Accounting Today recently released its Top 100 Most Influential People in the industry for 2015, and we’re proud to say a few of our own were listed in the ranks.
We asked the trio where they think the accounting profession is headed and where accountants and bookkeepers should Xero In.
Here’s what they had to say.
Russ Fujioka is responsible for the expansion and growth of Xero’s U.S. markets. He has more than 25 years experience providing strategic and operational leadership to cloud, SaaS (Software as a Service) and technology providers. He’s focused on sales, digital marketing and operational management of high growth businesses. He’s spent a good chunk of his career working in tech companies that are flipping entire industries.
“Embracing change is the most important issue accountants are having to grapple with. How do you embrace change? The world of the financial web is precipitating a rapid change in the accounting and bookkeeping world.”
“The immediacy and access to information is changed forever. As with everything in the digital world, time has compressed. That time allows for the profession to become more useful. They can use their financial acumen to deliver more customer insights to their businesses.”
“Those who try to deliver and work the same way as before will find it hard to make a living. The latest advancements in technology have dramatically changed how accountants work.”
Xero Global Vice President, Education & Head of Accounting, Amy Vetter
Amy has been an accountant since the early 1990s. She’s been at the front line of an industry which technology has radically changed. Amy is responsible for developing and executing Xero’s global education strategy, including Xero University (XeroU).
“Globalization is the most important issue facing the accounting profession. With new technology and the cloud, accountants and bookkeepers can get clients from anywhere.”
“I see every day how many early adopters are now networking with firms from around the world. They’re even acquiring practices from other countries to work with clients in any region of the world.”
“It’s now possible to serve clients in Hong Kong from Australia and vice versa. Cloud-based accounting practices are now able to attract small business clients from anywhere. Once you build efficient processes you can really define your vertical niche. From there they can service clients anywhere.”
“Small businesses are looking for domain expertise. They are willing to work with someone in another geography if they provide value. Having deep knowledge of a specific industry is the first step. Once you have the right cloud platform in place can mobilize a practice to grow beyond its borders.”
Xero US Products & Solutions General Manager, Jamie Sutherland
Jamie Sutherland brings over a decade of small business and accounting experience to the table. He has a seasoned perspective on the financial and technological challenges facing startups, small businesses and accounting professionals.
“Staying current with customers needs is a pivotal issue accountants need to get on top of now.”
“The accounting landscape is changing. Clients are becoming more and more sophisticated. Their expectations from accounting professionals are rising. They want more advice, more insights, predictable pricing, and more real-time help.”
“There’s widespread use of an amazing array of consumer-facing apps for your personal life. More and more clients now expect a similar experience with their business apps. And they expect their accountants to use them as well.”
“The internet has changed almost every single industry on the planet. It’s now heavily impacting the accounting profession. The ability to work anytime, anywhere, and on any device is a baseline requirement. What we are seeing is a colossal shift to online technologies. Those who join the party early, will be the beneficiaries of this monumental change.”