By Keith Arkle (Commercial Development Manager, Sage One).
When we introduced Sage One to the UK and Irish accounting sectors we were curious to see what the response would be. The accounting software market was built and still very firmly stands on the foundation that is highly functional and flexible desktop software. Would accountants be ready for online?
So far, the overriding response has been yes! Sage One is really only just getting started but has already gathered a great following amongst UK and Irish accountants who are keen to leverage this new era in accounting software. Every day we receive feedback from accountants new and old that Sage One is providing a route to new markets that would have previously been deemed unprofitable or unmanageable.
Sage One operates entirely within the cloud which enables the accountant and their clients to work from the same data set in a live setting. The advantages are clear to see – both parties experience a level of transparency and control which to date has not been possible via desktop software. It should therefore come as no surprise that clients, suddenly invigorated with a greater sense of control and understanding about their financial position are increasingly satisfied with the services provided by a cloud backed accountant.
However, an aspect of cloud accounting that industry commentators often miss is the consequences of data control when adopting online technology. Cloud offerings like Sage One are an appealing alternative due to the reasons outlined above but like anything there are always cons that should be understood before adopting cloud technology in its entirety.
Online applications, particularly when integrated with other applications and data feeds can expose accountants and their clients to data sharing-related legal risks, largely because it’s so easy to share information now online. Accountants now have a much greater role to play in their clients businesses. Whereas in the past accountants may have been viewed as simple number crunchers and financial advisers, going forward many will be looked upon as a source of advice in relation to where and when is it suitable to share financial and personal information.
It should therefore come as no surprise that many accountants and bookkeepers are hedging their bets and choosing to adopt cloud technology as part of their offering rather than the whole. In response to this we continue to offer Sage Accountant Club members access to Sage One as part of their regular membership. This ensures all accountant Sage users are in a position to leverage the future benefits of online whilst having the market leading Sage Instant and Sage 50 desktop range at their disposal should they or their clients simply not be ready to make the jump to online.