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Survey: Australian SMBs Lead Global Cloud Accounting Adoption

December 10, 2014

The latest bit of research from Xero, an accounting software provider that operates out of New Zealand, shows that Australian small businesses are ahead of their counterparts worldwide when it comes to cloud software adoption. Additionally, the research shows that small businesses still show a hesitance toward cloud software because they are leery of cloud security and accessibility.

According to IT Wire's analysis of the issue – a survey of 1,622 Australian small businesses that market research company Perceptive Research completed on behalf of Xero – the surveyed businesses showed that 14 percent of them managed their accounts in the cloud. That is three percentage points higher than the global rate of 11 percent. Perhaps more revealing is the number of Australian businesses that intent to convert to cloud accounting in the next 12 months: 46 percent compared to the global figure of 39 percent.

Chris Ridd, Xero Australia's managing director, said the survey results showed that Australian businesses are showing their focus on mobility, ease of use, and scalability of their operations. The cloud can provide all of those business features by providing businesses with access to data from any location with an Internet connection.

“The adoption of cloud accounting software is happening at a remarkable rate,” Ridd commented further, “especially here in Australia, with three out of five small businesses set to manage their accounts in the cloud by this time next year.”

The highlight of mobility and ease of access, however, is but the bright side of cloud computing—it also has its dark side. The survey shows that businesses continue to take issue with security above other primary data access concerns. Of those businesses surveyed, 76 percent mentioned security as a limitation to cloud computing; 56 percent noted the risk of failing technology and 50 percent mentioned the possibility of Internet failure as primary concerns.

Xero is reportedly working to educate businesses on the reliability and security of cloud accounting software. Despite the clear amount of concern with security, it appears that there is a global desire to adopt cloud computing if it is proven safe and reliable. TMC (News - Alert)'s Green Technology World reported this past October on the launch of the Xero U Learning Environment, which seeks to educate accounting professionals and small businesses on the benefits of cloud computing.

Edited by Maurice Nagle