Why Your Accountant Isn’t Upgrading To Windows 8 Just Yet

Why Your Accountant Isn’t Upgrading To Windows 8 Just Yet

Whenever a new operating system emerges, there’s an inevitable period where third-party software developers have to upgrade their apps to work with it. That can have unexpected consequences, one of which is that your accountant won’t be able to use a Windows 8 machine to submit your tax documents just yet.

A message sent to accountants and tax agents from the Australian Taxation Office this week notes that Windows 8 systems can’t yet be used for tax purposes, since the Cisco-developed client required for secure transmission via the ATO’s Electronic Lodgement Service (ELS) hasn’t yet been verified for the platform:

ELS enabled software uses the third party software program CISCO VPN client to transmit information securely via ELS. The vendor of CISCO VPN client has not yet certified it will work with the recent release of Windows 8. However, we expect the vendor to certify a product in late November 2012.

This isn’t an unusual situation, and accountants are rarely on the bleeding edge when it comes to system upgrades. When it comes to tax data, I’m guessing most people would choose security over an incessant upgrade cycle.


  • Also, older versions of MYOB (19.5 and lower) don’t work with Windows 8. So, if you use MYOB 19.5 or lower, be prepared to upgrade to MYOB 2011/2012 as well!

  • It depends on what your accountant is lodging but services like GovReports allows you to lodge BAS and other documents via a browser so if your accountant is bleeding edge with applications they use they can also be bleeding edge with tech!
    [Note: I work in the industry but am not affiliated with GovReports]

  • Um… How long has MS8 been in development? MS provide devs plenty of time to cert their products. Not having a client ready by now is poor form Cisco. There is still no 64bit Mac version either!

  • As an Accountant in the Industry ( who prides himself on bleeding edge) It rarely pays to be ahead on OS. Did that on XP and 7 and then waited for 12 months for our software providers to catchup and having to print and scan from others machines just about killed me.

    As a rule Accountants are knuckle dragging idoits when it comes to tech. ( Constantly need to bash business partners on the need to invest in tech )

  • I used to work for a software provider that makes software for accountants to lodge tax returns via. ELS and I can tell you that out of the entire client base there was only one client that liked to keep on the bleeding edge of everything (i.e. Deployed Vista across the entire firm on day 1) and beta tested all the software. the company I worked for makes .

    Most Accountants wait for all the software they need is certified before jumping on board.

    In respect to the Cisco VPN Client required for ELS, ELS is only used for lodging tax returns, not for preparing them, so as long as the tax preparation software used is compatible with Windows 8, they can use another computer/virtual machine/XP mode that is running a compatible operating system just to do the lodgements.

    Aside from that possibility to use Windows 8 anyway, in my professional opinion as an IT Specialist who supports many businesses including accounting practices, you’ve got to be crazy to use Windows 8 because the interface is not productive. There are workarounds and start menu add-ons but the reality is that Windows 7 is going to be supported for a long time to come (January 14, 2020 at the moment, maybe extended further if Windows 7 is a raging success like Windows XP), it works, it’s supported by most software (and if it isn’t by now, that software never will be), and it’s tried and true. If you buy an OEM version of Windows 8 Pro, this includes downgrade rights to load Windows 7 Pro instead. http://www.microsoft.com/oem/en/licensing/sblicensing/pages/downgrade_rights.aspx

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