Accountants embrace cloud technologies

APPROXIMATELY 70 per cent of accounting firms in Australia have embraced the world of cloud computing, with the market equally dominated by Xero and MYOB, new research shows.

The uptake hovered around 23 per cent last year; two of the biggest drivers for the move to cloud computing from on-premises products was security (44 per cent) and functionality (42.6 per cent).

The study by CapioIT, commissioned by Wolters Kluwer, revealed that accountants used an average of two cloud accounting applications.

Around 60 per cent of them used two or more cloud accounting products.

According to CapioIT head Phil Hassey, listed Kiwi firm Xero and MYOB led the cloud accounting market.

Mr Hassey said 90 per cent of accountants used at least one of the two brands while 49 per cent using two cloud products used both applications.

The survey covered 300 small-to-medium-sized tax firms and 200 small-to-medium-sized organisations.

The average age of an accountant using cloud technologies was 36 years old while 40 was the median age for those not on the platform.

Mr Hassey said this posed a challenge to vendors as they would have to market their products according to the relevant age group.

The study found that 60 per cent of regional accounting firms had adopted cloud applications.

More than 76 per cent of accountants were “very likely” to spend more on cloud applications in future.

Only 7 per cent of accountants were responsible for deciding to purchase cloud products, with nearly 60 per cent saying “someone” within their organisation had that responsibility.

SME users were slow to use cloud technologies but Mr Hassey expects the 27 per cent already on the platform to double next year.