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Sage taking Simply Accounting to the cloud

The company will be partnering with hosting companies to put the Canadian accounting software in the cloud

LAS VEGAS — Sage’s popular Canadian accounting software line, Simply Accounting, will be moving into the cloud this fall, the company’s senior director of partner programs Jennifer Warawa told CDN during the vendor’s Simply Partnership conference.

“We’ll be offering hosted options for Simply Accounting shortly,” she said, or more specifically, around late October to early November. The company is in the final stages of creating the hosted solution.

Related story: Sage calming fears about Simply rebranding

“Lots of our partners here say I’d like to be able to use Simply Accounting in the cloud,” she said, but not just because the cloud is trendy. It’s more about needing to access the information at any time, from anywhere. The problem is that partners have a hard time deciding who should host it and how.

“We’ve partnered with other businesses because that’s not our core competency,” she said. Sage will partner with four or five hosting companies, but Warawa was unable to give more detail this early.

Currently, remote access solutions are available as third-party add-ons to Simply Accounting. “What we didn’t want to do with Simply Accounting is do what we’ve seen other product lines do — create a cloud-based program with limited functionality,” she said. “People don’t want to lose the functionality.” Instead of a full software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, Simply Accounting’s cloud approach will be to have the desktop product hosted in the cloud.

Warawa wasn’t able to be specific yet as to where the data would be hosted geographically. One partner, Gary Olynik with Oakville, Ont.-based Accounts Plus, expressed concern over where the data might be hosted and the privacy issues that come along with that. “From a Canadian perspective, that’s really a problem,” he said, since it could breach agreements with clients. “Security’s always a big issue,” so Olynik said he thinks it would be best for the data to stay within Canada.

“That’s a misconception actually,” Warawa said. It really only becomes a concern if the Canadian government wanted access to your books and the information was hosted in the U.S., but that typically only happens with illegal activity, she said.

Sage did a lot of research with its own legal team and there aren’t any legal privacy issues with hosting the data outside of Canada, she said.

Sage will be providing more detail on the offering later this fall.

Follow Harmeet Singh on Twitter: @HarmeetCDN.