Accounting Solutions – Is It Time For The Cloud?

I recently attended a conference that dealt exclusively with electronic accounting solutions and the future vision of bookkeeping processes. Intuit, Sage, and the AICPA sent representatives to the conference. Each had a unique approach regarding the implementation of cloud-based accounting solutions.

By far taking the most aggressive approach, Intuit is already promoting the cloud computing side of their business in deference to desktop solutions. This is based on their belief that most businesses will be in the cloud within the next five years.

Sage and the AICPA are not being quite as aggressive in their approach towards migrating to the cloud. While the cloud is certainly in their future, Sage is still maintaining their desktop software and working towards a softer transition, believing that businesses cannot just “flip a switch” and be in the cloud. The monthly costs of cloud computing are certainly better than investing in more servers and data storage. However, Sage is taking the stance that asset costs already expended cannot be overlooked. As time goes by, rather than replacing hardware and software, Sage plans on transitioning users to the cloud.

The AICPA’s small business division, CPA2Biz, summed up their vision of the future by showing the many ways social media and the advent of lighter and faster netbooks can be used, along with dashboards prepared by accounting and bookkeeping professionals. CPA2Biz believes this will keep business owners highly in touch with their business, even when they’re not in the office.

As this issue is in a state of flux, I advise consulting your professional to review cost benefits and detriments as they pertain to your business.  As to the speed and accuracy of getting relevant data, I say: BRING ON THE CLOUD!

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