Have Cloud – will travel

Little did I think when I started my consultancy with E-conomic that I would find myself involved in international travel, but life continues to be full of little surprises.

Having spent a few days in Copenhagen recently visiting the E-conomic team I now find myself planning a trip on November 7th to Kuala Lumpur where I will be attending the2010 World Congress of Accountants. This is a major event which takes place every four years and E-conomic have decided to be one of the exhibitors which will showcase the true international nature of the product.

I don’t know what I will be expecting from this trip but it will be interesting to see the reaction to Cloud Computing from accountants around the world. I am sure it will be different to those in the UK. Whatever it may be, I will be reporting back on my experiences both in my blog and my Twitter feed, so watch this space!

The Cloud – a clarification.

I had an interesting meeting on Friday with Richard Anning of the ICAEW IT faculty. I had asked for the meeting to clarify some of the points I had raised following the recent ICAEW Cloud Computing Conference. We had a frank and full discussion on our relative views and I am grateful to Richard for his time.

However, one of the points raised was that I was perceived to be a vendor consulting, as I do, for E-conomic. I wanted, therefore, to clarify the position.

One of the many hats that I an wearing nowadays is that of a consultant to E-conomic. My principal role is advising them on entry into the UK Market and speaking to accountants on their behalf. I have the advantage of, not only being involved with The Cloud for over 10 years, but of having extensively used E-conomic in practice and can therefore bring to the table practical advice on using and integrating the product as well as educating clients and fellow partners. When discussing the relative merits of the various solutions on offer, I am happy to make my involvement with E-conomic clear at the outset.

However, when commenting on the Cloud and its benefits, I do so as an independent consultant. I am not promoting any particular application and I am not concerned as to what people end up using… just as long as the positive message gets out.

Another point that was raised during our meeting was a comment I made in my recent blog where I said that there were no negatives in using the Cloud. I still stand by that view and as hard as I try, I can’t come up with any. I do accept, however, that there are many perceived negatives and that for most people, perception is reality. I see it as my role to clarify those perceptions and to explain where the perception and the reality vary.

In future, I will make it clearer which of my many hats I am wearing when I make my comments .

…. so to coin a phrase from the Two Ronnies, I will sign off from me…and from him!

PS. A practical advantage of the Cloud…I started this blog on my Iphone whilst I was waiting to have a haircut this morning and finished it on my desktop computer when I arrived home. No file transfer necessary, it was just there. Clever stuff!

The Cloud -Common sense at last!

I spent Thursday and Friday last week in Birmingham where I attended the 2020 Group annual conference. I was assisting E-conomic on their exhibition stand but did have the opportunity to sit in on a few of the sessions.

The theme of the conference was “The changing face of accounting…” and it majored heavily on the adoption of Cloud Computing and online accounting. What a breath of fresh air! Speaker after speaker emphasised the growth of the Cloud, how important it was and predicted that Cloud Computing will “rocket” in the next year. Delegates were encouraged to visit the stands in the exhibition area, Xero and Liberty accounts were also exhibiting, “sign up and MARKET HEAVILY NOW!” in order to gain a USP for the next year or so.

The interest of the delegates who came to the stands was positive. Without exception they wanted to understand what was on offer and were keen to get further information when they returned to their offices. How many will take it further remains to be seen… but how refreshing to get a positive reaction and a genuine interest in the concept.

The major accounting bodies should take note. There was no stating the negatives (there aren’t any), no doom and gloom about security issues (as one speaker emphasised…it is more secure than the office server) and no obscure presentations on legality and how the Cloud works etc etc….

And of course, this is how it should be and what I and my fellow enthusiasts have been pushing for for a long time. Talk about the positives and the ease with which it can be adopted. The delegates at this conference were under no illusion that they needed to get on board or be left behind.

So congratulations 2020.. you did a great job. Others take note!

The Cloud and iXBRL – a marriage made in heaven?

I have just attended the ICAEW XBRL roadshow at Moorgate Place (I seem to be spending a lot of time there lately). The roadshow was attended by 150 delegates from both profession and industry and was an enlightening overview of what must be the biggest change in accounting procedures for some considerable time. It will become compulsory in just six months time and I suspect that very few are yet prepared for this. Most of the leading software providers are busily getting their XBRL offerings ready and promise to have them available but it will be a close run thing.

The roadshow consisted of presentations by HMRC with their own – admittedly limited – solution. There were further presentations by Twinfield demonstrating their future plans and Corefiling regarding their iXBRL solution.

Of the 150 delegates attending, around 50% (yes – 50%!) still prepare their statutory accounts in Word or Excel. Amazing.

Corefiling’s solution enables Word or Excel documents to be converted in to iXBRL format…and this where it gets interesting. Corefilings solution is an SaaS application. Word documents are uploaded to Core’s servers – converted and downloaded in iXBRL format.

You can see where I am going with this. Those who are still working with 20th Century tools (19th perhaps) are going to be forced to use Cloud technology in order to be compliant. Will this be the catalyst that is needed to make the Cloud mainstream.

It will be interesting.