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Firm Management

In Firm: 2015 IT Predictions and 2014 Results

It's prediction time again, where we dust off the proverbial crystal ball and share our technology thoughts ahead of the curve, as well as fess up on how our previous year’s guesses fared.


It’s prediction time again, where we dust off the proverbial crystal ball and share our technology thoughts ahead of the curve, as well as fess up on how our previous year’s guesses fared.

Looking back at 2014 we again had more WINS than LOSSES, but not enough to warrant a career change towards becoming a day trader or professional gambler.  By our count we scored six WINS and two LOSSES, but with two DRAWS, you can come to your own conclusions.

So before we jump into 2015, here’s a look at how we see our 2014 IT Predictions turning out:

  1. Windows 8 Struggles Against Windows 7 (WIN): Easy WIN in firms as they continue to primarily standardize on Windows 7 (including upgrades from the no longer supported XP version). Even though Windows 8 had better security, the Metro interface and lack of a Start button drove accountants away.
  2. QuickBooks Online Fights Back (WIN): We predicted that Intuit would take the Xero threat seriously, and they did by promoting a believable future plan for QuickBooks Online and hiring industry experts to meet directly with CPA firms to promulgate that vision.
  3. Hosted Exchange Users Leap Forward (WIN): Our guess was that small and medium firms would begin to have their Outlook hosted externally which we saw happening because the cost was great compared to doing it themselves.
  4. Cloud Hybridization Continues to the Majority of Firms (WIN): The number of firms adopting some cloud applications continues to increase creating an easy WIN for the hybrid environment we see firms implementing including the adoption of Windows Terminal Server and Citrix for remote access.
  5. Security Concerns Will Promote Cloud Adoption (DRAW): We felt that security would be one of the drivers to get firms to adopt the cloud but did not see any indications that this was a primary reason to do so or not, so rather than changing the original prediction to make this a WIN or LOSS, we will put it in the DRAW column.
  6. BYOD Policies Will Abound (LOSE): While we saw a good number of industry articles and discussions on BYOD and provided many firms with BYOD training and consulting resources, we can say there was good general adoption, but not enough to say the process “abounded” and tagged as a WIN. However, adoption was good enough to say it wasn’t a loss (so if you implemented a BYOD policy I WIN, if you didn’t have one I LOSE.)
  7. Video Calling Becomes Standardized (LOSE): This prediction is getting close to having as many LOSE tags attached to it as my biometric password adoption predictions over the past decade!
  8. Social Media Subsystems (DRAW): We predicted an increase within the accounting profession in utilizing internal social media tools such as SocialCast, Yammer and Yahoo Groups and while we did see CPA firm and industry associations utilize social media to collaborate, it was not as extensive as we thought so we are giving ourselves a DRAW on this one.
  9. Little Data Makes Inroads in Accounting Firms (WIN): We predicted at least one vendor would promote the use of internal dashboards and other data utilities to better access firm data and make decisions, that firms would notice and begin to install, which we feel happened in line with the practice management enhancements and plug-ins we saw utilized in firms.
  10. Game Based Training Announced (WIN): Thomson Reuters partnered with True Office and consultants such as the Growth Partnership and Edie Osborn integrated the “gamification” topic as part of learning this year, which we expect to increase in the near future.

With 2014 Accounting IT Predictions in the archives, it’s time to jump ahead towards 2015 to give you all something to “noodle” on during those rare spare moments during busy season and maybe provide some insight into where you should take notice.

Go online to for the rest of this article, including Roman’s predictions for 2015.


See inside December 2014

2014 Review of Time and Billing Systems

Over the past several years, two major factors have significantly changed the way many firms operate, both internally as well as how they interact with their clients. The internet, of course, has something to do with this, but it is more in the way ...


Technology Trends for 2015

It has been a year of sweeping trends and high emotions. While many of the key issues might seem to have been outside of the realm of tech – the economy, immigration and health care leading the list – that wasn’t exactly the case.