Software as a service

What is cloud computing and more specific software as a service?

Cloud computing is essentially a model for delivering information technology services in which resources are retrieved from the internet through web-based tools and applications, rather than a direct connection to a server. Data and software packages are stored in servers. Cloud computing structures allow access to information as long as an electronic device has access to the internet.

This type of system allows employees to work remotely. Cloud computing is so named because the information being accessed is found in the ‘clouds’, and does not require a user to be in a specific place to gain access to it. Companies may find that cloud computing allows them to reduce the cost of information management, since they are not required to own their own servers and can use capacity leased from third parties. Additionally, the cloud-like structure allows companies to upgrade software more quickly.

There are various types of cloud computing arrangements. Cloud services usually fall into one of three service models: infrastructure, platform and software. Here the focus is on software as a service (SaaS).

What is SaaS?

SaaS is a software distribution model in which the customer does not take possession of the supplier’s hardware andSoftware as a service application software. Instead, customers accesses the supplier’s hardware and application software from devices over the internet or via a dedicated line. In these types of arrangements, the customer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure, including the network, servers, operating systems, storage, and even individual application software capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application software configuration settings, nor is the customer responsible for upgrades to the underlying systems and software.

The key issues

In practice, it is clear that there are various application issues relating to the customer’s accounting in SaaS arrangements. These arrangements may often be bundled with other products and services, such as implementation, data migration, business process mapping, training, and project management.

Read more

Transfer of control for distinct software licences

Transfer of control for distinct software licences – IFRS 15 provides additional application guidance to help entities determine when control transfers for distinct licences of intellectual property, based on the nature of the promise to the customer. This application guidance is applicable for both perpetual and term software licences.

 

IFRS 15 states that entities provide their customers with either:

Transfer of control for distinct software licences

 

If the licence does not meet all three criteria, the licence is a right to use by default and the entity would recognise revenue at the point in time when the licence is delivered.

The key determinant of whether a licence is a right to access is whether the entity is required to undertake activities that affect the licenced … Read more

Restrictions on transferred assets

Restrictions on transferred assets - Stipulations that limit or direct the purposes for which a transferred asset may be used, but do not specify future benefit