I've been running my accounts from the cloud since I went from being a sole trader to a private company. The main reasons for me were my strong dislike of what the traditional accounting software market was delivering and the need to be able to access my data anywhere and anytime.
There are plenty of others who obviously felt the same given Xero's
Following their award for ICT Excellence at CeBIT this year, Xero online accounting software has more than tripled its Australian customer base over the past 12 months, growing from almost 8,000 in July 2011 to over 25,000 in July 2012. Not surprisingly, this was accompanied by a tripling in revenue in Australia, growing from $1.2m to over $3.9m for the 12 months to 31 March 2012.
Not content with just balancing the books, Xero also announced plans to develop an online tax solution by leveraging their acquisition of New Zealand software developer Spotlight Workpapers Limited. Coupled with the purchase of Practice Management provider Max Solutions earlier this year, Xero plans to deliver a suite of online solutions that accountants can use to run their practice in the cloud, without the need for in-house server equipment.
In other words, it's not just your business they're chasing - it's also your accountant. [Ed: something MYOB has also been doing, with many accountants using its products.]
"There has been so little innovation in the tax area in the last decade. We want to be able to provide our accounting partners with all the tools they need to manage their clients and add the most value to them. Xero's integrated tax solution will be powerful, easy to use and will reduce the cost of compliance for Australian businesses," says Xero Product Development Manager Tim Wright.
In May 2012 Xero launched Xero payroll - an integrated payroll solution that gives customers access to both their accounting software and payroll from the cloud.