6 MIN READ
Accounting & Finance Show NY 2019 – What we learnt
By Calligo on 18 July 2019
Last week, Calligo exhibited at Terrapinn’s Accounting & Finance Show NY in New York City. The renowned event, held in the Javits Center, attracts over 3,000 attendees from CPAs, accounting firms and financial services across the USA.
Over two days, the event was buzzing with discussions on Accounting & Bookkeeping, Payments, Payroll, and Tax. However, it was the Technology stream that particularly interested us, and the majority of the attendees. With topics on automation, cloud, data & cybersecurity and streamlining the process of adopting new technologies, this was one of the hottest areas of discussion amongst attendees and exhibitors.
What did we learn?
One of our biggest takeaways from the event was that cloud adoption within the US accounting industry still has plenty of room for growth. Smaller firms, especially those with fewer than 10 members of staff, were far more likely to have adopted cloud than larger firms who continue to favour on-premises.
However, after speaking to firms to find out why they had not yet taken advantage of the benefits of cloud, we soon learnt it was by no means a matter of reluctance. They want the benefits, but misconceptions and misunderstandings still survive and prevent them taking the leap.
Many believe that migrating to the cloud is complicated, time-consuming, fraught with the risk of downtime and limited access to their vital tools and applications. They couldn’t be further from the truth.
Our client, Bateman McKay, is a prime example of how a CPA – supported by a partner experienced in cloud and the needs of CPAs specifically – can migrate its client data and vital applications (including CaseWare and TaxPrep) from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud with zero downtime. For Bateman McKay in particular, this move led to greater productivity, new service capabilities and even quadrupling its customer base.
Email and & Productivity
Several accounting firms we spoke to are still using email platforms such as GMAIL, Hotmail (and even a few using AOL!) as their business email. Whilst the reasons for this are understandable – especially for the smaller practitioners – there are cost-effective tools available that have the potential to transform CPAs’ productivity and working practices.
The Microsoft Office 365 suite has so much to offer CPAs that it appears practically made for them. Not only does it include Exchange Online, which is one of the most popular, functional and secure email clients in the world, but also OneDrive and Teams, which combine to create an excellent internal and external customizable collaboration platform, where document and data can be shared securely, jointly worked upon, and discussed via chat or voice. When these tools, and the 20+ others within the platform, are combined with the usual accountancy-specific tools.
We spent a great deal of time last week recommending Microsoft Office 365 to dozens of CPAs. It has the tools to save time, reduce costs, provide greater insights, increase productivity, automate processes and strengthen security – all highly sought-after benefits to CPAs of all sizes.
How can Calligo support CPAs?
We attended the Accounting & Finance Show NY to showcase and discuss our Cloud & IT Managed Services for CPAs.
Calligo was recently ranked as one of the world’s top 100 MSPs by Channel Futures on the MSP501 List and even more recently made a finalist for “MSP of the Year” in the Computing Cloud Excellence Awards. Calligo also has years of experience in delivering these services into the CPA industry in North America.
Not only have we expertly managed cloud migrations and Microsoft Office 365 deployments for the CPA industry, but we also support critical accounting and business applications, such as the CCH and Intuit portfolios, whilst also taking care of the “business as usual” IT requirements as part of IT Managed Services.
As more and more CPAs see the competitive advantages of cloud technology, and start to reap the benefits of cloud-based applications, we are ideally placed to support them.
But cloud adoption is not the end of the story. Many businesses have taken the next step and started to look at tools such as AI & machine learning to improve data analytics and automate labour-intensive processes. CPAs stand to gain an enormous amount from technology, ranging from cost-savings and resilience, to productivity improvements and remote working capabilities, and even automation. Those CPAs that embrace these opportunities will doubtless lead the industry.