Recently Saasu joined the exhibitors at the 2012 ATSA conference. It was a great collection of the interesting and interested, with many accountants looking to learn about how technology can improve their productivity and performance.
A quick look at the schedule of presentations for the 2 days showed more than 70% of the presentations focused on “the cloud.” Even though there was a perception, based on survey results from some of the traditional software suppliers, that not many businesses have moved to the cloud yet, no-one was fighting the concept of cloud. In fact the closing statement from the conference organiser, Smithink, wished everyone well and bid them to “enjoy learning about cloud.”
In addition to all the talk about cloud accounting, the overarching themes in the conference were:
We were pleased see a strong presence from leaders of the ATO software consultative group and the Treasury SBR (standardised business reporting) team. Conversations with both groups reinforced the government’s commitment to electronic vs. paper systems. Conversations at the Saasu stand actually brought to light a number of practices that were fully electronic.
Tax and compliance are high on the list of tasks undertaken by an accounting practice and it was interesting to hear from a number of online accounting application providers that their online tax offering is not expected before 2015. This reflected Saasu’s approach to not rush into tax but to wait and see what develops.
In an environment that was buzzing with excitement we were surprised by reports of “competitor bashing” by some of the software vendors. One of the values that Saasu holds strongly is being agnostic—focusing on the right solution for the customer regardless of where that comes from. Our CEO, Marc Lehmann, spoke about this trait in his presentation at the conference:
There were many comments afterwards about how this philosophy of being agnostic fit with the values of a number of accountants in attendance.
So with cloud now being top-of-mind with many accountants, it will be interesting to see the shift in cloud computing usage between now and the ATSA 2013 conference in Brisbane.