2019 The year of Tech (again)
Ten days into the New Year and how many of those resolutions remain intact?
Personally, I’ve skipped the gym a few times this week. Not great, but I’ll need to pull my finger out to get back on track and hot the weight loss goal. Dark and cold nights when leaving the office do not help, but its maintaining these habits that make the difference, between attainment and no change.
So getting back to a work focus what change are we going to see this year?
For 100% of UK accountants, then the year will be heavily influenced by technology.
April sees the introduction of MTD. The House of Lords has raised the public profile of the project and has also ignored the corporate smokescreens delivered by previous large scale HMRC projects and given a public remand that the information delivered to businesses has been woefully inadequate.
A term that dominated the press and LinkedIn columns last year, but has it really made a difference to the accountant in provincial United Kingdom – not hugely. Early cloud adopters of apps will be used to the use of AI, within their tools, but as barely 20% of accountancy businesses are using cloud technology, most firms will be unaffected by it.
Again huge media coverage, but we are still in the very early stage of this technology. Who can predict correctly, how this will roll out. Good luck to Aynsley and Steve of the Clarity Project.
Xero has barely made a dent in the $300 mil war fund, so expect several acquisitions from Xero this year. Reporting tools have to be high on the list of acquisitions. Intuit, especially in the UK, will be in catch up mode as they react to the moves made by Xero.
Also, as we have a new global CEO at Sage, a newly restructured IRIS, which has resulted in Sion Lewis leaving, and again a big global restructure at Thomson Reuters, has seen the Digita UK MD leave, then we have every chance of some big deals.
The only point to make here is that the penetration of cloud apps will continue apace.
The confirmation of Xero’s influence on the UK accounting sector, can be seen by the fact that prior to UK XeroCon, there was a fair degree of chatter around the fact that suite’s were passé and everyone should buy best of breed. Well twenty minutes into Gary Turner’s opening presentation at Xerocon and he announces that Xero offers an “end to end” solution with the acquisition of InstaFiles.
This news was greeted with joy here at nomisma and the only other cloud suites. It confirms that our strategy is correct and has InstaFile is still a product in development, it’s shrouded in mystery. Once the post Xerocon atmosphere had worn off, it was refreshing to see lots of “ I’ll wait and see the final product delivered, before jumping” messages from existing users.
Yes, I know that tools such as Zapier offer a cost-effective way to share information between apps, but nothing can beat a platform, integrated by design and from the bottom up.