Tuesday, March 23, 2004

What areas does accounting+technology cover?

Since most business and enterprise systems eventually gather information for financial reporting, the application of accounting+technology covers a wide area from financial software to manufacturing resource applications to customer relationship management. Each of these areas cover very different parts of a business process, but they all contribute to the 'information system' that eventually produces accounting and financial information.

And eventually, this accounting and financial information is fed back into those different systems, helping to develop marketing and selling direction, manufacturing processes and efficiencies, and other decision-making information.

This is the challenge of successfully integrating accounting+technology. If it is done right, the system feeds itself and continues to add value.


Wednesday, January 21, 2004

In the world of accounting technology, those with the computer system background and technology abilities certainly have alot to offer. But what about the accountants? How should they approach accounting+technology?

Here's my thinking: The accountants have as much to offer (or more) to this combination.

The difference is, accountants know what should be coming out of the system. They know if the information being produced is right or wrong. They can review transactions, analyze entries, run statements and interpret them. And if they aren't giving correct numbers, they can dig deeper to see why.

Those with only a tech background can certainly get around easier, customize more, and probably do it all quicker......but without the business/accounting background, they can't tell you if the system is doing the job correctly.

So, if you're an accountant working in the accounting software world, you might keep this in mind.


Wednesday, October 08, 2003

In my experience, when it comes to installing accounting and enterprise systems, you can usually tell who gets it and who doesn't.
This goes for the purchaser as well as the installer.

There are clients who look at the technology that runs their business and they ask...
"How can this thing help me to do more, better, faster?" rather than just do invoicing and bill paying.
They see the system as an asset, not just something that has to be purchsed and maintained.
They challenge it, ask the vendor if it will do things, invest in it, give people access to the information.
They see it as a tool to help them get better.
These are the people who see the potential of accounting+technology.
For those who work in this field, these are the people who challenge you.

The same goes for the people who implement and install systems.
Some of them are obsessed with 'Moving Boxes' as a friend of mine puts it.
They'll install their system and make it work, no matter what's best for the client.
They know the system inside and out, know the pricing, and can give a good sales pitch.

They can often give this sales pitch without asking one question about the prospects business.
That's scary to me. I'd rather ask about what the client does, what they want to do, what will make them better.
And then look at the features of the software to see if it works.
If it's not a good fit, then point them to something else and then move on.

I've seen the ones who get it - and that's where you see people making progress.


Wednesday, October 01, 2003

MAS90, Great Plains, ACCPAC, Peachtree, Quickbooks.

Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounting packages at the core are very much the same.
They're built on information - items, customers, vendors, terms, prices, categories, accounts, departments.
If you can work with one, you can work with another.

Increasingly, it's the additional features that are the decision making items.
Does it do a version of CRM? Warehouse Mangement? Integrate with other apps? Customer Service? Field Service?
The more features it offers, the better the chance it will be able to help the client.

But in the end, it's about information - what can it provide, how easy can you get at it, what can you do with it.
And that's the ultimate tie in with accounting, because accounting is all about information.
The use of, validation of, and reporting of information.


Friday, September 19, 2003

So, just how far does accounting+technology go? Does it include all accounting? All technology?

I don't think so. I think it occupies only the small space where the two are required to overlap.
Networking an accounting department isn't accounting+technology to me
- it's the unique application of technology that takes on a part of the accounting function.
I'd include building accounting databases, setting up reports and documents, and passing accounting information
between programs in my definition.

This is where it gets tricky, of course - in the definition.
Accountant power users don't qualify - sure, you're using your computer to do accounting, but here it's just a tool you've chosen.
You could use another tool and still do the same things. This leaves alot of the accounting world out of my definition. Just being good at manipulating information in Excel doesn't do it.

Neither does the technology consultant who uses Quickbooks to keep his check register and compute his income. Again, this is just the use of a tool and not a realization of how accounting and technology used together can transcend the two.

Uh-Oh, I've used the word 'transcend' in my blog....time to post this and move on.....


Saturday, August 23, 2003

So, why are flamingos pink?? They aren't born pink. They aren't always pink.

Actually, they turn pink from their diet!!

The food they consume gets into their system and turns them pink.

(Learned this from watching Stanley with my daughter. I wish I had a Big Book of Everything.)

Now, when I think about the things and the people I spend my days with, I wonder...
What color am I turning??


Friday, August 22, 2003

Here's somebody I really enjoy reading. He always gives it to you 'with the bark on'.

I enjoy his articles and always chuckle when I recognize one of the clients he discusses as much like my own.
He's Rick Duris and you can check out his newsletter at

Rick Duris Unplugged.


How about some resources - what things do I like to read when it comes to accounting+technology???

There are some online accounting resources that lean in the accounting+technology direction.
Like AccountingWEB.
And the accounting software-related sites like...CPA Software News

But for true accounting+technology, you have to mix in a little solutions resources like....Integrated Solutions

And CFO Magazine often touches on this world.

It's about a total solution really, and that means financial, operational, and technical.

So, accounting+technology.....are we talking about accounting for technology? Using technology to do accounting?
No..not directly either of these.
It's something different, but even though I've pursuing it for a few years now, it's still difficult for me to describe to others.

It has to do more with the proper application of technology within traditional accounting functions.
It's about making the most of technology, be it your software, your systems, or your people, when doing business.

Where did this come from? It's grown directly out of the things I've been involved in the past few years.
And the direction I've taken.
So, let me give some examples....

Let's say your company is growing and you've decided to purchase a great new software package to run your business.
You've been using something before...but this is more powerful (and complicated).
When you begin putting it in place, WHERE DO YOU START??
This things going to process transactions and help your people do business, but in the end it's going to produce information.
Information you'll use to make decisions about your business. Were you profitable? What's working and what isn't.
This reporting has historically been an accounting function. Purely forensic.
After all, the information isn't available until after the events have happened.

So, when you go to set this thing up, you have to know what should be coming out the end.
That's the proper application of technology that I'm referring to.....
Understanding the result and taking the time to use the technology properly to give you what you need.

It's about setting up the system correctly. Thinking about what it will do.
Charts of Accounts. Default codes. Departments, Procedures, Reports.
The technology that produces the information for accounting.
That's my definition of accounting+technology.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?