Cloud is the only topic for accountants at ATSA2011
The first 20 minutes set the trend for the rest of the Accountant’s Technology Showcase Australia (ATSA) conference held at the Hilton in Melbourne yesterday and today. It’s all cloud, cloud, cloud. Even a survey conducted by Smithink and MYOB of accountants around Australia predict that cloud accounting solutions were going to be the biggest technology change for the industry in the next 2 years.
Chris Ridd, our Managing Director of Australia contributed heavily to the CEO panel discussion that kicked the conference off. The mood in the room was intense listening to the likes of Alan Osrin, Managing Director of HandiSoft Software Australia and Tim Reed CEO of MYOB respond to questions about how they’re managing the transition from legacy, desktop based software to cloud based solutions that deliver on all the advantages of a single ledger.
The hybrid solution seems to be the common answer, however the conviction with which these companies are pursuing these strategies seems to suggest there is lingering doubt. The complexities that are introduced with syncing technologies are difficult to solve and problematic to maintain. These strategies are so difficult to explain to the consumer market that Tim Reed identified the biggest challenge facing MYOB was being able to articulate it’s strategy to their customers. So much so in fact there were 30 evangelists recently appointed and are dedicated to that task.
Issues that were prominent at past conferences such as document management and client portals appear to have been relegated to lesser priority. Forward thinking accountants are starting to contemplate the possibilities that cloud based solutions offer including open platforms where various solutions are tightly integrated to accommodate the needs of the modern practice. At one stage it was even suggested that accountants prefer desktop software because the user interface is superior to a web based interface. Xero customers are absolutely talking with their feet on this subject.
One thing we can definitely agree on though is the trend towards mobile devices and constant connectivity with our staff, clients and stakeholders. Xero has released our touch application which was in high demand at our demonstration stand. In addition, the hot topic for Xero’s Australian customers was the pending integrated payroll release as well as the more advanced reporting capability scheduled for early next year.
What did you think of ATSA2011?
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