Ad­van­ta­geous for Ac­coun­tants

Cloud Tech­nol­ogy Saves Time

Indwe - - Contents - Text: Colin Tim­mis, Gen­eral Coun­try Man­ager, Xero SA Im­age © Sup­plied

The pres­sures on a pro­fes­sional ac­coun­tant are sig­nif­i­cant and in­clude ev­ery­thing from meet­ing tax dead­lines to the rou­tine frus­tra­tions of pur­su­ing in­voices. Tech­nol­ogy has long been touted as a means of al­le­vi­at­ing – or even elim­i­nat­ing – some of these pres­sures.

Re­search from Xero (con­ducted in col­lab­o­ra­tion with World Wide Worx) con­firms this. In a sur­vey of 230 in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, it found that cloud-based soft­ware can save ac­coun­tants up to three hours every day.

Let’s break down these ben­e­fits fur­ther.

Cloud vs Non-Cloud

When it comes to man­ual pro­cesses, 57% of cloud adopters spend less than an hour a day on tasks such as dataen­try, meet­ing re­quests and re­port­ing. By com­par­i­son, 79% of non-adopters spend up to three hours a day on such tasks.

Take some­thing like chas­ing emails – an es­sen­tial and time-con­sum­ing con­sid­er­a­tion that none­the­less oc­cu­pies a great deal of men­tal and phys­i­cal en­ergy for ac­coun­tants. Those who don’t use cloud tech­nol­ogy are twice as likely to spend over an hour re­ply­ing to and send­ing these mes­sages every day.

It’s hardly the best use of their ex­pe­ri­ence, qual­i­fi­ca­tions, and skills, but it needs to be done none­the­less.

Cloudy With a Chance of Pro­duc­tiv­ity

Three-quar­ters of ac­coun­tants (75%) ex­pressed their in­ten­tion to mi­grate to the cloud. But more can be done to boost aware­ness and en­cour­age adop­tion – espe­cially as 16% of re­spon­dents have never heard of the tech­nol­ogy, don’t in­tend to use it, and are sus­pi­cious of its se­cu­rity.

Cloud providers should there­fore vig­or­ously ad­vo­cate for their ser­vices, be­cause while the soft­ware might au­to­mate data en­try or in­voice chas­ing, the real ben­e­fits are in the time it saves and the re­sources it frees up. The less time spent in Mi­crosoft Ex­cel, the more time avail­able for busi­ness de­vel­op­ment. The less time an ac­coun­tant spends email­ing, the more time they have for their fam­i­lies, or beach­side fun. (20% of pro­fes­sion­als said they’d use spare time for the for­mer, while 14% said they’d use it for the lat­ter.)

While cloud soft­ware might be about tech­ni­cal process-im­prove­ment in the­ory, in prac­tice, it’s about free­dom. Ac­coun­tants shouldn’t wait around to take ad­van­tage of it.

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