By Lyndsey Hall
If you make one New Year’s Resolution for your business in 2014, make the decision to join the Cloud. According to research by Intuit, 88% of SMEs now demand cloud-based services from their accountants, and more than half (58%) are willing to pay more for the ease and convenience the Cloud offers. Surprisingly, the study, which Intuit has named “The Changing Role of Accountancy”, revealed that only 61 out of the one hundred accounting firms asked believed that their clients would be interested in cloud-based accounting solutions, and just a measly 37 were already offering these services.
40% of SMEs believe their accountant is far too traditional and 72% want their accountant to upgrade to the Cloud.
The study also revealed that 82% of small businesses expect their accountants to offer value adding services: 80% wanted help to increase their skill base, 72% wanted to modernise their brand and 69% wanted to update their accountancy software. According to Intuit, the majority of small businesses are also willing to pay extra for additional services, with 65% looking for business consulting advice and 72% demanding project financing and reporting, for an additional fee.
62% of accountants don’t see the financial benefit of providing business-consulting advice, despite 95% of their customers willing to pay for it.
With technology moving forward at the speed of light and the economy finally on the up, now is the time to start thinking about moving your business into the modern age. The research by Intuit suggests that not only do clients and customers want more from their accountant by way of products and services offered, they also want to be able to access their information in a way that is convenient for them and accessible at all times of day. Moving your business into the Cloud allows you to offer exactly that. And the best news? They are more than happy to pay for the privilege.
HMRC have already made the transition successfully, and on Christmas Day 1,600 people chose to spend the lull between Christmas lunch and the Queen’s Speech filing their tax returns online, and 137 people filed theirs between 11pm and midnight on New Years Eve! Not only that, but online retail spending was up this year by 25% compared to Christmas Day 2012.
So, make a New Year’s Resolution you’ll want to keep and take your business into the clouds.