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Outsourced Accounting via the Cloud Resonates for Some

June 15, 2011

The rise of firms conducting outsourced accounting services as part or all of their business is due in some part to the availability of cloud products to enable the process.

Several representatives explained how they did it to mixed reactions during a panel discussion entitled “Create New Sources of Revenue with Cloud-Based Accounting Applications” at the 2011 AICPA Practitioners Symposium and Tech + Conference on Tuesday in Las Vegas.

Panelists, including representatives from Blumer & Associates, Brinker LLC, SingerLewak, and LevyChin, all spoke about their experiences and viewpoints

Jason Blumer

Some of the key viewpoints from the panel included the following:

• “Invest your time and effort and learning the tools you are going to use. I spent at least three months to get started.  We do full finance and accounting in the cloud for our clients and plan to be there for many years.” — Cindy Brinker, managing director, Brinker LLC

• “Once the bumps are beyond you, the barrier of how far you can scale goes away. It then becomes up to you to leverage your skills. Also, the trend to continue to hold client data at your firm needs to move away. There is so much risk involved in that. You just don't need to be an IT department and take it on.” — Bob Green, partner and practice leader for SingerLewak's Enterprise Risk Management Services practice.

• “As an accountant you need to be in the cloud to be competitive. We don't all have the guts to charge what we are worth, and that is a big issue. ” — Jason Blumer, managing shareholder, Blumer & Associates

• “The most difficult way to get firms to move to the cloud is change management—be able to not just be sold but understand how it transforms.” — Darrell James, CEO, LevyChin

Several questions were asked of the panelists. The one that resonated the loudest came from a small firm practitioner who asked, “All I'm hearing is the cloud is there, and you are an idiot if you are not there. Where's the ROI?”

The panelists responded that it is not always a dollar amount and can vary from client to client. However, they all found that time and money were saved in the end.

Comments (2)
I view this as another step of technological development. 10-15 years ago, outsourcing became geographical. Now it's become technological. It's amazing.

I've outsourced all my tax planning and accounting to Urs Meisterhans of Sinitus in Switzerland. I look forward to hear if he is following the trend by outsourcing to the cloud.

Interesting reading and fascinating technological development! What's the next step? Thoughts?
Posted by smelzer | Sunday, June 26 2011 at 8:25PM ET
What ROI? What kind of question is that? Their are no hardware, software, labor or ramp up cost in porting your IT to the 'cloud' EVerything is on a pay per click basis and with almost no upfront cost. We use to manage our documents and rent quickbooks from right networks. We can have an outsourced client up and running in about 4 hours. This is the most amazing movement for accounting firms since the advent of the PC.
Posted by KC T | Wednesday, June 15 2011 at 9:29PM ET
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