Accounting is an industry that is undergoing a notable change in Kenya, mainly sparked by markedly vast advances in technology. The analysis of cloud accounting has also been credited with changing customer expectations, and local accountants are adjusting their roles to accommodate new practices that are meant to meet heightened customer demand.
People are ready to adopt solutions that do not have a lot of paperwork in their businesses and want to focus on issues they care about. Technology is one of the solutions that offers just that, in addition to helping them find a balance between work and life. With cloud computing services, businesses have been able to save a lot of time and have updated financial information that can be fully accessible and managed by their accountant(s).
Sage, an integrated accounting, payroll, and payment systems company, has been rallying for the benefits of using cloud services in accounting. To recap, traditional accounting tools are secured as a product and installed on individual computers, whereas cloud accounting is offered as a service. When accounting data is accessed by organizations over the internet, they are buying the use of accounting solutions from an expert service provider, which, in this case, is Sage, or any other vendor, and not the software itself. To this end, cloud accounting software is, and will play an instrumental role in transforming the manner accounting applications are used, which entails modernizing business surroundings.
According to Sage, the market for accounting practices in Kenya is admirable. This is associated with the number of businesses that are started by thousands of locals from time to time, hence the high demand for the solution and opportunities for accountants to start their own businesses. As mentioned, while an accounting practice can help create an improved work/life balance, there are some issues with the whole arrangement.
Specifically, many accountants know their trade, but lack specialized experiences in HRM, IT, and marketing.
“When you’re in business on your own, you can quickly run into a range of operational challenges. From a computer hard drive that fails during tax filing season, clients that haven’t paid for services, to changing deadlines and the constant need to seek new business – it’s not always easy to keep your head above water,” says Nikki Summers, Director, Sage One in East and West Africa.
To counter the issues, accounting organizations and their heads should be able to operate in an environment of changing technology, growing customer demands, and increasing economic pressure. On the bright side of things, the problems can be overcome with simple tools that have been designed for small and medium business owners.
To succeed, owners of accounting practices need to be able to operate in an environment of changing technology, increasingly demanding customers, and growing economic pressure. Thankfully, there are simple tools to help these Small & Medium Business owners.
“For example, Practice Management Software provides accounting professionals with all the core features they need to run their businesses in an easy-to-use and affordable way” adds Summers. “If the practice management software can be integrated into the accounting software, and be used to run clients’ accounts, then that is even better. The software should offer project tracking and timesheets, invoicing and debtor management, management reporting, security, and customer relationship management.”
“With software moving to the cloud, accountants can access their clients’ and their practice’s books on any device, from anywhere using the internet,” says Summers. “You also don’t even need to worry about installing software on your PCs or backing up your data, because you can access the data and the application from nearly every modern Web browser or from a mobile app,” she says.
“You and your clients can be logged in at the same time processing transactions – and you’ll always know you’ll have access to the latest live data from your clients’ accounts. Moving to the cloud is an opportunity to get closer to your clients’ businesses and transform your own working practices and succeed in Kenya’s competitive economy,” concludes Summers.
In conclusion, the last couple of years have catapulted IT services. The borderline between Kenyan societies and technology is fainting as IT services and products are spreading in almost every aspect of our lives. Considering such a dynamic and challenging business environment in the country, companies have not shied away from exploring new ways of doing business. The cloud concept is getting popular as it improves efficiency, among other many benefits. Also, the cloud accounting model enables all business participants to closely collaborate by gaining access to updated financial information over the internet.
Sage says that if accountants give the cloud the chance to showcase its benefits, the accounting profession could ultimately act as a global standardized entity and push business operations to greater heights.