The tweet above links to a very good post on the One Accounting blog which neatly encapsulates many of the frustrations to be found working with clients using desktop accounting packages - in this case Sage.
The writer (Chris) laments the 5 hours he had to spend fighting technology just to get to the position where he can start a relatively simple piece of client work. I am sure that his tale is one too many of us can relate to.
The major benefit of online, "cloud" accounting packages is that the accountant and client can work on the same data at the same time - other than remembering the login details, there is no technology barrier to getting the job done.
As Chris says:
One of the biggest advantages of going online is that every single user throughout the world is always using the same version of the software.
No need for the user (or more specifically their accountant) to worry about updates, discs sent in the post, slow download speeds, kicking all of the staff off of the server, or being incapable of pressing the right buttons to install the upgrades.
I wrote in my previous post that firms need to use the lull after the tax return season to imagine new ways to work more efficiently: cutting out the hours here and there wasted on non-productive IT tasks is an easy win.