Innovative Technology

Is anyone doing anything new or interesting

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I have been working with a large accountancy practice for some time.

We have gone through or seen a number of different systems and I can’t help feeling that it is still 1999.

Data extraction technology and the cloud were exciting when they first arrived, but they are now the norm.
Outsourcing is a well established practice.

Maybe we already have the tools that we need and the software providers are giving us what is practical.

But I can’t help thinking there must be more.

I am curious to know if anyone is doing anything with technology that is radically different.

PS I know these kinds of queries can prompt people to vent their frustrations about certain suppliers, but lets not do that now.

Thank you,

Paul

Replies (8)

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
18th Oct 2023 09:15

Sheesh what are you selling?

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Ivor Windybottom
By Ivor Windybottom
18th Oct 2023 09:33

Currently looking at low code/no code forms solutions to improve internal procedures.

There are quite a few solutions out there and this is definitely an area where technology can significantly improve things (e.g. automated routing between staff, email reminders, pre-populating data, better onboarding, etc.).

The AI is already starting to help improve answers when searching , but has clearly got some work to do to improve its accountability by providing sources for its answers. That will come and this should save time in future.

I would love better tools to help with email, but realise this is a hugely difficult area. We can hope!

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Replying to Ivor Windybottom:
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By paul.k2
18th Oct 2023 10:00

Low code is an area we have been dabbling with also.
To date we have restricted ourselves to the tools within the M365 platform.
Forms, SharePoint and Automate.

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Routemaster image
By tom123
18th Oct 2023 10:10

I'd settle for an email box that was good at searching..

Seriously, though, I think you don't notice improvements when they are incremental.

I could say that my job is broadly the same as 1999 - (as in put invoices and bank transactions on a PC), but, actually in so many ways it differs.

I am interested in AI for the world as a whole, but it hasn't come to my sector yet on a day to day basis.,

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Replying to tom123:
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By paul.k2
18th Oct 2023 10:37

A comment complaint that I hear is the way that email has fragmented communication records. Ie a client might be emailing several staff members - how does someone pull all of this together if required?

I think there are tools in the M365 Enterprise licence that might help.

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Replying to paul.k2:
John Toon
By John Toon
18th Oct 2023 11:04

Not just email, but the number of comms packages you could have with a client or customer has ballooned over the years. Social channels, messaging apps, email, Teams, chatbots etc. Quite a few firms are using products like Front to pull together these types of things and there are a few competitors offering similar options.

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Replying to paul.k2:
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By zebaa
18th Oct 2023 11:09

There are CRM tools to manage this, but tagging has to be done correctly by all staff. Also you need to keep a huge amount of emails, going back up to 6, 12 or 20 years depending on the trade / profession.

Edit; beaten to the keyboard by John Toon.

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John Toon
By John Toon
18th Oct 2023 11:13

Really depends on what you call innovation... One firms innovation is another's bread and butter.

Things we're doing at the moment:
1. Data streaming to connect all our disparate practice products together, with connections to APIs such as HMRC, CoHo etc
2. Lots of PowerBI to analyse and present data from the above to teams
3. Data analytics across audit, using multiple data sources typically connected via API
4. Using low/no code, along with Zapier/Power Automate, to automate tasks and create apps for users to more efficiently enter/manage data
5. Hired a dev to build solutions and help with more complex API integrations
6. Using chatbots internally and with clients
7. Using ChatGPT and equivalents, mainly experimentally, to identify potential use cases. Obvs lots of marketing use cases but we think there's some value in sentiment analysis.
8. Cyber

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