A recent survey carried out by OnePollhas revealed that two-thirds of UK accounting practices are already providing or are looking to provide cloud services to their clients this year.

The figure has almost tripled from the 23 per cent recorded last year when a similar survey was conducted, with many accountancy firms citing client demands to be online as the main factor behind this recent surge.

In total, 65 per cent of firms responded that they have already adopted online accounting software into their service provision or were planning to do so in the near future.

Stay ahead of the competition

According to the survey, the main reasons for adopting cloud software were the need to stay ahead of the competition (42 per cent) and the desire to reduce avoidable expenditures (41 per cent).

Cloud accounting is now the ‘go-to service’ provision for business and accountancy firms alike and demand is unlikely to falter any time soon. With more clients demanding access to the cloud, it is necessary to adopt the technology in order to retain these clients’ custom.

Manual administration tasks and travelling to and from client offices for regular meetings can be a drain on the bank account and hugely time-inefficient.

By its very nature, online accounting is accessible anywhere and at any time and adopting cloud-based accounting software allows accountancy firms to drastically reduce, and in some cases negate, these unnecessary outgoings.

Security confidence

Industry attitudes towards cloud-based technology have changed dramatically since last year’s survey, with only 13 per cent responding that they were concerned about security, compared with 27 per cent of those surveyed in 2013.

Encouragingly, a decreasing proportion of respondents now feel that online software offers inferior service provision to more conventional desktop alternatives – a reduction from 23 per cent in 2013 to 14 per cent this year.

This sense that cloud software is able to adequately provide for most companies must surely be credited as a contributing factor in the proclivity for accountants to move their work online and for businesses to demand the service.

Liquid Accounts is the leading online accountancy software provider for UK-based SMEs, Accountancy and Bookkeeping practices. For more information and a free trial, visit www.liquidaccounts.com