13th October, 2021
Understanding how the SaaS model works can accountants and other business advisors make the most of its benefits.
By now, you’re probably familiar with the new generation of accounting platforms, even if you’re not using one yourself just yet. These platforms, such as MYOB Business, exist ‘in the cloud’ rather than on your computer’s hard drive, and users access them via the internet.
Cloud-based platforms are fast taking over in a range of industries. Household-name brands such as Microsoft Office, Dropbox and Photoshop are now all cloud-based. And, although they do different things, these platforms are all set up in the same way.
That’s where SaaS, or Software as a Service, comes in. The term refers to the way these new-generation platforms are distributed to users.
Under the SaaS model, users pay the program’s creator to access the platform for a certain amount of time, typically for a month. SaaS is subscription-based, which means access is extended automatically every month until the user opts out.
The SaaS model has several advantages over what came before. For example, users who want more or fewer features can simply move to a different subscription tier, rather than paying for an entirely new piece of software. But the most significant benefit is how SaaS reduces the amount of tech support the average business requires.
Cloud-based platforms are constantly being tweaked and improved, and the SaaS model means users can always access the most up-to-date version. That means fewer issues with bugs and security. There’s no need to upgrade your hardware or software simply to keep up to date, either.
“SaaS has fundamentally changed the discussions we have with accountants,” said Iain Enticott, director of Technology For Accountants, Australia’s only dedicated IT support provider for accountants.
“We’re no longer talking to accountants about server upgrades or software refreshes.
“Instead, we’re talking to them about how they can optimise their business.”
Enticott says accountants who have moved across to cloud-based platforms under the SaaS model are noticeably less stressed.
“You’re no longer worrying about having to upgrade hardware and software regularly, and the subscription model means you know how much it’s going to cost you over months or years.”
Another key difference between the SaaS model and previous setups is that both accountant and client generally have a subscription. Beforehand, clients would often use non-specialised programs such as Excel to compile financial data.
Now, clients can access the same powerful platform as their accountants, generally for a lower subscription cost because they need fewer features. It doesn’t cost them much more than buying a copy of Excel, and they can cancel at any time.
Once an accountant’s client is subscribed, the benefits for both parties are significant.
“Under the previous model, accountants could only react to data when a client chose to provide it,” said Enticott.
“Now, because client and accountant are both logging in to the same place, accountants can see data updating in real time.
“They can be proactive on behalf of their clients, which is incredibly valuable.”
Find out more about how MYOB Business can help your practice
grow and simplify your customers’ operations. Advisors should look to contact your Sales Specialist to set up a conversation.