I've been traveling for the past couple of weeks, speaking at and attending Thomson Reuters and CCH user conferences. The biggest take-away I've gotten from these conferences is that technology is moving ahead at lightning speed these days, and the firms that don't jump in with both feet are likely to be left in the dust (sorry – I'm awash in clichés today). Basically –while we've been chugging along, adopting new technologies here and there, upgrading our software when the venders make us do it, upgrading hardware when we need more speed or when we spill coffee on the keyboard, sticking our toes in the water of tools that let us use less paper, technology has started racing ahead, and the needs of our clients to stay on top of trends are going to drive our need to be in front of the curve.
It's no longer okay to use last year's programs and devices. A new technology movement is taking hold and it's critical to our jobs to know what's going on. If you haven't been keeping up with the latest trends, you need to take a look at the state and national accounting conferences coming your way in 2012 and block out the time in your calendar to attend. At conferences you can talk with your peers and learn how they are adapting their practices to new technologies; you can talk with vendors and see what they have planned for the future, and you can learn more about the technologies you already use to ensure you are getting the most out of your products. My last cliché of the day: This is not your father's accounting world any more.