Daniel Hunter| Freshbusinessthinking

A new survey released by leading accountancy and payroll software provider IRIS indicates that cloud adoption is on the cusp of rapid growth across UK accountancy practices.

Nine out of ten delegates attending IRIS World 2013, the annual conference series for the accountancy sector, say they have either adopted cloud or are looking to do so in the future.

So far, few practices have chosen to move completely away from the on-premise model. Just 7% of the 300 survey respondents said they had moved all their work into the cloud.

Yet, cloud computing growth looks set to accelerate dramatically across the sector. 31% of respondents said their firm had moved some of their work into the cloud and are actively planning to move more, while a further 48% said their organisation was not in the cloud today but that they are looking at adopting cloud solutions in the near future. Just one in ten of the overall sample said they were not using any cloud solutions and had no plans to do so.

“These are positive results and reflect our own experience at IRIS, where we already have over 68,000 subscribers to our cloud solutions” says Phill Robinson, CEO of IRIS Software Group. “It is good news that across the market, cloud computing is increasingly being seen as a potential source of competitive advantage and increased efficiency for the practices that choose to embrace it.

“At IRIS, we are seeing the use of the cloud helping accountants to work collaboratively with clients, establish a single version of the truth, eliminate errors and, by enabling real-time updates and instant electronic approval, smooth out the year-end workload.

“The cloud should be all about enhanced client engagement, business agility and new levels of efficiency,” adds Robinson. “The accountancy sector increasingly understands this — and this all clearly comes across in our survey results.”

“That said, we recognise that cloud computing may not be the right solution for everyone, or right for every process,” continues Robinson. ”Our strategy is all about delivering choice for accountants and we will continue to support customers across all platforms whether they choose to consume our applications on their desktops on premise or from the cloud.”

Economic and budgetary pressures continue to weigh heavily on accountancy practices. The survey identified ‘keeping costs down’ as the top driver for adoption of cloud-based accountancy software, cited by 41% of respondents in total.

The next two most important drivers, each referenced by 39% of the survey sample were ‘rigorous security’ and ‘the ability to be continuously updated’. Sitting just behind this was ‘streamlining operational efficiencies’ highlighted by 38% of respondents. Three out of ten delegates also cited ‘easy to learn and use’ as an important driver, with 27% referencing ‘drives enhanced productivity’.

IRIS is the leading provider of cloud services to the UK accountancy and payroll sectors and provides a comprehensive set of compliance applications including the UK’s first professional tax cloud-based compliance suite (IRIS OpenTax) and IRIS OpenAudit – the only cloud auditing solution in the UK.

IRIS World 2013 is a leading annual conference series for the accountancy sector, featuring the latest updates on compliance, practice excellence and cloud computing from IRIS and industry guest speakers. This year’s series ran throughout October 2013 and was held across four venues: London, Coventry, Manchester and Falkirk.


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