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Editor’s Corner: Tech Trends

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Aug 12th 2016
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Deep into the summer months, most firms are (or should be) planning for next tax season, the rest of the year, next year in general and even beyond.

In these discussions, meetings, what have you, invariably technology is going to be part of the deal. These days, it just is. And I’m not talking about necessarily choosing one product over another, but more about what makes sense for the firm and even your clients. So, what’s on trend these days?

Earlier in the year I mapped out what I believe the biggest tech trends will be, and in this late-summer planning time, I’d like to hear from you, the practitioner. What’s working for you, what’s not? What are you looking to add in the next six to 12 months and why? What are you most excited about? What grinds your gears about tech today? This is what we would like to address throughout this month on AccountingWEB.

Ultimately it’s about needs and also what’s available to meet them. So, on the vendor side it’s become all about “the ecosystem.” You know, the third-party add-ons, the integration partnerships. The name of the game is how many options you have as a user and how Well those integrations actually work.

All of these issues have been front and center at the accountant/bookkeeper/small business events throughout this summer and will be at the fall events as well. Next up is Xerocon (watch for article and video coverage next week), the user and partner event hosted by cloud accounting vendor Xero.

Xero’s interesting because they don’t just have one global event (ala Sage, Microsoft, Intuit) bringing together users and partners, but they host several throughout the year. This year, state-side, it’s in their North American home city of San Francisco (as it has been) and it’s next week (or this week, if you don’t read thus until Monday, Aug. 15).

What I’m looking for of course is key integration partnerships that would be of use or interest to accountants, but also what exactly they are offering to accounting professionals(bookkeepers included). What kind of a partner are they? Up until now, that message has not been so loud and clear here. I’m willing to bet that some of you don’t even know who Xero is, or very little anyway beyond what you’ve Googled.

A fairly dominant, or at least well known player among accountants and small businesses in other markets around the world, the U.S. (and North America) has been a bit of a slow go for Xero. That could change, with the right messaging, partnerships and of course well-vetted ecosystem partnerships.

Overall, whether it’s Xero or any other brand names, what you use tomorrow gets down to if it makes sense for you and your clients, if it truly is “better” than what you’ve been using and if it solves problems. This to me is where technology is going; not who has it “better” or “faster,” but what addresses the problems of the day in the easiest to use way, and who can be the most responsive to the needs of tomorrow when they come up.

That’s just my two cents on current technology and trends, what’s yours? Let’s keep the conversation going!

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By mthor
Aug 16th 2016 12:53 EDT

What are your thoughts on Wave Accounting? Do you feel that more accountants beginning to use it in larger organizations as their feature set increases? We just wrote about it (http://www.accounticare.com/top-5-cloud-based-accounting-software-2016/) and have always felt this to be interesting, but lacking in the robust features needed by most companies?

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