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Accounting as a service (AaaS) is a business and technology term used to refer to innovative next-generation methods of providing accounting services to a client. Aspects of accounting as a service include the idea of using cloud services to provide accounting services, and the idea that accounting becomes a modular service design, rather than a traditional office-to-office relationship.
To understand the context of accounting as a service, it is necessary to understand the term software as a service (SaaS) as it has evolved. The rise of the cloud enabled all sorts of software as a service options where companies began to offer software through the internet, often on a subscription basis, instead of out of a box with a license key. The cloud computing age changed software delivery forever, and spawned a whole host of similar terms such as platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and identity management as a service (IMaaS).
Accounting as a service also takes into account much of the automation that has changed accounting in the 21st century. Now artificial intelligence tools are being used to automate accounting in many ways. These can be combined with the cloud delivery method to form modern accounting as a service that really does not look much like the traditional services that accounting offices provided to clients just a few years ago.