Web-based software could change the outlook of your business

QuickBooks Online, Intuit’s online version of its small business accounting software, celebrates an entire decade in business this year; and besides its longevity, the company also has some astonishing accomplishments to boot, especially for a web-based software program.

QuickBooks Online infographic

Since QuickBooks launched its online version of the software in 2000, its clients have passed $5 trillion of revenue through QuickBooks Online, logged $1.3 trillion in expenses and processed 155 million invoices – and that’s all been done on web browsers. The business – successfully modeling a growing trend in the technology world known as Software as a Service (SaaS) – is another example of how the business world is rapidly changing to be more mobile, scalable and convenient.

Several months ago I posted a blog post outlining how SaaS works and why so many businesses are jumping on board for this type of product. Today I want to look at why it’s also going to be a feasible product for those in the oil and gas accounting industry in the near future.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned about our clients in the oil and gas industry from working at SherWare, it’s that you’re rarely in your office at predictable times – and for good reason. I doubt many of you in the oil and gas industry would claim to have an “office job” like I currently hold.

Your work is something much more tangible than e-mails, phone conversations and typing on computers all day. You see your work in action every day. It’s quantified by barrels, rigs, pipes, workers, times logged, daytime hours left and payroll checks to sign. It may some days be a 9 to 5 job, but it’s certainly not a job where each day is the same and you can always count on an hour lunch break at noon.

Many of you contact us for support while you’re on the road from a job, between meetings or after our office hours because you work your oil and gas business at night after your leave your office job.

For that reason, it’s not always realistic and convenient to have to deal with your finances and accounting for your ever-changing business when you can sit down at your computer and enter a month’s worth of backlogged invoices.

SaaS changes that. It allows you to access your financials, distributions, division of interest orders and leases from wherever you are. It allows you to change division orders when you remember to, not when you’re sitting down processing a distribution and realize you never made the change in the first place.

SaaS also changes how people interact with software. Instead of dealing with the frustration that often accompanies having to install software on a single computer, network or entire office suite, you simple login to a web site and begin entering data. No more messing with drive locations, which folder you should install into and what directories and data paths actually mean.

You can also forget about data surges, power failures and hard drive crashes. If you no longer have to install and store all of your data on your own computer, its’ always safe on our servers, and a backup of your data will always be available.

For those of you looking at the bottom line, and yes, I’m talking to all you accountants types out there, it means less startup and installation time, more productivity when you need to use your oil and gas accounting software and more time for you to deal with all the other aspects of your business and life that are more important.

A SaaS version of our oil and gas accounting products is an option we’re looking to implement in the future. How it would work for you, if a smart phone compatible version is needed, and what additional features you’d like to see added to the software in this type of version is what we still need to discuss with all of you – our future users.

How do you see it working for your business and how can it be an asset in the future? Leave me a comment or send me a message at [email protected]

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