April 05, 2018, Hutchinson KS and Minneapolis, MN – Randy Johnston, CEO, Network Management Group, Inc. and Dr. Leslie Garrett, CEO of Insight Research Group are pleased to announce the winners of the 5th Annual Accounting Firm Operations and Technology (AFOT) Survey Awards. Survey respondents identify the software used in their accounting firm that has the greatest impact on their firm in three separate categories: Profitability, Risk Mitigation and Productivity. The 5th Annual AFOT Survey results book will be released in May 2018. Respondents selected award-winners in each category from a list of 87 accounting firm software products.
I’ve been tracking the user counts of cloud accounting tools for microbusinesses from publically available sources for about seven years now. My latest cloud accounting user counts appear below. Note that Intacct probably shouldn’t be in this list (especially since we also didn’t include other mid-market apps like Oracle NetSuite, as they’re both a little “up market” for most users of this. As you know, FreshBooks and Wave are private, and don’t have to report anything publically, and with Kashoo doing more as a bookkeeping service instead of as a software company, the user counts there (which were hard to get anyway) are a little less relevant here. We expect to have new data from Intuit, Xero, and Sage sometime in late April/early May.
P.S. Tipsters who have good public (non-confidential) data sources for user counts (e.g. court filings, press releases, etc.) which are more detailed or more current than this (as I write this on March 27, 2018), I share Starbucks cards with those who point new things out – I’m @BFTCPA on twitter.
P.P.S. If any software publishers want to be included in this list on a going forward basis (or want any of the analysis which goes along with this), including some work on cloud vs. on premises for user counts, reach out to me and we can discuss.
I was fortunate to be invited to attend an analysts conference for Zoho Corporation. For those of you who aren’t familiar with Zoho, they have about 60 different SaaS applications for all aspects of running a business, including e-mail, calendar, CRM, accounting, reports, HR, e-mail marketing, help desk, meetings, and many, many more. The apps are sold individually, in four bundles (CRM Plus, Workplace, Finance Plus, and IT Management), or in a mega-bundle called Zoho One. I’ve been using Zoho One for a couple of months, and it’s been pretty amazing. Some of the things I’ve done with it include:
I was pleased to write a white paper with Randy Johnston a couple of years ago for CPA.com called “The Journey from Premise to Hosted to Cloud: A CPAs Travel Guide“, which details the transition from having your IT hardware on site to using a hosting company like Abacus Next, and then the eventual move to browser-based SaaS applications.
While I wrote this a couple of years ago, it has held up pretty well, despite the rapidly changing IT environment. You can download it from the CPA Firm Software site’s page on Cloud Computing
I wrote an article for AccountingWeb on Cryptocurrencies which was featured on their site for some time. Click here to access the article.
I recently wrote a piece on the European Union’s General Data Protection Regime (GDPR) for AccountingWeb.com. A link to that piece is here.
Most of the readers of this blog know that I do over 100,000 air miles a year, all in the US/Canada. After 1.5 million air miles, these are my favorite travel tips – I hope they make your business travel better (or if you’re a glass half empty type, I hope they make travel suck less).
- Always carry $200+ in cash when you are on the road – because bad things happen, and cash can fix it quickly in almost any situation. Also because the bellmen, servers, drivers, and others who wait on you have hard jobs and get treated like crap all of the time – so throw a $20 at someone who deserves it at least once a month ($240/yr)- it’s a great way to pay it forward and make someone’s day suck a little less.
- Be very nice to all of the people at your home airport -know their names, bring them brownies, cookies, and other nice things around the holidays. They don’t make much money, and they can make stuff happen for you when travel gets bad. Ask about the counter people’s families and know their kids names – it will pay off in spades. Buy the people who clean the airport coffee from time to time, because it’s the right thing to do.
- If you’re elite with an airline, use those “attaboy” certificates for outstanding service strategically. Give them out to people at your home airport, and do it publically – this makes me very popular at my home airport.
- If you have to fly 50-seat regional jets on Delta, they can’t take the electronic drink tickets – so it’s open bar, if you have to fly on one of those for over an hour and don’t have Comfort+. (JSYK, Woodford is the best bourbon available on Delta – sorry, Jack)
- Electronic Expense Reporting
- If your company uses Concur, Zoho, or other web-based expense reporting software, get the app – it’s essential, and you can take pics of your receipts as you incur the expenses
- Manila envelopes for receipts – scan them with your Concur app when you incur them, and get them into the expense report system. Keep the paper – you may need it to get reimbursed if you lose/drop your phone or if the pic is blurry.
- If you don’t already have a web-based expense reporting app, 1Tap receipts from Receipt Bank is a great tool for organizing your receipts. You can take pics of them, tag/organize them with, and you can then output them as a PDF file. Bonus: The data is available as a PDF or as a CSV file.
- Continue reading “Travel Hacks for Road Warriors”
This week’s episode of the excellent Security Now! podcast (#599, starting at 53:10) discusses the use of AES Crypt by clients to encrypt tax data when sending it to practitioners. (I assume that those documents are destined to a professional preparer, like you, the gentle reader of this blog). While I won’t restate the original blog post (which is at http://cantus.us/encrypt-your-tax-documents-before-you-send-them/), the method described is a relatively simple way for an end user to encrypt and send a group of encrypted files over an insecure medium like Dropbox or other consumer-grade file sharing tools. While the method described in the post can be implemented poorly (weak passwords, sending the wrong file, using e-mail, etc.), the basic methodology appears sound – but you need to evaluate the methods you approve for clients to use transmitting data.
Some of the current events I’ve been following include the following stories:
- HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE
- Sometime in 2017, Microsoft will bring MS SQL to Linux – via @Wired
- KPMG Recruits IBM Watson for Cognitive Tech Audits, Insights via
- There is a ‘game changer’ technology on Wall Street – Blockchain – and people keep confusing it with bitcoin
- Microsoft’s Project Rigel Brings Surface Hub Capabilities To New Devices
- Seagate’s blistering new 10GBps NVMe drive is the world’s fastest-ever SSD=> Interesting claim for fastest SSD, but we don’t see the stat you should be looking at when you expand your storage – IOPS, or I/O operations per second.
- GOVERNMENT AND PRIVACY
- How State Revenuers Are Going After E-Commerce (Wall Street Journal) => Great reason to learn more about @Avalara, which can handle this crazy compliance challenge.
- The DOJ threatens to seize Apple’s source code and electronic signature
#policestate via @FortuneMagazine
- Surprise! US Govt has authorized NSA
#surveillance data for domestic policing that has NOTHING to do w terrorism http://wpo.st/wyuK1
- More airports calling out TSA for long lines http://usat.ly/1p8l0Fv via
@usatoday Agree that @AskTSA lines have been worse in 2016. Evidently, I’m not the only one to see this trend.