Accountants, the outlook is cloudy.

Hands up anyone who’s been to a conference and been asked to turn their mobile phone off?

That’s what I was expecting when I attended last week’s “Cloud Computing for Accountants” morning at the ICAEW. Nope. Instead we were given a Twitter hashtag.

Sure sign of where accounting is going. Online. Into the cloud. Call it what you like. But the days of doing your accounts on Excel spreadsheets and desktop packages could be numbered.

The aim of the morning was to make sure that accountants knew that too. 

I won’t comment on the presentations because that’s been done and debated vigorously elsewhere.

What was great from our point of view, was that one of our evangelists, John O’Nolan, was invited to join a panel at the conference, to talk about his experiences with moving his business into the cloud and how it’s helped him.

You can see recordings of what John had to say on YouTube:

SaaS risks

SaaS training issues

SaaS horses for courses

Thanks John! 

A web designer’s accounting agency

John has also blogged elsewhere about what he’d do if he were setting up his own accounting agency, and his article has been widely commented on.

Put it this way, if I were still running my own practice (which I’m not any more, since FreeAgent came along and snapped me up), then this’d be how I’d do it.

Why? Because John is absolutely right.

When you start a small business, unless you actually are an accountant, accounting is the last thing you want to be doing. (And sometimes not even then.)

So you need the right tools and the right guidance to make a necessary evil as painless as possible.

That’s what we do our best to provide at FreeAgent. But there are always going to be times when you’ll need more than that. We can’t help you plan your tax affairs, or put together a cashflow projection for the following year. That’s when you need a good accountant. 

Eh? What’s a cashflow projection when it’s at home?

I feel another blog post coming on...

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