Four Pillars of Document Management: Part 1 - Interoperability - Accounting Firm Technologies Working Together

By Brock Philp, President and CEO, Doc.It
Every accounting firm is unique. Regardless of whether a firm chooses to run with its incumbent software or if it has assembled a best-of-breed environment, using an overlay of additional products, services, and technologies to manage work is no longer the exception, it is the norm. How well these products work together is termed "interoperability." 
The degree to which best-of-breed products interoperate impacts workflow and efficiency. An example of an accounting firm using best-of-breed products would be one working with its incumbent tax software (e.g., CCH, Thomson, etc.) while also applying different software for document management, time and billing, and payroll. 
The movement away from operating with only one horizontal product is being discussed throughout the industry. Doug Sleeter speaks about mastering chunkification and the movement of firms away from having only one horizontal product firm-wide. Sleeter also discusses how today's firms are adding software based on selecting the best solution for function and process, and how industry consultants should have command over how these systems interact with each other.
Mike Sabbatis, a thirty-year accounting technology veteran and Doc.It board member, leads a 2013 white paper round table discussion and covers the topic of interoperability. Sabbatis is joined in this conversation by Randy Johnston who discusses the benefits of having systems connect and move key information as a benefit to any accounting firm. Gail Perry, CPA, mentions effective document management systems being the glue that binds all other software systems together, and Darren Root, CPA, CITP, CGMA, states how critical interoperability is when firms employ best-of-breed solutions. 
This movement toward best-of-breed solutions is fueled by accountants' desires to leverage the best collection of powerful solutions for their unique environment. Interoperability at its finest is about providing deep functionality and process integration across all products, services, and technologies.
Pay attention to how best-of-breed solutions interoperate to ensure you are making the best decisions for the firm. 
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About the author:
Brock Philp serves as president and CEO of Doc.It. Doc.It delivers a powerful scalable full suite of document management products to Accounting firms across North America. Brock believes that in order to deliver true value-added products and services, a software firm must have deep industry knowledge in the markets they serve and employ a "customer first culture." He has held the title of president/CEO of a number of software companies, including Jonas Software, Versa Systems, and Irondata Solutions.

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