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Ben Kepes is a technology evangelist, an investor, a commentator and a business adviser. His business interests include a diverse range of industries from manufacturing to property to technology. As a technology commentator he has a broad presence both in the traditional media and extensively online. Ben covers the convergence of technology, mobile, ubiquity and agility, all enabled by the Cloud. His areas of interest extend to enterprise software, software integration, financial/accounting software, platforms and infrastructure as well as articulating technology simply for everyday users.

More about Ben here.

7 responses to “You Want Nimble? – SaaS Delivers It”

  1. Devan

    Ben,

    With most traditional accounting systems, the change will be done in the system options somewhere, where a tax field or line in a table will have to be updated. That’s it! Jobs done!

    Granted, many users with monolithic system may not know how to find these options etc., but I don’t think a simple change like this is going to require patches to be shipped out?

    Don’t get me wrong, I am all for SaaS, but I think that inadvertent scaremongering like this will do more harm to the movement than good – take the great GST changeover debacle here in Oz – those software companies that were hell bent on sowing fear, uncertainty and doubt amongst the population just made it harder for the rest of us to get on with the job.

    Cheers,
    Devan

  2. Duane Ja

    I don’t get it – why should any major changes be needed just to support a change in VAT rate?

    The bigger problem is the FLat Rate Scheme. The rate is changing mid period and this will be a real b*tch to report on for most software users.

    Users of our SaaS solution – KashFlow – had the solution rolled out this morning – now THAT’s agility in action! : )

  3. Zoli Erdos

    I think this is more an issue of good vs. bad software design than On-premise vs. SaaS. I certainly hope there aren’t accounting packages around with hardcoded tax-rates..

  4. Mark Davies

    Talked to a business advisor this morning who was fretting about his clients and had been emailing them all with instructions to help them manage their accounting software. He didn’t know much about online accounting until we spoke, and was enthralled by the prospect of being able to log on and check that clients have changed their VAT rate setting.

    Companies who are on the Flat Rate Scheme and also use cash-based reporting have a particular challenge because they’ll need to calculate their VAT liability based on a mix invoices that have been paid in the same period but which were raised both before and after the change in VAT rate. Those that were raised before the change must be reported on the old flat rate, the others on the new flat rate.

    There are probably quite a few software packages that will only be able to report based on one rate, not a combination of two. Businesses and accountants will need to do a lot of cross-checking to make sure they report the correct figure to HMRC.

    Users of e-conomic can simply change their VAT rate setting and carry on using the system and rely on the provided VAT reporting to give them all that they need, including the tricky cash-based FRS scheme.

  5. Ben Kepes

    @Devan – true, most systems may not require a patch – but they require user intervention. With SaaS it can all be done centrally and the user doesn’t event need to think about it

    @Zoli – stranger things have happened!

    @Mark – nice – great foresight!

  6. Pearl

    We are running an online survey to ask all our clients, accountant partners and contacts what do they really want to do about the new VAT rate…

    Results will be published Friday 10am GMT on our VAT rate information page.

    Andrew
    Pearl

  7. Ben Kepes

    Pearl – cool – drop me a line with results… or maybe you want to guest post with your findings?

    Flick me an e ben AT cloudave DOT com