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Can accounting really be fun? I know most of you think that’s a strange question. However, Dennis Howlett, who used to blogs regularly on accounting topics, once posted an article headed “Accounting is Fun.” I have posted extracts from his article below.

Since I have started using online accounting, I have had clients telling me it is so much better. They feel comfortable using the system. One client said that with his previous accounting software, he always felt that what he was looking at was history, with online accounting software the information feels relevant and useful. So I was interested to see that when Dennis Howlett took time out to meet with users of online accounting software that he got similar feedback.

And I don’t expect people to find accounting fun. I do want them to find it easy, relevant and very useful.

“Accounting is Fun by Dennis Howlett on June 17, 2011

In case you think I have had a moment of madness let me explain: those were the words I heard from users of SaaS/cloud accounting solutions this week. Not one outlier but several. They explained why the new breed of apps is making their lives easier and why what was once a chore is now (almost) a pleasure. That’s a world apart from how things used to be.

Back in the day it would have been great if we could have gotten all clients onto a computerised system. The problem is that we all knew they were designed for accountants. Expecting a business person without years of book-keeping training to understand the ins and outs of a Sage, TAS Books, QuickBooks was not just a thankless task, it was asking for trouble. That perception carries through to today.

However, what the new breed of SaaS/cloud accounting apps are demonstrating – at ALL levels – is that business gets better control (often cited as improved DSO) and has a single view of information in which it has faith. In the process, business is finding that it is worth spending time with their professional accountants because they know that both are looking at the same data, can work together solving problems and can extend the trust relationship that business considers critical in the accountant/client relationship.

I heard many cases where the business user was saying they look at their accounting solution 8-10 times PER DAY as their way of managing the business. That’s extraordinary.”

I would welcome any feedback from users of online software. As always, you can send me an email to