In 1985 Ronald Reagan spoke to the New York Stock Exchange and famously said that his government would “Turn the Bull loose”. By this he meant that the businesses of America had tremendous potential and - given the right environment - would stampede and realise their potential. Whereas the corporations of America were held back in the 1970s by regulation and taxation so the small businesses today are being held back by out-of-date processes and systems. Intuit, with their commitment to QuickBooks Online, have done their bit to “Turn the bull loose”.
Small businesses have been rapid adopters of new technology over the past 10 years. Online stores, mobile apps, digital marketing, etc. There are few parts of a typical small business that have not been improved by new technology but one part that has not changed has been the accounting software.
Cloud accounting can help you run your business
Today the 40m small businesses of America are an economic powerhouse but the vast majority are still using spreadsheets or desktop software for their accounting. They are missing out. Cloud accounting matters because it give a small business three clear benefits:
* Saves time
Cloud accounting comes with bank feeds. Your bank statements flow straight into your software. No more CSVs, no more scoring through paper or PDF statements, no more uploads and downloads. Cloud accounting software will save you valuable time.
* Makes the books accessible
Cloud accounting is available online 24/7 to both you and your bookkeeper or accountant. No more local files, no more sending files by email or Dropbox. Your books are available to you whenever you want, wherever you want and on whatever device you want.
* Connect the accounts to the rest of the business
Cloud accounting allows you to plug in other applications to your accounts. A point-of-sale system, an expenses system, a reporting system to see your financial data alongside your Google/Yelp/Etsy data, etc. Cloud accounting makes your financial data part of your business rather than something that is reviewed at the end of the month.
* The Innovator’s Dilemma
Around the world the leading accounting software vendors have been slow to help their clients move from their existing software to the cloud. In technology terms this is known as the Innovator’s Dilemma. The Innovator’s Dilemma states that companies will be biased to serving the needs their clients have today at the risk of missing the needs they will have tomorrow. It is the innovator’s dilemma that explains the failure of Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders and so many other familiar companies. But Intuit have beaten the innovator's dilemma.
Intuit have not just created a cloud product - QuickBooks Online (QBO) - but they have also challenged their client base to move to the cloud. Many companies would have been complacent and continued to promote their existing, older products. Intuit deserves immense credit for recognising that the cloud is the future of accounting and helping their clients to migrate online. This strategy is clearly succeeding and last month Intuit announced that 1m small businesses are now using QBO. This makes QBO the world’s most popular cloud accounting product!
Intuit’s success in helping the small businesses of America to move online means that we that bit closer to seeing the bull run loose.