By Isaac M. O'Bannon
Mobile and Web-based programs, document storage, and knowledge management technologies were among the products honored at the 7th Annual Tax and Accounting Technology Innovation Awards, which were presented June 7 at the California Accounting and Business Show & Conference in Los Angeles.
The awards honor new and emerging technologies that have the potential for a significant positive impact on the profession and in the day-to-day work of tax and accounting professionals.
Winners are selected by The CPA Technology Advisor’s editorial advisory board and awards committee, which include accounting and tax professionals from across the country who are engaged in public practice in firms ranging from sole practitioners to major, multi-office regional practices. The publication, along with its digital content and interactive media, is the leading independent source of technology information for tax professionals and practicing public accountants.
There are no subcategories for the awards, but there are trends that appear each year, according to Executive Editor M. Darren Root, CPA.CITP, who presented the awards in Los Angeles. He is the managing partner of the Bloomington, IN-based accounting firm of Root & Associates, LLC
, and CEO of his technology consultancy RootWorks, LLC
“Over the past decade, dramatic changes in technology have led to great advances in productivity, particularly in terms of redesigning workflow processes within practices and in the continuing movement toward SaaS-model professional programs,” Root said.
The software-as-a-service model has been shown to reduce the IT needs of professional firms, also while offering increased mobility and scalability. Likewise, several new technologies have led to changes in workflow processes, including the initial movement toward a paperless office. Root noted, however, that optimizing how a professional practice performs requires a much broader view.
“Over the past decade or so, we’ve continued on from the paperless movement to a point where workflow optimization is the key, and this includes all aspects of how practices operate, collaborate internally and with clients, and even how they interact with outside partners, vendors, and service provider,” said Root. “It requires a monumental re-thinking of how a practice can function most productively and efficiently, and it is being led by technology and business-savvy professionals who have spent their careers teaching clients and other tax and accounting professionals how to work smarter, more efficiently and more profitably.”