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Paul Bunting, Accountant, MSI Ragg WeirBy Paul Bunting, MSI Ragg Weir, Accountants, Melbourne.

Do you remember the days when you would buy Quickbooks or MYOB software off the shelf, install it and that was it for your accounting system? Multiple copies of your files being sent to your trusted advisor’s office for the preparation of your compliance work? With the increasing popularity of the Cloud, those days will soon be a distant memory.

Cloud Accounting is constantly evolving and is challenging the way we think about accounting systems. It is also both an opportunity and a threat to your business.

Opportunity v Threat

An opportunity for greater collaboration with your trusted advisor, data processing / reporting efficiencies and access to a whole suite of add on products that add value to your business.

A threat if your competition moves with the times and takes advantage of these opportunities while your business stays on the desktop application that was purchased ten years ago.

Understanding the Cloud

All this change can be difficult to understand and quite daunting for a business owner. It is our responsibility as trusted advisors to guide and help you to understand the new reality of the Accounting software industry, which includes:

  • Increased overhead costs with the majority of providers in the industry using a subscription model for their fees. You may be reluctant to start paying a subscription but if you list all the problems you have with your current system you might find a more modern accounting system now addresses most or if not all of your concerns.
  • Increased competition in the market. Gone are the days of a Duopoly controlling accounting systems in the SME market and you having to accept the shortfalls of your chosen system. Innovations such as conversion tools allows for an easier transition from one accounting system to another. Growth in the add-on apps market provides solutions to a wide range of problem areas that previously could not be addressed easily in a desktop application.

With the Australian Taxation Office introducing initiatives such as Standard Business Reporting (SBR) and Superstream who knows what they could come up with in the future. What we do know is that your outdated accounting system will not be able to handle future reporting requirements and it is likely software companies will discontinue supporting their older products. So there will be a point in time when you will be forced to upgrade. Why not make the change now?

In the future as more competitors enter the Accounting and Add on Application market this will only encourage more innovation, options and opportunities. This will continue to benefit your business, but only if you have taken to steps in the Cloud.

Contact the author directly by email or by telephone.

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