As part of the deluge of developments being unleashed at Sage Summit US in Atlanta this week, one of the most intriguing is the ambiguously titled “Accountant Cloud.”
If nothing else, it underlines the stated aim of leading innovation – in particular using the cloud – that CEO Stephen Kelly emphasized in the opening session.
Whether it’s a true game-changer is yet to be seen. The broad idea is to provide a single unified environment giving instant access to just about everything, from client accounts and payroll to internal practice cash flow and CRM.
Most significantly, Accountant Cloud is vendor neutral. The client list at the heart of the system will include all clients, whether they are using Sage or not.
The offering signals, or seems to, that Sage is putting accountants into consideration when it comes to actual product offerings and not just another “network” or “program” – an underlying cause of some of the criticism they’ve faced in recent years.
What’s also interesting is that, unlike many previous Sage launches, said Jairam Padmanabhan, Sage’s vice president of product marketing, accountants took great pains not simply to explain the product, but to present Accountant Cloud in the much wider context of how and why, and it may change the way that accountants run their firms.
If you are wondering if this product seems familiar to the previously announced Sage Impact, you would not be entirely wrong. Sage Impact was launched back in 2015 and touted as an online hub for accountants to house all of their cloud applications. Specifically, at the time, the product was developed by Sage and practicing accountants with the idea of having all core products they regularly use, regardless of whether they are Sage-branded or not, to reside in one cloud-based location rather than in multiple products and services with multiple logins.
In fact, in a Q&A session, a press member had directly asked if this was like Sage Impact, to which Padmanabhan admitted that “it was an evolution of Impact,” adding “we’re not mentioning Impact ever again.”
Accountants Cloud is currently in beta and Sage are looking for accountants to take part.
About Andy North
Andy has been part of AccountingWEB since 2001 - initially running the UK operation until he moved to the US in 2015 to take over AccountingWEB.com.
Currently residing in Boston, Massachusetts, Andy takes an active interest in how the accounting practice world is changing and evolving on both sides of the Atlantic, and regularly consults with vendors to help them build engagement with the profession.