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Online Accounting Software Trends: CEO Roundtable Takeaways

Though many businesses consider their financial data to be some of the most valuable information they don’t want outsiders privy to, more small and medium-sized businesses are shifting their accounting software from in-house servers to those of software vendors. These online accounting software solutions are easier to deploy than their on-premise counterparts, sold in an inexpensive monthly subscription model, and offer increased collaboration opportunities along with user-friendly interfaces.

As part of our Expert Roundtable series, we reached out to three online accounting software executives to gauge their opinions on industry trends and what they saw for the future of online accounting software. We asked the CEOs at ePartners (a Microsoft Dynamics GP VAR), Intacct, and Kashoo the following questions:

  • What are the current trends in online accounting software?
  • What’s surprised you about the direction of the industry?
  • Who's choosing to adopt online accounting software?
  • What are the benefits in switching to online accounting?
  • What’s next for online accounting software?

Here are two important things we learned from this conversation:

1. The Sweet Spot is Still Mostly Small Business, Some Medium-Sized Users
More medium-sized users and some autonomous departments within larger corporations are selecting online accounting solutions, but the majority of purchases are with the more nimble small business users. In addition, as more individuals have become comfortable and used to the idea of cloud computing - thanks to the proliferation of cloud-based document solutions such as Google Docs - the idea of storing financial information in the cloud is not as fear-inducing as it once was.

Many businesses are also benefiting from the decreased IT expenses traditionally associated with ERP and accounting solutions. Because cloud-based systems are hosted by the software provider and and only require an Internet-ready computer, users can shift funding for IT equipment and personnel to other important areas of their businesses.

2. Improved Collaboration and Accessibility a Key Adoption Point
One of the more interesting benefits of adopting online accounting solutions is the increased potential for collaboration. These solutions enable financial data to be available inside the office, at the user’s home, and on a computer, iPad or smartphone - anywhere and at any time. This increased accessibility has the possibility of changing how we view financial departments that were traditionally internal. Will this lead to increased instances of accounting department outsourcing? Time will tell.

A full transcript of the Q&A can be found on our company blog at: State of the Online Accounting Industry: Executive Roundtable.

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