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Crunching Numbers In The Cloud: Aussie Accounting Firms Increasingly Adopting Cloud Computing

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As early as 2012, it was anticipated that accountancy firms will initiate a shift towards cloud computing software. Five year projections showed potential savings of $625 billion by Aussie businesses, just by shifting to cloud computing. According to a study by IBM, the adoption of virtual servers (for cloud software), can lead to savings on operating costs, as companies will not have to spend on IT hardware.

According to the findings of the CCH Research Report April 2013, accountants for SMEs are increasingly adopting cloud software for accounting services. Many firms also expressed future intentions to explore and adopt cloud services, and it’s possible that within 2-3 years, most Aussie SMEs and accountants will be extensively using cloud computing for accounting. Cloud-based platforms not only offer a cost advantage, but often are also easier to use.

The country has over two million SMEs, and are considered the economy’s engines. As accountants, a business’s most importance advisors,adopt cloud computing, this influences businesses at large to trust the cloud as a platform.

This allows accountancy firms to offer a greater degree of effectiveness, while reducing costs, for clients. The nature of cloud computing, that of connectedness and transparency, provides greater visibility and access to business owners around the clock. The country has already invested significantly in cloud computing. The Cloud Computing Strategic Direction Paper (in 2011) which led to the Australia government’s ICT Strategic Vision, found that the government spends over four billion dollars on traditional computing technology (through desktops and mobile devices), out of which $1 billion could be saved by investing on the cloud.

Other Strategic Benefits

For accountants, and for businesses, the access to real-time financial data is one of the most important assets they stand to gain from cloud computing. Such information is essential to making big decisions, and 24X7 access can definitely make businesses agile. With a variety of powerful accounting programs that can be supervised and managed by an accounting form, an enterprise owner doesn’t have to wait for their accountant’s personal input – an app can give them updated balance sheets and other financial statements, instantly.

This also leads to higher accuracy and precision, enabling businesses to manage their cash flow and other financial aspects better. Adoption of cloud software can lead to 30-40% less time in creating annual and management reports. This frees up more time for accountants to focus on strategic aspects, such as analysis, future planning and to act as an advisory services. Large firms tend to depend on older physical, custom-built software, whereas a young firm can get ahead by investing less amount on more powerful, yet leaner cloud software.

Why isn’t Cloud Computing Adoption doing well among the Finance Crowd?

of course, with such measurable benefits, it would be obvious that the finance community would be aggressive adopters of cloud community. However, why is this not the case?

In simple terms, most in the finance community do not like such radical change. This sentiment was echoed by Brandon Byrne, VP, Finance and Administration Curse.com (gaming portal provider): “My colleagues in accounting and finance generally are not early adopters.” He added, speaking at the Oracle CloudWorld event. “When you make the decision to move to the cloud, it’s new, it’s different. Most accounting and finance pros want to horde their data and keep it in house — that’s the way it always been done. It has to do with the fear of doing something different.”

This is why accounting firms across Sydney are exploring cloud computing and Fusion Partnersis one such firm investigating the benefits of cloud computing for its clients, as part of their proactive, client-centric focus.

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