Lara Bullock from AccountantsDaily writes: Businesses are increasingly wanting to use cloud services to streamline their processes, according to the CEO of Cornerstone Group, meaning accountants must deliver or risk losing their SME clients.
Speaking at a panel discussion at Receipt Bank’s inaugural Clients in the Cloud event earlier this week, Cornerstone Group CEO Tim Hoopmann said clients can be put in to three groups when it comes to cloud usage.
One group is the small number of clients who think they want they want to be on the cloud but aren’t actually ready or suited to it, according to Mr Hoopmann.
“These people are kind of non-believers even though they say they are [ready],” he said.
The second group are the clients who are interested and keen but don’t understand the cloud yet.
“These are the people that need help to understand cloud and cloud accounting. They need to be sold on the features and the benefits. They need reassurance and they need to be moved slowly through the change process,” he said.
“They're people that really want to make a change but they want to make sure that change is going to be right for their business.”
The final and fastest-growing group of clients is the ones who understand the cloud and want to be able to use it, according to Mr Hoopmann.
“These are people who just get cloud; there's no need to sell the features, just the benefits. They're more interested in what it's going to do in their business,” he said.
“Yes, they'll have to understand the features eventually, but they want to know the benefits and they need to know how to change from manual to automated processes only, because they get the rest. So they're the ones that have got it.”
Speaking to AccountantsDaily following the event, Mr Hoopmann said that clients, especially businesses, are moving more and more towards the group that are expecting to operate from cloud-based services.
“I think that they're moving from the bottom up to the top and they're starting to move faster. There’s a lot more people in the middle and there's a lot of people moving to the top,” he said.
“If I look back five years it was very much sell, sell, sell the value of moving to cloud accounting. Now people want to move to cloud so they're much more informed and they know what these things are going to deliver. So I think they're moving up the scale.
“There are a lot of people getting a lot smarter.”