The installation process for most of these competitive products is straightforward. The sales tax calculation field simply calls the SaaS product as if it was looking up tax from a manually created table. The items, amounts, delivery points and other information needed for accurate calculation are passed to the cloud data center, and calculations are completed and returned, usually in just a fraction of a second. With governmental units quite cognizant of their need for revenue, sales and use tax enforcement is at an all-time high. The Streamlined Sales Tax Governing Board, Inc. certification organization certifies products for compliance. If a product is used that is SSTP compliant, the clients are exempt from audits. The time savings of audit avoidance may be worth the money by itself. See page ?? or visit www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com/XXXXXXXX for a review sales & use tax products.
Budgeting, Forecasting & Other Business Intelligence
A painful process for many organizations is the creation and maintenance of budgets. This is often done in Excel, because it is a simple, available tool, but rarely is using Excel the best approach. Vendors like Adaptive Planning and Alight have tools that are completely SaaS based and integrate into accounting products to provide comparative information.
More software providers are looking at the SaaS model as a way to provide complex information with minimal effort of implementation. Practice management applications from CCH, Thomson, Staff Trak, Biznet Software and Biz Tools are examples of powerful reporting tools that can be deployed using SaaS methodologies.
Last, But Not Least
It has been a clear initiative of the AICPA’s CPA2Biz unit for the last 10 years to locate and endorse SaaS products that help accountants. XCM, Copanion, Confirmation, Paychex, Bill.com, Intacct, and Apptix are in this mix today. AICPA members can get discounts on these products.
Accounting software companies continue to expand their offerings. Available today are Sage BillingBoss, FreshBooks, QuickBooks Online, SAP Business by Design, Force.com, and NetSuite … to name a few. AccountantsWorld has been the market leader in firm interactive accounting for over a decade. A new entry to the U.S. market that is worthy of your review is an entry-level accounting product called Xero that is designed to be completely SaaS and interactive with banks, accountants and the end user. It seems that SaaS and the cloud is gaining momentum and getting stronger every day.