Canadian Treasurer

December 6, 2016

Leap the Pond predicts accounting professionals will play a more strategic role in business growth in 2017

Cloud, analytics, AI to enable strategic insight

MILFORD, Conn. -- Leap the Pond, a leading provider of Intacct-based accounting solutions for growing organizations, predicts that 2017 will usher in major changes as corporate management increasingly turns to accounting and finance professionals to help it anticipate business opportunities and challenges in the coming year. Technology developments, such as the growing role of cloud, analytics and artificial intelligence (AI), will empower these professionals with more strategic insight to help drive business improvement and growth.

“Company management is demanding more insight from accounting professionals than ever before,” said David Furth, president, Leap the Pond. “As we head into the new year, business leaders will ask less about what has happened in the past and more about where the business is headed. This will pressure CFOs, at growing companies in particular, to get their accounting infrastructure in place so they can strategically support and advise other members of the management team.”

Based on its deep expertise in accounting software and operations, as well as customer experience with hundreds of software implementations, Leap the Pond anticipates that the following key technology trends will drive the growing role of accounting and finance professionals and help them meet increasing business demands:

• Cloud applications will be used to create “best-in-class” suites
With open, best-in-class, cloud software, organizations are leveraging a wide range of applications to meet their needs across every function. By some estimates, small to medium-sized organizations use as many as 15 applications to run their business, and in many organizations, these applications are not integrated. In 2017, we expect to see more companies integrate these applications to create their own best-in-class suites in all areas of the business, as opposed to the one-size fits-all approach of a legacy-style, pre-integrated suite from a single vendor. These new, integrated best-in-class suites enable every part of the business to use solutions from any vendor that best fits its needs, while still streamlining processes across functions and consolidating data for better reporting and analysis.

• Analytics will democratize the data
One of the top reasons many companies want to move to a new, cloud-based financial ERP is to improve both financial and operational reporting. In 2017, we believe that all the talk about big data will push accounting and finance executives at SMBs to leverage reporting and analytics capabilities for multiple stakeholders using analytics tools that are embedded in key financial and operational systems. With solutions in place, processes streamlined and integration underway, next year companies will focus their efforts on pushing information and insight out to each stakeholder to drive better, more strategic decisions on issues such as product investment, market focus and business direction.

• Artificial Intelligence will perform many traditional tasks
The cost of systems that can “think and act” independently has decreased along with the cost of computing power. These systems are also becoming more accessible through software-as-a-service (SaaS) platforms. In 2017, we expect accounting and finance professionals to reassess their roles as applications begin to perform tasks they typically handled, such as ensuring compliance to policies and procedures and gleaning insights from troves of data. Forward-thinking professionals will embrace new roles, find ways to add more value, and in the words of Rob Reid, CEO of Intacct, serve as “growth advisors” to their businesses.



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