Mr Allert told AccountantsDaily that accountants should be providing their clients with a choice of products rather than pushing them towards a cloud platform for their own benefit.
“Some firms are out there saying ‘to streamline my own business processes I need every client on the cloud so I’m just going to get everyone onto one platform’,” he said.
“I think that’s where the big issue lies because if you force all of your clients onto a cloud product then what happens to the clients who have run their existing product for many years and don’t want to change?”.
When clients move to a cloud-based system it can make life easier for accountants by giving them a closer connection to their clients’ books, but for many businesses, desktop software is more than adequate and changing systems can be costly and confusing.
Moreover, as Mr Allert pointed out, cloud-based software systems such as Reckon One, Xero and MYOB LiveAccounts are nowhere near as feature-rich as desktop systems.
These cloud-based options are certain to improve, and will soon contain all the functionality of a desktop product, but at the moment they are just not suited to all businesses.
For accountants looking to reap the benefits of cloud-based clients without wanting to push unsuitable software, Mr Allert says there are other options out there.
Tools like SyncDirect can help, he added. According to Mr Allert, SyncDirect addresses one of the biggest problems accountants have with existing technology by allowing them to tap into their clients’ desktop software and import that data to their own ledger.
“You probably have to be an accountant to understand the pain around this but if clients are using desktop software like Reckon Accounts Desktop or even MYOB Desktop, we can now point to that file and as long as that system is on, we can suck the data into the accountant’s ledger,” Mr Allert said.