It’s day two of ATSA, the Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia — a two-day conference that brings industry leaders together to explore the latest innovations. The team at Xero was there, alongside 12 of the app partners in our open API marketplace, so we took the chance to ask some questions of our own.
We asked: What have done in your own business that accountants could learn from?
David Watson, Co-founder and Director of Fathom: In our business we’ve learnt that implementing the right technology stack can provide a significant competitive advantage. Where possible we implement technologies to automate repetitive tasks. Automation isn’t about being lazy, it’s about being efficient. Similarly for accounting firms, having the right systems will improve efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, this helps to make a practice value.
Amreeta Abbott, CEO, NowInfinity: If we want to use technology to relieve pain points in the industry – such as inefficiencies, human error, data duplication, and data integration issues to name a few – we have to be flexible and adaptive and innovate. I think when you are in business, these are not bad adjectives to live by. Constant change in regulation, in demographics, and in business practices means accountants need to be adaptive.
Jason Forbes, Director of Sales, Spotlight Reporting: Keeping up to date with technology and levering a cohort of new and emerging online software tools has had a great impact on the performance of our team and our organisation – from inbound lead creation (as opposed to the traditional outbound email marketing), and internal platforms to communicate and share ideas, right through to a smart social media presence and tools. Some of our favourite online apps are HubSpot, Trello, Yammer and Twitter to name but a few.
We asked: What are your view on open APIs? How important are they in today’s world?
David: Very important! It’s no secret that cloud accounting is streamlining traditional accounting workflows. The exchange of data via APIs is responsible for much of these efficiency gains. Open APIs remove the time-cost of getting data into (or out of) systems like Xero. So time that was previously spent manually keying data can now be spent harnessing this data, to gain insights and make better business decisions.
Amreeta: API is one of the biggest trends in technology and NowInfinity uses it as a core platform for our third-party integration. Today’s world is all about sharing and collaboration, enriching and value-adding the experience of one technology and overlaying it with another. APIs have really forced many businesses to think always from the perspective of the end user, and I think this is a great thing.
Jason: We see firsthand the power of shared data – across multiple platforms from within our reporting tools – made possible through APIs. Through the power of online data, our partners (both accountants and advisors) are able to advise on their client’s financial performance, as well as outlying data sources that directly influence financial performance.
Are you at ATSA? Don’t forget to pay a visit to our ecosystem app partners: Account Kit, BGL, CashFlowStory, Class, Fathom, MyWorkPapers, NowInfinity, smartAR, Smarter Business Processes, Spotlight Reporting, Synergy8 and Workforce Guardian.