Accounting software market still to touch large chunk of SME sector

Resellers specialising in selling accountancy software wondering what size of the market is still doing their accounts manually are looking at a significant number of untapped customers. According to research from Formscan nearly half of British companies are still doing the accounts payable and re



Resellers specialising in selling accountancy software wondering what size of the market is still doing their accounts manually are looking at a significant number of untapped customers.

According to research from Formscan nearly half of British companies are still doing the accounts payable and receivable by hand and as a result are missing out on some of the savings in both time and money that automation could deliver.

In the past few years the focus of the accounting software market has to not only improve the functionality of the products but to chip away at the customer base that is still bean counting with abacuses.

The Formscan survey revealed that 48% of companies, particularly SMEs, were still not taking advantage of technology to speed up processes in the accounts department.

Chris Haden, managing director of Formscan, said automation could improve efficiency and deliver cost savings as well as improving the business intelligence the accountants could share with the other parts of the business.

"Technology-based services and solutions...can transform accounts payable and accounts receivable from being merely a cost burden, to being a source of management information that contributes to business strategy and competitive advantage," he said.

But he warned that just switching from manual processes to automated was not a "silver bullet" and because of the size of the challenge would take time to happen.

"With 90% of invoicing still performed through paper documents, hybrid solutions are also needed to manage the transition from paper to electronic documents over the coming decades," he said.

In a recent review of the accounting software market in MicroScope across the industry the effects of the recession were being thrown off and vendors were looking optimistically on 2010 and ahead.

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