Today cloud accounting offers businesses of all sizes the chance to save time and money, thanks to an online based method of data processing. But where did it all begin? In this blog, we take a look at where cloud accounting came from.
New Zealand software provider Xero can lay claim to having been the first, bonafide, cloud accounting solution. This was a package which was never sold as a desktop version, and has always been on the cloud. It was first launched in 2006, since when it has moved into the Australian and UK markets. The first web-hosted accounting solution goes back much further – all the way to 1998, to NetSuite. NetSuite can be said to have been a forefather to the cloud accounting solutions which we see today.
Since 2006, we have seen many of the cloud accounting solutions on the market add a growing number of features which each edition. These are, of course, tailored for each jurisdiction in which a cloud accounting solution is marketed. Third party add-ons have also increased over time, allowing specific requirements to be addressed.
A competitive marketplace
Since the pioneering days of Xero, a number of cloud accounting software providers have come to the fore, including market leaders such as Quickbooks and Sage, as well as a long list of start-ups which offer their own specialities to the packages on offer.
While cloud accounting’s early days could have been seen as shrouded in mystery by the average small business. From around 2010, the tangible business benefits of cloud accounting came to be realised increasingly. The industry took on a more approachable, ‘human’ face, and cloud accounting services have never been more accessible than they are in 2019. Cloud accounting has grown side by side with the use of smartphones and tablets, as apps have made accounting on the move all the more easy for businesses small and large.
That is a brief history of cloud accounting, which has come such a long way since the embryonic days of NetSuite! There has never been a better time to benefit from the value and convenience of cloud accounting.