Will UK accountants ever “get” the Cloud

There have been a number of interesting announcements from various Cloud providers over the last few days –E-conomic announced the other day that they had passed the 24,000 users ceiling and Xero presented their latest quarter global results which showed an increase in turnover and profits.

What strikes me about both these is that, positive though the announcements are, they deal with the global situation, whereas growth within the UK is generally still slow.

The announcement that has got the blogospheres going, however, is that of Iris’s investment in Free Agent. This is a major step forward in the UK accounting world as it shows that – at long last – a major on premise supplier has taken notice of the obvious benefits of Cloud Computing and is jumping on the bandwagon – albeit in a small way.

Actually, what is perhaps surprising about this news is not so much that Iris have taken a bold and sensible step but that it has taken them so long to do it. What needs to happen now is for other UK providers to take similar steps – whether they will or not remains to be seen.

Another aspect that seems to prevail is that many of the Cloud providers that report growth in their markets tend to concentrate on the smaller end of the SME spectrum. E-conomic and a few other similar players will do well in the Medium arena – the competition is wide open there and the first player that seizes the high ground will prevail.

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2 Responses

  1. Richard,

    The announcements are good news for the industry, and particularly for FAC and the Liquid teams who have secured investment and appointed more fire-power on their teams. This will certainly strengthen their proposition which will ripple benefits across the industry.

    As you point out, inertia is still low, however I don’t agree that accountants “don’t get it”. Some do. As with any new technology paradigm, there are early adopters keen to reap the benefits after careful consideration of cost/risk. for example, today we planned a 3 month rollout of Pearl Cloud Accounting software to an accountants 1,500 clients over 3 months. An ambitious plan but after 3 months prep and multiple proof of concepts, trials, training sessions etc, the accountant feels ready to go.

    With numerous quality vendors in the market, I am sure the industry will light up with more impressive case studies.


    • Andrew – I think you are correct. The more positive case studies we can get out there, the better.

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