How to create your firm’s cloud proposition – Problem with cloud, and the big claim

The problem with cloud

I’ve done a lot of research over the last couple of years looking at how cloud has impacted on the relationship accountants have with their clients, and it’s shown up a couple of very clear things.

Firstly, there is wide variety of attitudes and feelings about how and if cloud can be useful-  from the evangelical to the utterly skeptical, and everything in between.

Secondly, software choices tend to come at the start of the process.

And third, is that there is a very broad spectrum when it comes to what firms intend, and how they intend, to integrate into their service mix and roll out to clients.

Overall we can see a trend where we can see firm’s now at least starting to look at cloud software as a part of their offering, not least with the added spur of MTD.

Interestingly, the other trend is that there has been a definite move from trying to understand the motivations and value of cloud (the WHY), to a much more practical phase where firms want to get on with things but aren’t exactly sure what to do next (the HOW).

Given that there is a huge variety of adoption patterns and attitudes, the problem with cloud is that most of the advice out there has been either fairly generic, or too specific! That means that finding the right kind of support, real support, based on the special conditions for a specific firm, has been nearly impossible to track down.

A big claim…

The aim of “How to create your firm’s cloud proposition” is to help any firm in the UK to take stock of where they are, and to understand what their next steps might be, regardless of where they are in their adoption cycle.

A big claim, but I think it does it…

It’s based around straightforward practical tools that provide an unbiased and easy to action approach, and focussed on the 8 key areas that the research identified as creating the most problems:

  • Strategy and gaining consensus
  • Working up the proposition
  • Market research
  • Choosing software
  • Workflows
  • Training
  • Marketing
  • Onboarding

To back this up, it also provides insight and intelligence from UK firms and the major vendors, on the themes raised in each area. This builds a range of perspectives into play that can help inform your thinking, but not dictate your approach.

So, I am indebted to FreeAgent, Intuit, Xero, Alex Falcon Huerta, Karen Reyburn, Alex Tucker and all the contributors who really help to bring to life the challenges and approaches.

At its heart is the importance of each firm having confidence in their approach – one that suits them and their clients – and does not recommend or endorse any specific provider.

Although it’s a comprehensive guide, it is also very much a needs based approach – so there is no need to start at the beginning and work your way through, just dive into the areas that have the most resonance or highlight the challenges you currently have.

Let us know what you think, and if you need any help working through, just drop me a note.


Download “How to create your firm’s cloud proposition” free of charge from

The guide is written by us here at Principle Point, but importantly it is in association with ICAS, who have so impressed with their commitment to putting good quality information and practical resource into the hands of UK accountants. I’m also  thankful for the support of FreeAgent, who’s right-software-for-the-right-client approach fits so well with the central ethos of this work