If you want to ditch desktop accounting software, there are lots of cloud-based options to choose from. But two packages appear to be completely dominating the Australian market: Xero and MYOB.
Accountants picture from Shutterstock
A survey of 300 accountants and 200 small businesses in Australia commissioned by Wolters Kluwer, CCH and conducted by CapioIT found that 69 per cent of the accountants were using cloud software, though just 27 per cent of the small businesses were. Within the cloud-loving accountant group, 98 per cent were using at least one of Xero or MYOB. "The dominance of these two brands is incredibly strong," CapioIT CEO Phil Hassey said.
Does that mean that the other local competitors (including QuickBooks, Reckon and Saasu) are screwed? Not necessarily. The other evident trend in the survey was that many accountants are using multiple cloud accounting packages, based on the choices of their clients. The days where someone would say "I'm using the same software as my accountant to keep things simple" appear to be largely over.
"Historically there was a trend to say as an accountant 'I can just use one package and my clients will follow'," Daniel Wyner, head of strategy, mergers and acquisitions at Wolters Kluwer, CCH told Lifehacker. "There has been a power shift. The power is not with the accountant any more. The accountant doesn't make the decision." Dealing with those separate apps also requires practice management tools, which won't necessarily be one of the general cloud platforms (CCH's own iFirm package is used by many practices, for instance).