Mid-market businesses were moving slowly to adopt online accounting software, with just 12 percent having made the leap from desktop software to the cloud, according to a survey of 400 chief financial officers of Australian companies.
Nearly two-thirds of CFOs (64 percent) said they would never move to online accounting.
“Online accounting offers a huge opportunity for SMEs with the potential to increase efficiency and cut costs, so it’s surprising the uptake has been slow,” said Graham Spring, business advisory director at William Buck, in a press release.
SMEs could use online accounting software to receive real-time review of financial information and proactive advice from their accountant, Spring said. However, few CFOs (17 percent) asked their accountant which type of accounting software they should buy. Instead, over half (56 percent) preferred to consult their IT manager.
“While the online accounting media drum has been beating for some time, many CFOs are still cautious about the new technology and are hesitant to move away from the tools they have been using for decades,” Spring said.
Mid-market businesses had renewed confidence with 78 percent seeking to grow, compared to 63 percent the previous quarter. Investment priorities were marketing and property, plant and equipment rather than cloud technologies.
The CFOs’ primary concerns were security of data and integration with existing applications, the survey found.
“There is some legitimacy in these concerns, however, there are also significant issues with on-site data storage such as back-up procedures and storage,” Spring said. “But it’s clear that more education is required before many CFOs are willing to make the move to online accounting.”