Accounting Influencers Roundtable

Accounting
Influencers
Roundtable

Seamless Solutions: Tech’s Answer to Accounting Efficiency

How are software vendors serving accountants? Insights from influencers Tad Stephens, Tamera Loerzel, Tom Barry, Tom Wheelwright & Tony Stevenson

The Accounting Answers Podcast, hosted by Rob Brown, asks critical questions of the experts, leaders and influencers who shape the decision-making of accountants, CPAs and finance professionals. Today we ask:

What could the tech/software vendors do better to serve accountants?

You’ll hear insightful and passionate answers from these 5 experts and influencers:

Tad Stephens | Founder of CPEthink.com, CPE providers to the accounting world

Tamera Loerzel | Passionate coach and facilitator advocating for change and NextGen leaders

Tom Barry | MP @ GHJ: father, entrepreneur, partner, coach and business advisor.

Tom Wheelwright | Best Selling Author, Entrepreneur & Worldwide Authority on Tax

Tony Stevenson | Reformed Accountant, Cloud Specialist & Accounting Tech Specialist at FreeAgent

Tune into more on this daily show for short, sharp episodes that keep you informed of what’s happening in the accounting world and the whole ecosystem of consultants, organizations, vendors and advisors who serve them.

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Transcript
Rob Brown:

The future of accountant, isn't just about numbers and financial statements. It's about empowering businesses to make informed decisions, navigate complex challenges, achieve their financial goals. And everyone recognized that Kansans are at the heart of this and must become trusted partners with business acumen expertise in data analytics, storytelling, strategic guidance, taking the clients towards success and whatever your role is in this ecosystem, you need to stay ahead of the curve to stay relevant. And that's why this accounting answers podcast was conceived to keep you informed and competitive. I'm your host, Rob brown, and I've interviewed 111 accounting experts, leaders, advisors, vendors, and influencers in the last few months and collected for you the very best and latest thinking on what works and what is coming up. And this week, they show 10 to 15 minutes gets you the low down on what matters today in the rapidly evolving accounting landscape. And the professional is shed in its traditional image of number crunching, embracing a bold new future data technology, strategic guidance, reign Supreme. I've asked the same five questions throughout covering the next generation of accountants. The proactive advice they need to be given the drivers have changed the role of tech and software vendors post the best predictions for the next few years, let's get started and hear what our experts have to say. Holy squeak, Raskin, our accountant experts and influencers. What should the tech industry and accounting software vendors be doing to better serve the needs of accountants? More than any other question? This is elicit. The most emotions technology is playing an increasingly crucial role in the accounting profession. So how is the tech industry meeting the evolving demands of accountants? Let's see what our experts think. Next, we will come to the microphone. Ted Stevens, founder of CPE, think.com, CP providers to the accounting world where his commitment to quality education. Helps professionals stay at the forefront of the accounting field.

Tad Stephens:

Uh, stop trying to do what I call linear sell, people. And that is, here's my widget, buy it. You don't want to buy it? It's the best widget in the world. Please buy it. Oh, you still don't want it? Oh, please buy it now. I mean, that is just, that's straight line. I think somebody else called that straight line selling. I call it linear selling. And it's, if somebody is looking for that widget, That's great. Then they'll make a sale. Everybody be happy. But if they're looking for a solution, which most people are, a solution to a problem that they perceive they have, that's what they're looking to solve. And to this day, software vendors, and a lot of salespeople, really, don't address that. They don't look at that. They don't take a more holistic approach. will that change? I don't know. you know, people are pretty Pretty comfortable where they are if they're making enough money enough whatever to get by so they gotta have a reason to change And I don't know that they have one right now I think both I think the vendors, you know As long as they're making their quotas as long as the you know, the software company is making a profit And they're, you know, they, if they don't see a reason to change, they won't. It's kind of like a spectrum. If you've ever studied psychology, um, and bipolar, it's, it's, I would say the entire accounting software industry is bipolar. And if you're familiar with bipolar, you have euphoria on one end, and you have total chaos and unhappiness on the other end. Well, you're not going to change if you're euphoric. There's no reason to. And so they're doing well enough on that scale. They're on this end of the scale and they're not going to change when they get over here and they're destitute and they going out of business and they're feeling pain, they will move to someplace other and, but they're not here. And so until they get here. I don't see them changing because they're happy enough as they are. Now, competition could change that with software and AI coming on. there could be a lot of other vendors. competition could get a lot heavier. So, they could move over to that non euphoric state. And, that would force some change, I believe.

