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Most UK accountancy firms cited availability, reliability and slow broadband as chief impediments

Most UK accountancy firms cited availability, reliability and slow broadband as chief impediments when considering cloud

The UK accountancy sector is slower to adopt cloud services than the wider enterprise world according to a survey released by Thomson Reuters.

The firm surveyed more than 1,300 accountancy companies in the UK and found that only 11 per cent of respondents are already using cloud-based solutions in their practices.

Additionally, just under a quarter of respondents said they were planning to move or would like to shift some or all of their IT services to the cloud in the next twelve months.

“The Cloud forms an important part of the future IT strategy of many UK accountancy firms, according to the results of the survey,” said Andrew Flanagan, managing director, Professional Market for the Tax & Accounting business at Thomson Reuters.

But the survey found that most respondents did not see the need to move away from their existing hosted services, citing that they would see no additional benefit from moving over to the cloud – and just eight per cent said it would mean a big change in the way they currently worked.

Despite the buzz surrounding cloud and the benefits cloud services can offer businesses, 22 per cent of respondents were unable to qualify these benefits. For those that could, the main advantage was the perceived flexibility of cloud services.

“The main reason practices are looking to move to Cloud based solutions is to allow employees to work remotely; for example, from client premises and to enable use of new mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets,” Flanagan said.

“In years to come, it seems inevitable that virtually all software and data will be ‘in the Cloud’, mirroring the move from paper to electronic data – a new way of working that has occurred over the last few decades, but with the increasing pace of technology development it is likely to happen faster,” he said.

The findings suggest that most UK accountancy firms are rather conservative when it comes to shifting to the cloud, and many of the survey’s respondents either cited system availability and reliability (44 per cent) and slow broadband speeds (33 per cent) as chief impediments when considering whether or not to use cloud-based software or infrastructure services.