Accounting Influencers Roundtable


The Need for Fit for Purpose Accounting Software Solutions

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:

Randy Johnston | Thought Leader & Genuine Renaissance Spirit for all Accounting Technology

Randy Wootton | CEO at Maxio advising B2B SaaS companies on next stage growth

Richard Kopelman | CEO at the North America’s fastest growing accounting firm, Aprio

Rob Nixon | Coaches Accountants on creating massive profits and massive time

Rob Pillans | Accounting firm coach, mentor and consultant based in Australia

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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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. I'm really excited now to bring to the microphone, the influencer of influences in the accounting world. The heavyweight accounting guru that is Randy Johnston fault leader and genuine Renault-Nissan sprit for all accounting technology. Known for his deep knowledge of accounting tech and his ability to inspire innovation and change within the accounting world.

Randy Johnston:

Well, here, the tech industry hasn't served the accountants very well, and the accounting software vendors, frankly, have, drugged their feet. And so the lack of innovation in the last three to four years, in particular, and it has nothing in my mind to do with pandemic. It has everything to do with vision and investment, need to. Rebuild products that are simpler and more complete. And that's a real tall order. but what happens here is the tools that we're using in many cases are 20 and 30 year old designs. And today there are so much better ways, so many better ways that this, technology can be used to automate processes, to improve workflows, to improve business exchanges, to, do mundane things that doesn't have to be done manually. So it's a pretty tall order, both the public practice tools. And the accounting software tools are doing pretty major overhauls. People are trying, but they may not have quite the budgets or runways to get those accomplished.


The next voice you'll hear is Randy Woodson CEO at Advising B2B SAS companies on next stage growth, where he's expertise, guides, firms through scaling challenges. With strategic insights and operational excellence.

Randy Wooton:

This is the question that I am struggling with as someone trying to sell to accountants. the accountants that I've talked to, the firms that I've talked to specifically in the B2B SaaS space are just anxious, anxious about what's happening in the broader B2B space. There is a tech recession going on, meaning every client is tightening their belts and looking at ways they can save their money. So any accountant that's trying to encourage them to buy new technology is probably going to be falling on deaf ears. So as a vendor to an accountancy, the thing that I think we need to be clear is how we help that accountant get more for less, meaning they can hire fewer people, they can support more clients, and they're able to get more scale. And I think as accountancies are facing hiring challenges as well, that's a long term play. There is a challenge in terms of the upfront cost to learn new technologies, and I think some accountancies right now and, controllers and fractional CFOs are just so overwhelmed with everything that it's just too hard for them to consider, anything. So, what we try to do is we want to help them win new business. And so that is thinking about technology plus services. So, if we do a webinar with consulting firm or accounting firm, it's like, hey, here's what Maxfield can provide in terms of data and tech. But to get the value out of this customer, you're going to need a service provider. Here's our service providers that we've worked with that know how to use our technology. So I do think it's a little bit of investment on either side. but the promise is that we can help them win more business and they can serve that more business more efficiently, which would increase their profitability over time.

Rob Brown:

Coming to him now is Richard Kopelman CEO at one of north America's fastest growing accounting. where his leadership has been instrumental in driving growth, innovation and client success.

Richard Kopelman:

What we've done in order to facilitate the growth in our business, the foothold, the growth, the foothold of technology in our business has been to be part of the roadmap. of the tech companies. So I think one of the things to continue to do and do it even better is to involve the technicians in the development of the technology and the roadmap of the technology.

Rob Brown:

Coming up now is the entertaining and educational. Nixon who coaches, accountants on creating massive profits and massive time-savings transforming practices with these revolutionary approaches to practice management unprofitability.

Rob Nixon:

All right, I'm going to target America on this one, not so much the UK and Australia. Get rid of the desktop or hosted versions of the software. Just turn it off, right? Seriously, UK and Australia, New Zealand, we're already there. Nordic countries are already there, but America and Canada, come on, right? Vendors, just turn it off and force everyone to go to the cloud. so that's the first thing. And you just got to force, well, maybe you've got the. The desktop or the hosted version, the accountants will use it. Cause they don't want to change, turn it off. Right. Second, provide content with the data, you know, so the data of the practice managed numbers and analytics, how about provide some content as to what they can do with that number. And, and the third one. is with the, cloud vendors with who connecting the practice management suite to the, client, accounting is provide predictive analytics, you know, back to the accountant, you know, provide, you know, ebbs and flows and cash flow and accounts receivable and accounts payable and alert the accountant as to what's going on their client business, because that may help the accountant be more proactive, you at a minimum, the accountant will know what's going on their client business.

Rob Brown:

Let's hear from Rob Pilsen's accounting firm, coach mentor and consultant based in Australia known. The strategic advice that transforms accounting practices. Into more efficient, profitable and enjoyable businesses.

Rob Pillans:

So, fundamentally, I've got three or four things that I would love to see, you know, the tech, the software companies doing in relation to accounts. Firstly, please, don't launch half baked products that are solutions looking for a problem. Right. You know, please deliver software that is actually genuinely delivering on, solving a problem that an account might have. And of course, because I'm an accounting firm coach and consultant and mentor, I'm thinking, of course, from an accounting firm perspective. And every now and again, people say they're just not doing that. So that's the first one. secondly, just genuinely listen to the feedback from your users and actually act on it. I still feel like that's not happening enough. Third, make your tools super connective in terms of having a robust, a robust API, so that you can, you know, be connecting with other tools. And then lastly, and I, I think really importantly, and I get this feedback from a few of my clients. Please, as a tech company, a software provider, stop trying to tell accountants how to run a better accounting firm, and actually just tell them what your software does and how it helps them and what problems it solves, because I don't think there's enough of that going on.

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 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.