With Making Tax Digital (MTD) really starting to trigger Cloud Accounting software conversations with accounting firm clients, we have started to see a trend of the software being sold and implemented in a very basic manner to businesses.
We should be looking at Cloud Accounting as a platform, not just a singular piece of software that can file an MTD return and cover basic compliance; however, that is pretty much what we are seeing. So, what is a good barometer for how we measure the quality of the platform we are giving to clients? Most firm’s barometer is "I have x amount on cloud…" That is not enough…
The quality standards that I look to are:
Firms say to me “yes” we have this in place, my question back is “to what level have you adopted this?”. What I am looking for is adoption % of each:
Surely that’s the end? No - one more statistic to keep in mind:
We are seeing many firms who have adopted cloud still follow their old routines and processes, the clients are still giving data at quarter end to fulfil a VAT return, or at year end for year-end accounts which means we are only receiving data from our clients 4 times or once per year.
What is the importance of this level of quality with adoption? If your firm aspires to talk more about the future of a business than the past, then this level of cloud adoption must be in place. If we are still getting data at a quarter-end, we are still processing data that is 4 months ago, yet we have tools available that can facilitate receiving data as soon as it is received.
Why do we see the lack of quality with the adoption? Quite simply, it hasn’t been thought through or planned. With the adoption of new technology, there are three aspects which must be considered:
Once we have this base Business Platform level of adoption as the standard, we can move onto helping our clients build out their financial functions. With approximately 90% of the SME market having less than 10 staff, there is no doubt that they cannot fulfil an efficient and effective financial function without some help – and who best to help them? Accountants!
Building out a client’s financial function could be any of the following:
So back to the title of this blog – are you a Cloud Accounting Software Reseller or a Business Platform provider?
We have a free learning area on our website where you can view Cloud Accounting Fundamentals, get involved here.