Accounting\u2019s ongoing burnout problem\r\nBurnout in accounting is well documented \u2013 notably by caba, the charity for well-being in the ICAEW community. The issue continues to spark debate. And rightly so.\r\n\r\nWorkload (87%), long hours (72%) and the complexity of the work with no room for error (63%) were all cited in a caba study earlier this year.\r\n\r\nBut in our view, the problem runs even deeper than that. Each of those three stress triggers has its roots in something far more fundamental\u2026the tools for the job.\r\nThe straw that broke the accountant\u2019s back\r\nThere\u2019s an old saying: \u201cPeople don\u2019t leave companies; they leave bad bosses.\u201d\r\n\r\nBut how many finance professionals leave their organisation because they can no longer tolerate its insufferably poor accounting software?\r\n\r\nOutdated on-premise and fake cloud accounting platforms can be notoriously frustrating and labour intensive because of their:\r\n\r\n \tinability to provide consolidated accounts \u2013 leading to manual rekeying and spreadsheet workarounds (extra work, longer hours)\r\n \tfailure to provide one version of the truth in real-time \u2013 making it harder to complete complex work with no room for error\r\n \tinability to integrate with more modern, true cloud systems \u2013 resulting in yet more soul-destroying rekeying, fudges and spreadsheet workarounds.\r\n\r\nEndless days of this drudgery will eventually impact on a user\u2019s feeling of self-worth. Continually nursing creaky software through each stressful day eats away at the user\u2019s morale and often in their pride in the job.\r\n\r\nAdd to that the increased pressure that people now face as they try to juggle workplace and homelife commitments. Something has to give.\r\nWhy mid-market organisations feel the most pain\r\nThe mid-market suffers disproportionate pain because this is the segment that\u2019s been overlooked by most accounting software developers.\r\n\r\nSmall firms have credible cloud-based alternatives in the form of Xero or QuickBooks. And at the other end of the scale, the corporate sector can choose between NetSuite, Dynamics and Intacct.\r\n\r\nBut the middle ground remains a huge void. Languishing there are thousands of SMEs and medium-sized nonprofit organisations that have outgrown Xero or feel \u2018stuck\u2019 with their legacy on-premise platform.\r\n\r\nAnd yet these mid-market users continue to struggle along because they aren\u2019t aware that there\u2019s now a real alternative in true cloud accounting software that\u2019s both affordable yet comprehensive.\r\n\r\nIt\u2019s as if they\u2019ve spent so long at the coalface that they haven\u2019t had time to step back and see how much has changed in the world of accounting software.\r\nTransform working lives, improve workplace cultures, boost profits\r\nWe\u2019ve seen the excitement on users\u2019 faces when their old software is replaced by a powerful and intuitive new system. It\u2019s as if a huge weight has been lifted from their shoulders.\r\n\r\nTrue cloud accounting software should pay for itself very quickly. If it doesn\u2019t, it\u2019s likely that the organisation hasn\u2019t chosen the right system for itself. Easier and more efficient processes mean less drudgery \u2013 freeing up accountants to do strategically valuable work that enhances both the business and their self-esteem.\r\n\r\nBut this isn\u2019t just about accounting software. In this day and age, modern organisations require very little, if anything, on internal servers. Finance and IT directors alike recognise the expense and hassle of maintaining an old server when there\u2019s a wealth of proven cloud-based alternatives available to them.\r\n\r\nAn old Chinese proverb\u2026\r\n\r\n\u201cThe best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.\u201d\r\n\r\nWe\u2019re encountering many CFOs and heads of finance who wish they\u2019d migrated their accounting software to the cloud before Covid. They face growing pressure to:\r\n\r\n \taccommodate working from home\r\n \tprovide enhanced reporting\r\n \tconnect their accounting software to other cloud-based solutions.\r\n\r\nMany of these CFOs feel stuck with what they have because they fear the pain and disruption of changing systems. But when it comes to true cloud accounting software, the new \u2018tree\u2019 no longer takes years to grow. Implementing a new platform no longer means months of disruption.\r\n\r\nThat\u2019s because \u2013 unlike many of the complex alternatives \u2013 you no longer have to go back to square one for each implementation. Good mid-market accounting software is no longer a kit of disparate bits that must be painstakingly assembled each time. Now it\u2019s based on a pre-built \u2018rolling chassis\u2019.\r\n\r\nThis has slashed implementation times dramatically \u2013 to an average of just 16 applied days over a time period to suit the user.\r\n\r\nOften, when FDs discover that comprehensive accounting software is now available without punitive costs or unacceptable disruption, they realise that they no longer have to put up with a suboptimal status quo.\r\n\r\nEspecially if it\u2019s contributing to burnout among their best resources.