Rob Brown:

That's the perspective now of Tamara Lowe's L passionate coach and facilitator advocating change. For next gen leaders focusing on developing leadership and strategic skills within the accounting profession for growth and innovation.

Tamera Loerzel:

The tech vendors could integrate and automate more. We need to create capacity. And 1 of the ways to do that is. Automation and integration, the use of AI and figuring out how we can create more efficient processes, reduce a lot of the redundant work, reduce a lot of the time and duplication of work and entry and, you know, systems not speaking to each other. Um, make it usable mobile device ready. It has to be mobile device ready for our next gen to be able to access it anytime, anywhere in each of the different systems that they might need to have access to same for clients. I would say that's another piece of it. How do we make that available to clients? Real time, easy, um, you know, that they can get in there and see their, uh, company information or their personal information at any time. Uh, so that it could just be a non issue and how we serve our clients. And we can focus on the advisory services that we need to be providing for our clients. So 1 of the concerns with that, and I come from a technology software vendor background, and I know the issues with legacy systems that we have and being able to translate the information and have new technology that we're building for our platform forms and our accounting software and all of the other applications that we're using. And so, you know, as a vendor, Okay. We also have to take care of our current clients. We also have to focus on sales. Sometimes, you know, if it's a publicly held company, we have those stakeholders. So there's lots of reasons that it's hard to move off of that. And some of the newer vendors that are starting grounds up with new technology are going to be faster at this. We've seen this already. But one of the things that software vendors could do is more collaboration. I think there's We come from an abundance mindset, and there is more than enough opportunity. If we could figure out how do we speak to each other? What is everybody focusing on? How could we integrate and work together to provide a broader client solution to the accountants and clients by working together?

Rob Brown:

We welcome to the microphone. Now, Tom barring managing partner at G H J father entrepreneur partner, coach business advisor, who combines his diverse roles to lead his family and clients towards achieving their full potential.

Tom Barry:

What can the tech software vendors do better to serve accountants? I think, there is a need. I won't name any of the main vendors that serve the industry, but there is a need to kind of keep up with the times. I think, And, whether it's tax preparation software or, even just time and billing and all these other kind of basic things that we use, as a profession. there's not a lot of innovation going into those. Now, there's a lot of innovation coming, from the outside and how that comes in. And I think it's a little bit of the consumerization, if you will, of technology. I'll give a great example. Once upon a time for like document storage and all the big vendors had their own document management solution and how this, you know, was gonna change things fundamentally. Things like Dropbox or Box or, you know, these things that are being used by everyone really just got adopted into, the workflow or the work, tech stack, if you will, of all the firms, that are using them. So I think if they don't, incorporate. More data availability, more usability by the firms and you know, they're starting to roll in some AI and RPA functionality in these things. But I think most of that innovation is either coming from the firms or some third party vendors. I think that those those tech firms that serve the accounting industry are going to be at a risk of existing because there's just other technologies that are kind of doing an end around on them to provide the value or the services. I should say that the firms need. When I look at, just putting a I again to the side. If I even look at something like Google and you think about the research tools that have been used for decades by firms and service providers. You can go to Google and get a pretty close to good answer without having to subscribe to any type of service. Now, I didn't trust, we still need to use our, our technical knowledge to go into the next layer of research and make sure that we're getting the, validating sources and such. But I think Google is just a great example of how, you know, firms used to have libraries full of research and they don't need that anymore. And I think that is, kind of a, red flag, if you will, how I see all these other. Traditional text services to the, uh, profession are at risk.

