Cloud Accounting Adoption vs. Cloud CRM Adoption

In the early days of cloud CRM, beyond the innovators and early adopters, there was more than than a reluctance to consider the cloud — there was an outright distrust of the cloud.

If we put all our valuable CRM data in the cloud, what happens if the service goes down? What if we get hacked and our data is stolen? What will happen if the cloud CRM vendor goes out of business?

The resistance to a move to the cloud mainly came from within. Many executives and managers feared being dependent on third party providers for the security and accessibility of their CRM data.

Over the first decade of this century, adoption of cloud CRM gradually crept along the technology adoption curve. Today, cloud CRM is the majority case.


However, cloud accounting has seen a much slower movement along its adoption curve. Here are some of the reasons.

1. A long standing, dominant accounting vendor

Quickbooks [desktop] had been the de facto accounting standard for businesses for many years. It still has a dominant position, based on the following grid from G2 Crowd (note that this is a living chart and may be different the next time you view it). Early cloud CRM vendors did not have an equivalent dominant player to content with.


2. Accounting data is mission-critical

For many companies, a temporary disruption in cloud CRM service would be problematic, but it would not spell disaster. For most companies, any level of disruption to a cloud accounting system could be an immediate threat to profitability.

3. CPAs and chartered accountants have a vested interest in the status quo

Accountants are understandably reluctant to have to learn and support multiple systems. Several years ago, I got an extremely negative reaction from our then accountant at the mere mention of the possibility of moving to a cloud accounting system. Cloud CRM never had an equivalent cautionary third party voice.

4. CRM usually follows a looser set of rules than accounting systems

Cloud CRM vendors can release a minimum viable product and gradually iterate. Cloud accounting vendors need to have a much higher standard of functionality out of the gate and there’s little margin for error. The industry leader’s cloud offering is not exactly getting rave reviews from “the crowd” due to a number of deficiencies.

While vendors such as Xero, Freshbooks, Intacct and even Zoho are making significant inroads, the cloud accounting category is still in the midst of a relatively slow journey along the technology adoption lifecycle. Where is your organization on the adoption curve?

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