Home Industry Strategy Accounting Software Rapid shift to cloud services drives MYOB transformation
Tim Reed, CEO MYOB Tim Reed, CEO MYOB Featured

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“We have really crossed the chasm from the desktop to the cloud. The transformation and move to the cloud is complete.” So said Tim Reed, CEO of online accounting software provider MYOB today when announcing a double-digit revenue increase for the 2013 business year to $247 million on the back of a rapid take-up of cloud services.

With revenues for its Australian and New Zealand business growing by 13% in 2013, and an EBITDA of $120.9 million (up 14%)Reed said MYOB had “never had more clients using cloud solutions” than it has now and he expects the rapid take-up of cloud solutions to accelerate this year and beyond.

MYOB now claims a client base of 1.2 million client businesses and over 40,000 accountants and partners across Australia and New Zealand, with a rising number of the clients moving rapidly to the cloud and away from desktop solutions.

According to Reed, 52% of all new product and client registrations last December were for cloud accounting, up from 25% in December 2012. “It is double what it was a year ago and we expect to see the trend continue on a month-to-month basis.”

Two weeks ago MYOB announced it would ramp up its move to cloud accounting services and over the coming weeks and the remainder of this year it will launch what Reed says is a series of “innovative cloud solutions in for businesses and their advisors.”

One of those cloud initiatives, which Reed describes as “MYOB leading the next wave of cloud-based technology” is the company’s PayDirect cloud platform which will allow users to take payments from their clients using EFTPOS or a credit card on their mobile phone.

Reed believes the PayDirect offering will help accelerate and expand MYOB’s cloud services client base. “It’s a compelling case for our clients,” Reed says, pointing out what he sees as client benefits including “managing business on the go’, providing an easy and secure way “to get paid fast” and  allowing SMEs to improve their cashflow.

MYOB will launch a limited release of PayDirect in Australia next month and in New Zealand around the third quarter of this year.

On security in the cloud, Reed told iTWire that “the majority” of clients were now comfortable with the security built into the cloud platform, although a quarter of clients had security on their mind when making a decision on moving to the cloud. Concerns expressed by some clients were whether there could be a loss of data using cloud services or that someone else outside their company might see their data.

Reed says, however, that users of the cloud platform will automatically have their data backed up and copied to the desktop.  “This addresses our client’s primary concerns about security in the cloud.”

On the rapid uptake of the cloud, Reed said: “The evolving needs of small and medium businesses have driven a significant increase in sales of our cloud accounting solutions, which now account for half of all new product registrations. That has grown significantly in the past year, up from 25% one year ago.”

“While we believe cloud technology provides tremendous benefits to SMEs, different businesses have different needs. That is why we pride ourselves on offering a choice of cloud solutions, starting with MYOB Essentials, which is great for those new to accounting software, and MYOB AccountRight, which makes it easy for businesses to move from the desktop to the cloud. We have also invested in innovative mobile solutions, and are confident all our solutions offer better value than alternatives.

“I believe it is this combination of making it easy, enabling on-the-go business and delivering better value that has led to such a rapid adoption of our online accounting solutions by existing clients.”

Reed says MYOB’s  strong full-year result in 2013 was driven by the company’s “strength across all accounting platforms and client groups coupled with a healthy contribution from the BankLink business acquired in mid-2013.”

Reed also says the company is investing heavily in Research & Development, particularly in the on-going development of cloud services. R&D investment in 2013 totalled $36m, up 20% on 2012.

“It’s been a tremendous year (2013) and the transformation and move to the cloud is now complete,” Reed re-emphasises.

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Peter Dinham

 

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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