That certainly is the message of the vendors rolling out products on the Internet. From accounting to practice management software, the message is that applications in the cloud let the publishers provide more functions to smaller businesses. That has been the message from Deltek, which serves architects and engineers and is increasingly having an impact among larger accounting firms. CCH has made the same argument with the SaaS version of its ProSystem fx Document.
And it is a strong theme among the practice management firms such as Office Tools Professional, which has served the market for several years, and Xero, which has just pushed its way into the field.
Although many smaller firms do not use practice management applications, they perform the function somehow, argues Mike Giardina, CEO of OfficePro. And with Intuit lurking in the wings with its online practice management package, firms are soon going to have a much wider variety of software to choose from in this category. The more traditional vendors, such as Thomson Reuters, with its new Practice CS, and CCH with its SaaS offerings, are also in the field.
So the chances are that firms that never considered practice management products will now find something that fits their budgets. These will increasingly link to social media platforms, and the distinction between front office and back office applications is going to erode as most business functions are rolled into one product for running a business.