Srinivasu Maradana, MCP, SCJP — 37
Sr. Manager A&A, Software Development, CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business
Education: M.S., Wichita State University
Hobbies: New technologies, Golf, Photography, Sci-Fi
What are the key areas of your firm that have seen the greatest change in workflow over the past few years? Are you using automated workflow tools? As a Technology enabler, our goal is to provide efficient solutions to our customers. ProSystem fx Knowledge coach is a good example and positive influence of workflow. It is a digital audit management solution that has planning tools, generates workpapers, and supports audit workflow and risks. We are working with our customers closely to understand their requirements from an end to end perspective, sometime it is a small incremental change and other times it is a new solution, CCH Axcess is an end to end modular solution that can be tailored to any firm’s requirements and is designed to help the firms grow.
Have you embraced cloud computing for your practice? Are you moving your clients to the cloud? Cloud computing is slowly becoming a part of our life and daily operations. Personally I use Office 365 and SkyDrive to make my files be accessible from any device, at work we use SharePoint and SharePoint workspace for sharing files. As a software development company we rely on cloud and virtual environments for development, testing and production environments. We are also considering on demand scale out models for supporting peak processing capacity around filing deadlines. From a customer perspective, CCH is committed to delivering the entire suite on SaaS platform which also opens up the door for third party integration via the CCH open integration platform (OIP).
On a broader scale, how do you see new technologies changing the accounting profession in the near term (3-5 years)? Over the last 2 decades there have been numerous advances in technology both in hardware and software. The last 5 years has been exponential and centered on mobile devices and tablets enabling us to be productive anywhere. The next couple of years we will see more applications becoming available across devices, enabling us to pick up where we left off on one device.
Beyond 2-3 years window there is tremendous potential for Big Data and Artificial Intelligence to play a big role in the coming years. Predictive analytics could be helping the tax and accounting industry to watch for certain global/patterns and trends enabling them to reach out to their customers to provide guidance. A mobile devices loaded with services backed by predictive analytics could be the “7th sense” that we may not be able to live without.
How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? Mobile devices have definitely helped improve work life balance. E-mail is the most important thing, before the days of IPhone and BlackBerry I would be tied to my laptop late into the evening and on the weekends. Now I can respond to or address any critical issues without having to sit in front of a PC. Now with the advent of tablets especially Windows 8, I have access to everything that I need in a much smaller form factor, allows me to be productive where ever I am.
Have you found business success via social media, either via recognizable ROI, new customers, marketing or networking? At CCH social media has become a part of our business operations, prospects are enquiring about our products on LinkedIn; our customers are conversing in a group about product opportunities and best practices. These conversations get translated into new enhancement requirements where appropriate, it gives us an opportunity to see what our customers are trying to solve for. We also have dedicated resources that monitor and participate in conversations. We are also experimenting with using Yammer, enterprise social network, to brainstorm and kickoff new ideas
What tips on social media do you think are essential, but perhaps missed, by professionals and small businesses? Social media has gotten enough attention across all industries. Content and information is getting commoditized, it is important for the professionals to provide/publish certain aspects via social media to maintain brand, provide value and attract customers. Facebook likes and linked in comments are the new word of mouth and yellow pages.
What single piece of technology do you find the most important in your professional life? Internet and smartphone. A smartphone, it has given me the connection to the entire universe of apps and tools. For work I am connected via e-mail and Skype, Globalmeet and Other apps. When it comes to hobbies like golf I love GolfCard GPS and SwingPlane. Other apps I like are Google maps, Bing and Kindle.
Not including your current employer, what company do you most admire and why? Apple has been a game changer, for its dedication to build products that delight and amaze customers. More recently I am amazed by the Crowdfunding/CrowdSourcing companies like KickStarter. The crowd funding model demonstrates the power of collaboration on the Web.
What brand/model mobile phone do you use? Iphone4 at work and a Nokia Lumia 920 at home
Do you use a tablet for work purposes? A couple of months ago I moved to a Samsung Windows 8 Pro Tablet. I have my development tools and ProSystem fx Engagement on it. It has been pretty smooth so far, small form factor has made it easy to carry around.
What is your favorite accounting mobile app, and why? CCH Mobile provides content access on the go. For personal use I have liked the banking application from Bank of America.
How many monitors do you have on your desktop workstation? Two Monitors.
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