The History Of Cloud Accounting

Cloud Accounting has revolutionised the lives of hundreds of thousands of small and not so small business owners.

This is great news because getting time to do accounting and keep it up to date are two of the biggest challenges faced by business owners. For those who have discovered and learned to love cloud accounting, they feel as if it has been around forever. Yet in fact, it is a relatively new kid on the block. In this article, we’ll give you an outline of the history of how cloud accounting has developed over recent years.

The earliest and arguably the first visible step in the development of cloud accounting took place in 1998 with the introduction of NetSuite. NetSuite is reported as being the first web-hosted accounting software system. A company that still exists today, NetSuite and Oracle have partnered to develop a whole host of financial and business management tools that are run from the cloud.

Riding on the back of NetSuite’s success came Microsoft who could see the benefits that this way of working brought. In 2001, they acquired Great Plains, an Application Service Provider and created Microsoft Dynamics GP, which is a global, mid-market business accounting software package.

As you can see and in many ways, not surprisingly, at the start, cloud accounting as a service was reserved for bigger business. However, in 2009, some smaller, more nimble-footed players started to emerge and their solutions were targeted towards smaller businesses. This wave of change meant that cloud computing became more accessible and more affordable than ever before. Early players like Sage and Coda chartered new waters and the whole accounting sector took on a completely different look.

The history of cloud accounting from 2010 onwards was no longer shrouded in mystery or reserved for men in suits in big offices. Accounting suddenly became accessible, achievable and understandable for even the least accounting-minded business owners. At this moment in time, accounting took on a truly human side and was set to make lives a whole lot easier for even the smallest of business owners, changing both how and where they carried out their accounting responsibilities.

Running alongside this development was also the significant rise in the reliance on mobile technology which further served to fuel the growth in this sector. It’s hard to imagine today, but the first iPhone was only released in 2007 and there’s no doubt that its ease of use and popularity helped stimulate the further desire for freedom from our desks and desktops. This and phones such as this, together with tablets and more reliable and readily available Wi-Fi undoubtedly served to spur on the desire to be able to do our accounting on the move and around the clock.

Today it is reported that more than 50% of small to medium sized businesses are using the likes of Xero to keep their accounts in order. So, there is no doubt that the cloud is where most business owners prefer to be when it comes to accounting. Where do you sit?

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