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Thomson Reuters 2011 Executive Predictions & 2010 Year in Review



Teresa Mackintosh, CPA.CITP

Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas — Professional, Tax & Accounting, Thomson Reuters

Teresa joined Thomson Reuters in 1996, and is responsible for driving profitable growth of all software and services for the professional accounting market across the United States, Canada, and Latin America. Prior to her promotion to Senior Vice President & General Manager, Professional Market in January 2010, she held the position of Senior Vice President, CS Professional Suite, where she was responsible for revenue for the mid-market professional accounting segment as well as leadership of three key areas — sales, marketing and product management. Before that, Teresa was Vice President of Strategic Marketing, where she led marketing and communications strategies for the Tax & Accounting business of Thomson Reuters. She has also held many strategic positions in development and product strategy.

Teresa has more than a decade of experience in the professional tax and accounting industry, having worked as a tax consultant for Price Waterhouse, LLP before joining Thomson Reuters.

A look back at 2010

For many firms, 2010 was about dealing with the fallout from 2008 and 2009. The journey back to prosperity has offered some interesting perspective on a much-changed business landscape. We’re all working with new customers, new goals and a new set of expectations.

That’s certainly the case for me, as I’ve taken on the position of senior vice president and general manager, Americas—Professional, Tax & Accounting, while Jon Baron has moved into a new role as president, Americas, Workflow & Service Solutions. It’s a new world for all of us. And the big story of 2010 is how technology has become more human, moving beyond the nuts and bolts of tax and accounting to help firms build better relationships and spend more time doing things that add value. For example:

Accounting CS, our biggest product release of 2010, marked a major leap forward in the way software and people work together. We’ve combined write-up, trial balance, payroll and client accounting into a single, unified whole instead of a series of integrated pieces, and made it possible for firms and their clients to collaborate seamlessly online. In doing so, we’ve brought technology more in line with the way people think.

Mobile CS has been another exciting release this year. It’s the first mobile application designed specifically for tax and accounting professionals, and I think we’re all going to be amazed at how quickly these kinds of new tools become necessities. The next generation of customers expects flexibility and mobility, and tools like Mobile CS make it possible.

The 30th Annual Thomson Reuters Users’ Conference for Professional Tax & Accounting Firms proved that networking the old-fashioned way is still alive and well. We’ve always had a great connection with our customers, and it’s great to get out there and meet them in person.

With that in mind, I think 2011 is going to be about people driving technology, not the other way around. It’s going to be a year of big changes, big challenges and new opportunities for businesses that are positioned to take advantage of them. Here’s what we can look forward to in the year ahead.

r u ready? A look at what we can expect in 2011

Clients will get younger.

The massive shift in customer base and employment pool to Generation X and Generation Y is something we’ve been watching for a few years now. But I think 2011 is the year that will see it translate into dollars and cents for more and more firms. The firms that make themselves relevant to these new customers will start to pull away from the competition with more business and higher valuations.

Firms that embrace technology will begin to distance themselves from the competition.

As firms and clients have gotten past their initial jitters about security and adjusted to new practices, technology has become a fundamental tool for business communication. Firms have seen the productivity gains that technology brings, and it’s something that clients increasingly expect. I think we will see that trend intensify in 2011 and beyond. Firms that embrace technology will see increased growth and efficiency.

Doing business in the cloud will become the norm.

This is already happening at many accounting firms and other businesses. CDs and even thumb drives are becoming a thing of the past. Information and applications are increasingly stored on a network and accessed whenever and wherever they’re needed. This is especially important in light of the new generation of accounting customers. For baby boomers, having information on physical media is comforting. For younger generations, it’s as foreign as a slide rule.

Mobile computing will evolve from a gadget to a necessity.

Mobile computing is the logical next step after moving to the cloud. With so much information available anytime, anywhere, it’s only natural that there will be more and more devices to take advantage of it. We’ve already seen the iPhone and iPad gain adoption faster than any other devices in digital equipment history. As a result, more and more of your clients will have access to information at all times — and they will expect the same from you.

All these changes and new ways of doing business can seem daunting, especially for firms that may still be a little shell-shocked after the financial setbacks of 2008 and 2009. But I believe that we’re on the cusp of a new surge in productivity and profit, made possible by new ways of sharing information and working together with the help of technology. Firms who embrace these changes will be at the forefront, ushering in an era of new customers, new growth, and unprecedented prosperity. r u ready?