Accounting Influencers Roundtable

Accounting
Influencers
Roundtable

Innovation Infusion: Accounting Software’s New Era

How are software vendors serving accountants? Insights from influencers Amy Horner, Amy Vetter, Andrew Argue, Anne-Kathrin Steinröder & Apoorv Dwivedi

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:

Amy Horner | Change Enthusiast, Business Strategy Consultant, Keynote Speaker, and Podcast Host

Amy Vetter | CPA, speaker, yogi and CEO of the B3 Method Institute

Andrew Argue | Founder of Instead.com and Corvee.com for smarter tax decisions

Anne-Kathrin Steinröder | Head of the ETL GLOBAL Network of accounting firms

Apoorv Dwivedi | Founder of Fixyr Marketing, strategic marketing advisor for accounting firms

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. Today, we're again, asking people who care about accounting. A simple question. What role do the tech providers and software vendors play in the evolution of the industry? Technology's playing an increasingly crucial role in the accounting profession. And the consensus is the tech industry needs to step up to meet the evolving demands of accountants, but how exactly. Listening as another five of our 111 influencers and experts share their wisdom and their best insights. Let's hear from Amy Horner, a change enthusiastic business strategy consultant, keynote speaker, and podcast host who brings innovative ideas and strategies to businesses. Looking to thrive in changing markets. It's very similar to how accountants can do better to serve business leaders.

Amy Horner:

It's the strategy, the solution, and the offering or repurposing of time while mitigating risk. Instead of saying, here's our off the shelf solution, just plug it in and everything will be fine, because that is Nothing could be further from the truth. I have never seen anybody plug in a new application and it be seamless and easy and wonderful and everyone's throwing their arms around it and, you know, confetti cannons. It is tough. I spoke not too long ago, to a group with a large public accounting firm and, and helping them understand when they walk into the client's office, they're not necessarily seen as a solution, right? They're seen as an expense. Or something we need to do or something that's going to take a lot of time and so very much the same is saying I'm here as a solution. I want to understand your business. I want to understand your challenges, right? That's consultative selling at its finest understand what's going on. And here's how I can help you, versus here's how we're going to have to do a key change and remap your entire GL that, I mean, that's not a good time. Have you ever done that? Have you ever remapped a GL? I've done it once. I will never do it again.

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Um, next is Amy Vetter. CPA speaker Yogi and CEO of the B3 method into, to blend in her expertise in accounting. With mindfulness practices to promote balanced leadership and wellbeing in a professional world.

Amy Vetter:

My opinion on how the tech vendors can do better to serve accountants is that they better understand. The day in the life of an account that they don't call accountants heroes. No accountant is going to work every day to be a hero. So over and over that has been marketing speak and tech companies for as long as I can remember that you truly walk in their shoes and understand why they love this profession. So a lot of times. You know, the value proposition for many tech vendors is that this will take away this work for you or you don't have to do that drudgery anymore. And the problem is accountants like that, like accountants that truly love the work that they do. Like the work that they do. So just like in a diversity sense, if you are going to work in a profession and serve that profession, it's important to understand the mindset of that profession and where they get joy out of the work that they do. In all my years in the tech industry, being inside tech companies, as well as outside of tech companies, what I have seen is as a tech company grows, they get further and further away from innovation and taking risks. And start moving into safety. And that is what deters someone from wanting to work with that company anymore when they get too large and they're not coming up with the big ideas anymore. They're not coming up with the innovation anymore. That it starts looking antiquated when at one time you joined that software because it was the newest thing. So, my advice to tech companies is to never lose that passion of why you started in the first place. What actually drives you? What's your purpose? To make sure that you are constantly innovating and you keep that startup mindset, even if you get very large and very successful.

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Joining the conversation now is Andrew argue the founder of instead.com and coffee.com dedicated to helping businesses and individuals make smarter tax decisions through innovative software solutions..

Andrew Argue:

I think right now there's like a lot of different tools out there that people use and they're taking. AI and they're bolting it on as like co pilots and chats and so forth. I think a lot of these companies though, probably if they were to rebuild their product from the ground up and make AI, not an add on to what they currently do, but make it the core of the product, I think you're going to see a better experience. Like, what does it look like when AI is the core of the general ledger? Or what does it look like when the AI is the core of the tax preparation and compliance and advisory process or the core of an audit? And I think the companies that, even if they are a big company, if they decide to kind of, rebuild their product. From the ground up with that at the center, I think are going to have a much stronger position and much better value profit for the firms. think it's hard to say because, like I said, people still use. 10 keys with receipts on them. So it's, hard to say there's, there's a lot of things today that were built in the seventies and the eighties. So I think that things will linger on a lot longer than people think. so it's, hard to make some, like a doomsday prediction that it'll be all doom and gloom for them or like in the short term. But I do just think it's sort of managed decline. if they don't make that adaptation, sort of a secular managed decline versus. Innovation in the future and I do think eventually the tides will turn and they'll feel pain, but it could take a while because a lot of businesses are very comfortable where they're at, and individuals are comfortable where they're at, and the firms are very comfortable with stuff they're with. And so it probably will take longer than people think. The technology will be much, you know, will be much better if they switch, but I think there'll be, there'll be stubborn groups of people there for a while. It'll keep those companies afloat.

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And now insights from I'm Katherine Stein, Rhoda headed the ETL global network of accounting firms, where she spearheads initiatives to foster collaboration and innovation across the global accounting landscape.

Ann-Kathrin Steinroder:

I think that's a two directions thing. It's not only that, software vendors can do better to serve accountants, but it's also the accountants who have to do something for it because there's always a language barrier. So both. Both sides need to understand each other. So, usually software developers and tech vendors don't really understand what accountants are doing. And the other way around accountants don't understand what software developers are doing and what they need to know to develop the perfect, well systems for them. So in that sense, both. sides need to be open or more open to understand each other and, and work together on, well, the perfect solution. And I think it's the same thing everywhere, even in my whole household appliances at home. If I look at my coffee machine, you always wonder like, okay, what did the developer think? Did he ever make a cup of coffee himself when he developed this? Software to make this appliance work. So it's the same thing in accounting. I think that basically the developer needs to understand what the task is and what in the end the user experience is like. And on the other hand, well, there's also an obligation from, from the receiving part to tell exactly what he's needing. So it's a language thing.

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We now turn to our pod Dwivedi founder of fixer marketing, a strategic marketing advisor for accounting firms, bringing cutting edge strategies to the forefront of accounting firm growth.

Appoorv Dwivedi:

you know, again, I come from, marketing and customer research background. So I'm always about the client and about the customer. So, you know, if I think if I look at the tech industry and the accounting software vendors, they're out there, particularly the big ones. How can they better serve accountants? They can better serve accountants by better serving accountants. customers. So if they better understand what clients are demanding of their accountants, then they can help the accountants to deliver that right. And you know, I go back to something I said previously, but it's not a one size fits all solution, right? For some, maybe it means faster for others. Maybe it's does it allow them to be cheaper or does it allow them provide more communications and more touch points. Does it allow them to provide more reporting or insights or other value as well, right? So, um, but, you know, I, I think the, the vendors that figure that out, um, and really understand how their tools are being used by accountants for the benefits of their customers, um, are the ones that, um, are really going to win going forward.

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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.