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Accounting is boring…

Friday, 1 March 2013 | By John Russell

For those of you that think accounting is boring – I don't blame you. I have spent the past five years of my professional career working as one.


From 9-to-5, Monday to Friday, five years later I am professionally no more fulfilled than the day I started. If anything I am less! Crazy what people will do for a new car and an overseas holiday. Still paying both off by the way.


While accounting was an incredibly unfulfilling life journey for me, I can't say that I walked away with nothing. I did learn a lot during my time crunching numbers and reading through tax legislation.


In fact, the greatest lessons I learnt were that I disliked repetition and that I had to do work papers to justify every single dollar in my final accounts.



Hip to be square (above): Being boring can be a point of pride in the accounting industry.


Tim Ferriss would call this working both inefficiently and ineffectively. But I drove my new car to work!


There is a ray of sunshine!


All the while working as an accountant, I developed a keen passion for the web!


I loved websites that allowed me to communicate more effectively and more efficiently. To me, these things made sense, both personally and commercially.


What didn't make sense was that while automation and quick communication was becoming an increasingly common thing in our everyday lives, it seemed that I was continually doing the same thing as an accountant. I finished in the industry using the same program I started with – it hadn't changed much.


What was changing in the accounting profession upon my exit was that the cloud was beginning to take over. Companies like Saasu and Xero (legitimate cloudware) were taking huge market share from the old dogs, MYOB and QuickBooks.


Heck, this cloudware even made accounting somewhat fun if that were even possible.


Why? Because direct bank feeds, character recognition and quick storage of digital receipts brought the whole accounting process into one simple place. No more did you have to back up your file and send it in to your accountant along with a bunch of third party source papers.


Now, it’s all in one place!


What’s best for me?


The benefits that Xero and Saasu have over products like MYOB Live and Intuit (QuickBooks) are that firstly, they are full cloud. MYOB Live is misleading as it doesn’t actually operate in real time – it simply backs up to the cloud.


I personally use Saasu to run my business as a sole trader. Divest IT, the cloud computing specialists that I am currently contracted to, also run Saasu and they operate a seven-figure turnover with between 15-20 staff. So it’s scalable to almost any SME business – however, if you are a listed mining company I’d advise you to stay with SAP for the time being.


The second major benefits of these options are their apps! I have found when implementing Xero as a product in my previous job at the Quill Group that people were more interested in accounting on the run! Something you do sitting at the bus stop or waiting in line for a movie. It really enables you to utilise previously wasted time, so you can spend productive time focusing on the things that really drive your business.


How to get started


This is a very low level look at cloud accounting and, to be honest, I could go on for thousands of words telling you the benefits of each.


However, the best and easiest thing to do is simply trial the tool yourself. It’s so much better to see the programs in real time to figure out what the sticking points really are for you and your business.


Xero’s free 30-day trial can be downloaded here and Saasu’s free 30-day trial can be downloaded here.


These tools are the beginning of the new accounting industry and for once I am extremely excited to see what happens!


Next fortnight I’ll be discussing how best to utilise the cloud at a very high level, including discussions around Full Service Cloud (FSC) and Managed Infrastructure as a Service (MIaaS), both huge opportunities in today’s world where business continuity is crucial.


If you require any help setting up on either tool or have a chat about the best platform for your business, please do not hesitate to contact me on or give me a call on (07) 3040 8083.