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. 
Related articles:
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.

You may like these other stories...

Regulatory compliance, risk management and cost-cutting are the big heartburn issues for finance execs in the C-suite. Yet financial planning and analysis—a key antacid—is insufficient.That's just one of the...
Continuing its efforts to simplify accounting procedures, the FASB has issued a proposed Accounting Standards Update on customer fees paid in a cloud computing arrangement. The newly-proposed update (Intangibles—...
How are you planning? What tools do you use (or fail to use) for forecasting? PlanGuru is a business budgeting, forecasting, and performance review software company based in White Plains, N.Y. AccountingWEB recently spoke...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.