Monday, November 30, 2009

Top 5 Accounting Technology Trends for 2010

With December coming up tomorrow I thought it'd be a good time to start the obligatory "what's going to be big next year" blog. Even better I'm doing a Top 5 list. Here are my predictions for the Top 5 Accounting Technology Trends to watch for in 2010.

1. Twitter - It's amazing how quickly Twitter is growing and I think it's going to keep rocketing upward. Particularly with more of the younger generation latching on and making a name for themselves. Look for more accounting firms to establish a presence in Social Media but by starting out on Twitter and Facebook.

2. The Intuit Marketplace - Look for the role of Quickbooks Advisors to start changing with the advent of the Intuit Marketplace. Advisors will have to become experts in applications that make work more efficient for businesses. I'm still amazed that there's been little hoopla over what's going on with this. Something big is brewing here and expect it to break out in early 2010.

3. Going Mobile - More accounting applications and the increase in use of SmartPhones is going to provide us with Quickbooks Mobile and most everything else we want available on our phones. The world is going mobile especially since software is becoming so scalable and portable. Expect to see your ability to access documents and reports on the fly increase greatly.

4. Portals vs. SaaS - Websites are beginning to change and expect to see this next year. In the past the move has been to pretty up a website and put a portal for clients to sign in and access documents. With the move to SaaS and more online options expect to see accounting websites become more dynamic i.e. embedded Twitter and Blog feeds and less of the static "billboard" style that's been so prevalent. There will be less of a reason to go to an accountant's website unless they're keeping it updated with social media feeds.

5. The Cloud - Expect two things with Cloud Computing next year - one of them is for it to grow because of all of the IT cost savings. The second is for the inevitable backlash. There will be more than one case of lost, stolen, or corrupted data and there will be people sitting around saying "I told you so". I would expect to see both of these things in 2010.

Those are my thoughts on what 2010 will hold for technology for accounting firms.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Home from Sleeter

I thought I would give a quick recap on the Sleeter Conference partly to try to rethink everything I heard. By all accounts Sleeter was a great success! We met a lot of amazing people and had a great time showing off our product. It fired us up a lot for next year's Sleeter Conference and made us realize that we were talking to exactly the right people. As a vendor it's interesting to see what other technologies are out there. It's pretty amazing to see how developers, accountants, bookkeepers et cetera have come together to solve problems encountered everyday. There were a couple "surprises" in areas where I expected more advancement. One thing that was odd to me was that there wasn't a lot in the "out of browser experience" category. We were the only out of browser application at the show. Looking at where other industries have gone with this (ebay Desktop) I say it's safe to say next year's Sleeter show will feature a lot more Rich Internet Applications (RIA). The lack of RIA amazed me so much that we're actually going to have a guest blogger later on to talk to us about what's happening in that realm in other industries.

Next year I think will be a much different story as the Intuit Partner Platform continues to develop and offer applications to the business world. I suspect that over the next few years you'll see a big change in vendors at the Sleeter Conference as more products come out of Intuit's Federated App Platform. Expect to see a few more vendors next year offering applications on the Intuit Marketplace.

The second thing was the lack of iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, and Windows Mobile OS apps. It just doesn't seem like we've fully taken the plunge on going mobile. For vendors it means tons of opportunity but on the other hand it also means there's a lot to learn. I feel that some of the hesitance with going mobile is security fears.

Overall we had a great time. I wanted to say thank you for everyone who stopped by and made our trip down so incredibly worthwhile.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

First Thoughts on Sleeter

I wanted to give some first impressions from the Sleeter Conference for a first time exhibitor. We arrived here on Sunday and found ourselves in sunny Orlando. Monday morning we had a chance to sit down with Alex Barnett from Intuit with the their Partner Platform. It's time to be excited everyone. You're going to be amazed at what developers have up their sleeve right now. We've all been scratching the surface with the possibilities of Quickbooks. Hold on to your seats.

Set-up went extremely well yesterday and the team from Viper was great in helping out. The show opened up and I have to say I've been very impressed with the quality of attendees at Sleeter. Having a chance to chat with people here has been great. The quality of questions and the insightful input from participants has been top notch. It's been great to hear from the attendees. Yesterday was a first pass at running our booth here and already we've all been super impressed with how great of a time we're having. I hope today and tomorrow end up being as productive as yesterday. Based off what we've seen so far though I think it's fair to say it will be.

The vendors as well have been quite impressive. It amazes me to see how accounting technology is changing and how rapidly. It makes me very curious to see what the landscape will look like next year at the same time. Will we see more Cloud based applications and a move away from the desktop? Will we see more vendors with applications sold on the Intuit App Marketplace? What will be the software next year that blows people away?

Thank you to everyone who's stopped by already and if you haven't please feel free to drop by sometime while we're down here.