When businesses do business, they generate a lot of information. In most cases, this information has a relationship to a financial transaction of some sort, like a bill from a vendor or an invoice or sales receipt for a customer. It can be difficult for a small business owner to find the best way to manage the information about customers and products and suppliers, and figuring out the best way to handle the bookkeeping and accounting is often a secondary issue. Sure, it’s important to know how much money is in the bank, but online banking helps with that. For a small business owner trying to keep their operation running, the biggest problems are the ones they face every day, like remembering which customer likes which products, or knowing which suppliers will deliver in a pinch. Bookkeeping just isn’t a huge focus, other than during tax time, because it doesn’t help them get business done.
It is this question of value in daily bookkeeping and accounting work that business owners and their accounting service providers alike are struggling with. Certainly, most business owners recognize the necessity to get the books done, but it is generally for compliance purposes alone. Payroll taxes, sales and use taxes, personal property taxes, income taxes – these are the items that business owners think about when they think about accounting. If you see it through the eyes of the business owner, accounting = paying taxes. It’s a tough value proposition for the accountant, when you think about it. The business owner has to pay someone to figure out how much they have to pay someone else. Yeah, try to sell more of that, and good luck.
The cloud, on the other hand, is beginning to help accounting and bookkeeping professionals change this perspective. It’s a relatively new working model and concept, even though the technology and approach has been around for some time.