Cloud shift takes complete commitment

Accounting firms looking to transition their business from traditional practices to adopt cloud technology must be fully committed to the move to receive the best results possible, according to a senior executive of an accounting firm.

“It’s not a case of just lifting up your desktop system and actually just shoving it into a cloud-based system and letting it automate. You’ll get some benefits, but until you start to use the data feeds, the broker feeds and bank feeds and wrap feeds, and the whole range of other add-ons and applications, you won’t allow all of the elements to bunch together to improve the offering that you’ve got to your clients,” Perks director Kim Bigg told last week’s Accounting Business Expo held in Sydney during a session hosted by Class.

“If you lift up what you’re doing in the accounting world and throw it into an online system, you’ll get some savings, and I’m sure it’ll be more efficient in some ways, but you won’t get everything you’d ever hoped for or the absolute cream of what you can be doing.”

He cited the time it was taking to process the SMSFs his firm was servicing, on average eight and nine hours per fund, as the main driver for switching to a cloud-based system.

In doing so, he said the firm has been able to reduce the average processing time per SMSF to two to three hours.

However, he warned other practitioners not to expect outstanding results across the board when switching to a cloud-based operating system.

“It does depend which fund it is. With some of them we had big wins like that, but other wins were much smaller. It depended on the composition of what was in there,” he said.

“I guess in all things you’re not going to get the absolute nth degree benefit out of everything, but there are still a lot of gains to be made.”

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