If I was to ask you to name the most talked about word in accounting technology today I think it’s likely you’d say ‘cloud’…and it’s no wonder. Cloud accounting is shifting the way we look at business technology.
Cloud accounting is now a very real option for many businesses, and many are considering making the switch. But I’d argue that the word we should be talking about today is ‘choice’…and that cloud accounting is now one of many options available for accounting professionals and their clients.
As a result of rapid technology change within the accounting industry in recent years, professionals now have more choice than ever before. What was once a desktop software dominated industry has fast become a lot more.
Choice – part of the advisor mantra
In my role I regularly deal with partners and accountants from some of Australia’s largest accounting firms. I’m pretty sure they’d agree with me when I say by only ever focusing on one option, one way of doing things or one view, can only lead to making ill-informed decisions. We want to look at everything that’s on offer and consider how that’ll work for our businesses and the businesses we support.
It’s long been the role of accounting professionals to inform clients of their choices and help them make decisions – so how are new technology choices fitting into this?
For many accounting professionals there’s now a need to understand each of the platforms available – desktop, hosted and cloud – not to mention the many programs available for specialised industries. And it’s likely we’ll see continue to see more options available in the future; according to Doug Sleeter, a leading commentator on small business technology from the US, we’ll continue to see the fragmentation of business solutions as delivery becomes easier and easier for providers.
With technology continuing to play a bigger and bigger role in modern businesses – choice of technology is a massive benefit to all. The important role advisors play in helping businesses get this right shouldn’t be underestimated.
Every business needs to choose their own path
I firmly believe that choice in technology for businesses is helping to drive away ‘cookie cutter’ solutions. Programs have traditionally been sold with a set of features for a fixed price, but this is changing too. Accounting programs being developed by Reckon today will offer more flexibility in the way you choose features so that you’ll only pay for what you need.
Why is choice so important? Consider just five business you regularly interact with – are any the same? Consider the differences across various accounting firms. Every business is different and the way each determines value and monitors performance is likely to be different too.
Choice helps us to define our own path and to make decisions that are right for our business, or our clients’ businesses.
Consider the future needs of your firm
The technology your firm and your clients choose can have a big impact in the years ahead? If you’re considering the software needs of your firm – consider various suppliers, look at the choice of platforms on offer that give you the most flexibility in how run your business
I’d urge to take a look at what’s now on offer – desktop, hosted and cloud – and make an informed choice.
Tell us how important is technology choice for your clients?
Read our post about the differences between desktop, hosted and cloud solutions here.