Rob Brown:

I'm thrilled to have with us today. The evergreen pioneer of accounting toll wheel ride best-selling author, entrepreneur, worldwide authority on tax known for his ability to simplify complex tax concepts and strategies. For building wealth and saving tax.

Tom Wheelwright:

Stop competing with accountants. I mean, that's really the primary issue is that the tech companies They don't want to work with accounts. They want to replace accountants. So instead, why not work with accounts and say, look, here's some tools that you could use. I mean, think about AI and the amazing power of this. Here's some tools that we have, and you can, deliver reports. You can deliver analysis to your, business owners, right? We don't want it. We don't want to take over. What we want to do is we want to replace all the bad stuff you're doing, all the boring stuff you're doing, make that simple, make that done for you and actually give you the tools to do the more interesting stuff. So that hard work we were talking about doesn't become so difficult.

Rob Brown:

It's time to listen to Tony Stevenson, refund, accountant cloud specialist, and accountant tech specialist at free agent where he applies his accounting expertise. To help firms leverage cloud technologies for growth and efficiency.

Tony Stevenson:

So this one is the one that's quite close to my heart, this topic, because I've sat on both sides of the fence and I find it a really interesting topic for discussion because I feel like the embedded bias in the question is always that it is on the technology and accounting industry to make those changes, to improve things and to facilitate better relationships, partnerships, engagements, you know, professional and profit bearing outcomes between those two parties. my personal belief is, that whilst there are Some vendors out there who could definitely do an improvement in that area and we can all get better, right? I think the big jump is to be made on the buyer side not on the seller side and I think that if the accounting technology industry could do anything for the Profession it would be to help the profession become better buyers I don't think there's much pride in being a good buyer. and I think i've seen it Hundreds if not thousands of times turn up to these conversations, and it's like, right. Okay, we don't know what our pain is. you know, we've come to this conversation because someone recommended it. Or, you know, we saw somebody doing it, somebody else at a trade show, whatever it was, no research on the industry, no understanding of the problem that trying to solve or opportunity that they're trying to exploit. and always the one that really is missing is the okay. So practically, what are going to be the barriers to implementing this? What can I afford? you know, what problem is this trying to solve? And how is that feeding into my overall strategy? So I think that if the vendors could help accountants or encourage accountants to become better prepared for these interactions, both parties would get loads more out of it, which I know is probably an unpopular accounting side. but, turning up and being a good buyer is, you will get. 10x, 100x out of that interaction if you are prepared for it and ready to make the most of it and entering it with a partnership mindset, not a, you know, this is a second class citizen that I'm dealing with here and I can cancel their meetings and I can, you know, I can ghost them if it doesn't quite fit in with what I was expecting because they've opened my eyes to things that I hadn't really given some consideration to. So, I'd love to see better buyers on, average in the industry. and you know, the tech industry can potentially help with that by providing better education and better insight and better stuff up front. So

Microphone (TONOR TC30 Audio Device)-2:

So they have five grand answer to the question. What could the tech and software vendors do better to serve accountants each work in depth that week, Monday through Friday, we give you the insights of five top influencers in the accounting world. On this critical area of the tech providers, software vendors and how they serve accountants. That's 25 valuable perspectives, viewpoints and best thinking every week. And with each fresh week comes a fresh question and more thoughts from the best accounting leaders and influences we can find. Thanks for listening to this brand new accounting answers podcast. And sharing the show with your friends. If you want to join the conversation, you can plug into our community of implementers@accountinginfluencers.com and check out our virtual speed networking events. These happen every few months for the north American region and the UK Europe region. The great opportunities to raise your profile, build valuable connections and share your thoughts with influential peers until next time, this is your host. Rob brown, saying stay informed, stay relevant and stay connected.