Cloud accounting software may have been around for more than a decade but accountants as a profession are still lagging behind their clients in adopting cloud software. The reason is that accountants are still struggling to modernise their business models.
This trend is global, even in countries with the highest penetration of cloud accounting such as Australia and New Zealand, Jennifer Warawa, global vice president, product marketing – accountants.
Warawa’s appointment is part of a big shakeup at Sage which usually relies on country managers to deal with accountants. She has been researching global similarities among accountants with the intention of building global solutions for them.
Warawa covers these topics in the interview below – click through to the Soundcloud page for markers to the highlights below.
- Accountants who plan on retiring in the next six months don’t need to move to the cloud. If they wait five years, they won’t have a business to sell. They will just have to close their doors.
- Firms that have modernised find that their compliance revenue doesn’t decline; instead the percentage of advisory increases. The ratio of revenue from compliance falls from 90 percent to 50 percent in some firms, Warawa says.
- Blind focus groups of business owners have revealed the potential for growth for customer-oriented firms. Business owners who see their accountant once a year have one question for business owners who talk to their accountant every week: “Do you have their business card?”
- Surgeons aren’t concerned about being replaced – they realise that technology will just help them do their job better. Accountants shouldn’t be concerned either.
- The long term plan is to build a cloud-based practice management suite to automate firms. It’s likely to be a global product but don’t expect anything before 2016.
- Sage has created a program based on Ron Baker’s methodology for value billing. Sage Value is in private testing. I will try to get some more information about this interesting app.
Sholto travelled to the Sage Summit in New Orleans as a guest of Sage.