a point of competitive difference (30 per cent) were all cited as key drivers in the study conducted by Censuswide on behalf of accountancy Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) firm Xero

Demand from clients (23 per cent) was also a contributing factor in the decision to move to the cloud, according to the research.

Of those who had made the switch from on-premise systems to the cloud, 42 per cent said it had boosted the standards of the services they provide and increased satisfaction.

A further 39 per cent said their organisations had become more efficient and 38 per cent said it had helped open up new revenue streams and increased overall income.

The global financial crisis of 2007-08 and its subsequent effect on the economy were also cited as a reason for moving to a cloud-based system; 57 per cent claimed increasingly tight client budgets are causing major challenges and the reduced costs associated with the cloud can help alleviate that.

Nevertheless, 28 per cent of those surveyed had not yet adopted a SaaS solution, saying they were waiting to see if online software takes off industry-wide before making the switch.

“While the research reflects the growing appetite and need for cloud-based systems in accounting, it also shows that some practices are holding back because they’re yet to recognise the technology’s potentiall," said Gary Turner, managing director at Xero UK.

“With the rise in clients’ use of mobile technologies and the repercussions of the downturn still being felt, the opportunities cloud-based technology offers modern practices are extremely important, particularly when it comes to opening-up new service lines. In enabling them to become more competitive, it could even help safeguard their future survival.”

Jane McCallion
Managing Editor

Jane McCallion is ITPro's Managing Editor, specializing in data centers and enterprise IT infrastructure. Before becoming Managing Editor, she held the role of Deputy Editor and, prior to that, Features Editor, managing a pool of freelance and internal writers, while continuing to specialize in enterprise IT infrastructure, and business strategy.

Prior to joining ITPro, Jane was a freelance business journalist writing as both Jane McCallion and Jane Bordenave for titles such as European CEO, World Finance, and Business Excellence Magazine.