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Life as a CPA

Life as a CPA (12): Office Tools Pro Conference – Technology Eco System?

– Ty’s Summer Internship – Day 20 –

We are back in Las Vegas, one of the CPA’s favorite cities (I think). This time Donny is speaking at Office Tools Pro Practice Management & Technology Conference 2013. Office Tools Pro is a company that provides practice management software to support the workflow, project management, billing management and many other enterprise functions to enhance an accounting firm’s productivity and efficiency. The conference is for users to get educated more on the products as well as to learn about the recent hot topics and other possible software products for the small firms. Based on the booths that I see in the exhibit hall it seems to be a more tax practitioner oriented conference.

In this conference, Donny is giving a presentation on Firm Technology in Perspective. It is basically about how to approach developing a firm’s IT strategy. The difference between this and the presentation he had in D.C. was that it is more on IT strategy development and the “how-to” side, as opposed to the one in D.C. was for the brief guidance on IT strategy and primary for the technology updates on specific software, hardware, and other IT services that firms would want to consider to apply.

Here is the summary video of Donny’s Firm Technology in Perspective.

So the key message is similar to the presentation in D.C., but a slightly different approach and expression. Donny explains, the key difference between low performing firms and high performing firms is their perspective on technology. Though IT spending is just a cost for low performing firms, technology is the strategic enabler for high performing ones. Cost versus investment. I think the same spending such as new accounting system or implementing workflow could be either just cost or investment, depending on if and how it is plugged into the IT strategy, which is developed based on the business goals.

I am sure it is much more complicated than it sounds and not something that you can do perfectly just by understanding the presentation. That’s why people come to Donny for help! However, it was a good message for the audience to understand the concept and the importance of understanding technology is the business investment which needs to be well planned and goal oriented based on their business goals.

I found another highlight in his presentation, which is a “Technology Eco System”. I loved the Eco System diagram! Sometimes we focus so much on one technology product/service, which usually covers only one or few of many corporate functions, such as Accounts Payable, General Ledger, or Email. But the processes are all integrated in the real world, so I think it is an awesome visual aid for the audience to realize that the holistic view is the key when they develop a technology plan.

Besides the deadly freezing room temperature of the venue, it’s all good stuff!

– To be continued –

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