Thinking of Moving to the Cloud? What you Need to Know.
The Cloud Revolution comes to Sydney
If you have been following our LinkedIn page, you might have seen an announcement we were tagged in from a company called Greatsoft, which announced the successful migration of our practice systems from desktop solutions to the Cloud. This announcement was the culmination of 15 months of planning and work to build our “tech stack”, (standby for technology buzz words!), along with a significant amount of data cleanup so that the data we were converting was in a logical and consistent format. So, what have we learned from this process?
“The Connected Practice – knowing what you need”
Over the past few years’ we have been bombarded with articles written by self-appointed “Futurists” talking about “Building a Connected Practice” or “Technology Stacks” or “Creating a Source of Trust”. Frankly, while initially interesting, the industry this appears to have spawned is now a source of annoyance with all sorts of sales people now marketing themselves as “experts” to accounting firms. Most of them are not. So, when we sat down to plan our move to the Cloud, we decided to speak directly to the software providers themselves. Accountants, being both eminently practical on one hand and with a focus on cost and efficiency on the other, are in a great position to know what they need, and to then articulate the criteria that software needs to be assessed against. Knowing what you need means that you have a clear idea about what you want to achieve at the end of your journey to the Cloud.
The Devil in the Details
As part of our software selection process, we thoroughly reviewed the fine print of the terms and conditions of each vendor. To say there was a vast difference between vendors and their terms is to understate what we found! Some of the contract terms we found would be legally not enforceable, while others stated a proper place of law outside of Australia. More concerning, some did not warrant they complied with the minimum standards in the Australian Privacy Act and sought to disclaim any requirement to notify of a data breach. Therefore, if you are moving to the Cloud, a rigorous review of the legal terms of the software is necessary.
Your employees have a mix of ages, backgrounds and experiences, all of which are valuable when selecting a new input. At ECOVIS Clark Jacobs we formed our employees into teams and gave them roles in assessing our software. In this way, we had “Knowledge Champions” who were different for each piece of software we rolled out. This increased collaboration amongst our staff after conversion, and meant that we had buy in from staff regarding our new software goals from a very early stage in the process, meaning we faced less resistance to change.
Be Prepared to Adapt your Thinking
Finally, be prepared to adapt your thinking and quickly substitute what works for what does not. You will absolutely make a wrong selection or have something go wrong when changing to the Cloud, so be prepared for that and have sufficient time allocated to recover from it. More importantly, if the software doesn’t work in the way you want, be prepared with an alternative and don’t hesitate to go that way. Don’t try to put a square peg in a round hole with your new software, just be prepared to move on as quickly as possible with your Plan B.
ECOVIS Tajikistan was founded in January 2005 as Asian Business Group LLC. Since April 2011 they represented BDO International in their country. In November 2020 the firm signed membership agreement with ECOVIS International. The Firm’s focus lies on audit and assurance and non-assurance services. However, they can also assist international clients with accounting and tax services. Three partners lead a team of 13 staff members. The main partners are Firuz Bulbulov and Bakhtiyor Saloev.
The Senior Partner of Ecovis Tajikistan Mr. Bakhtiyor Saloev comments following on joining Ecovis International: “We are glad to join ECOVIS International. We are committed to building close, long-lasting and effective relationships with our clients by providing first-rate services on an ongoing basis. We strive to be recognised as consultants who are truly trustworthy. Our company is structured in such a manner that our clients can always turn to senior professionals and partners. Thanks to our combination of national and international experience and expertise, we understand the needs of businesses in each country and are aware of international trends, ensuring the provision of effective and practical advice”.
We warmly welcome our new colleagues from Tajikistan to the Ecovis family!
New Government Measures Against COVID-19 and its Consequences in Greece
On Saturday 7 November 2020, the Greek Government announced a three-week national lockdown after a sharp increase in the COVID-19 infection rate. Employment and tax measures have been implemented to cushion the financial impact on companies.
Financial support of EUR 3.3 billion will be provided to workers and businesses affected by the special measures, which will see non-essential retail, dining, and entertainment closed and restrictions placed on citizens’ movements.
Compulsory teleworking has been introduced for 50% of personnel.
Employees’ working schedules should be adapted and reformulated to avoid overcrowding in the workplace.
Employees of affected businesses may be suspended by their employers and receive state monetary aid, while their social security contributions will be totally covered by the state. The aid will amount to EUR 800 for those in employment up to 4 November 2020 and suspended for the month of November.
We support you in correctly implementing the government measures and tax relief during the lockdown. Dimitrios Leventakis, Managing Director, ECOVIS HELLAS L.T.D., Athens, Greece
Tax and Other Measures
Suspension of VAT payment for November, or payment of due debts in 12 instalments with zero interest.
Suspension of tax and social security contribution payment instalments for the month of November for the businesses suspended by state.
Expansion of the Returnable Deposit Scheme, a collateral fund for small and medium-sized enterprises.
Suspension of cheque payments.
Reduction of rent up to 40% for affected businesses and for private tenants whose employment contracts have been suspended. In return, property owners who lease their properties are entitled to receive half of their rent loss immediately from the state.
How much money small and medium-sized companies affected by the corona pandemic will receive from the state
A) Businesses suspended by the state, regardless of their turnover, will receive a minimum of EUR 2,000 economic support.
B) For businesses seriously affected by the spread of COVID-19 based on their Activity Code number as of 5 November 2020 which fulfil the criteria prescribed in Ministerial Decision nos.GDOY (ΓΔΟΥ) 281/2020 and GDOY (ΓΔΟΥ) 282/2020 and with a decrease in turnover of 20% in relation to the reference turnover, which should amount to more than EUR 300, the minimum economic support they will receive will amount to:
B.1. EUR 2,000 for businesses with no employees under contract on 1 September 2020.
B.2. EUR 4,000 for businesses with 1 to 5 employees under contract on 1 September 2020.
B.3. EUR 8,000 for businesses with 6 to 20 employees under contract on 1 September 2020.
B.4. EUR 15,000 for businesses with 21 to 50 employees under contract on 1 September 2020.
B.5. EUR 30,000 for businesses with at least 51 employees under contract on 1 September 2020.
B.6. For businesses not covered by any of the above, the minimum economic support they will receive will amount to EUR 1,000.
For businesses suspended by the state and businesses seriously affected by the coronavirus pandemic, 50% of the returnable deposit will be seen as a government subsidy and must not be returned to the state.