Clarity Street attended the ABE2019 conference this week in Sydney. Here are our key take-aways!
Single Touch Payroll
STP Payroll was once again the talking point of another conference! It almost feels like accountants didn't think STP was coming until it was actually etched into stone earlier this year for small businesses. Every session that mentioned STP had a line out the door which either indicates to us that accountants REALLY love reporting to the ATO, OR they have all left their run very late and are scrambling to make sense of what is about to happen to their clients payroll system! It was great to see the ATO’s John Shepherd presenting on the topic!
We’re really glad that National Media continued on with the round tables that were showcased at their Accountech.Live event in Melbourne late last year. They were again a big hit with most tables in every session being filled with eager to learn accountants, who could listen to their peers who are either in the same situation as them, or who may be slightly more along the path to the particular topic. We personally enjoyed the sessions we attended including our favourite session, making apps part of your value proposition.
Free coffee is always a winner!
We would like to personally thank DocuSign and Thompson Reuters for sponsoring the coffee this year as it kept the place humming, especially around the 3pm mark on each day when everyone had been walking around in circles for the best part of a day. Recalling back to the first ever ABE where they were charging $4.00 for a coffee, which is something accountants were not used to in Australia. Thankfully this is no longer an issue at these events!
APPs APPs and More APPs
There seems to be more and more apps at every conference we attend! As this is something that we advise on, I only see this as a positive however, there is a tipping point approaching in our eyes whereby the market will eventually have too many of the same apps, with very little discerning differences and there will be app cannibalism. A few apps that get a shout out are, FYI Docs who we think is one of the best contenders in the document management space from a cloud perspective, that we have seen in a while. Don’t get us wrong, we still have a "Suite" spot for SuiteFiles, but this is what every ex MYOB DocManager accountant has been looking for since leaving their server based environment. Although in its early days, the smarts around workflows and automations will be a game changer for a lot of firms, especially those that are only using Xero products as their integrations are very deep.
One to watch in our eyes is Chata.AI who are bringing google assistant/siri to accounting. They are leveraging the information inside of the clients cloud based accounting package and using natural language to inform the user of basic financial information. For example, you don't have to have an accounting degree to ask a question about your financial information, ie how much money did ABC Pty Ltd make me as a customer over the past XX months. While this has been experimented in Intuit’s QBO for a while now, Chata.AI takes it one step further with the natural language query and the smarts built behind it….did we mention it integrates with Xero too!
After 10 plus years of attending conferences, there is always swag to be collected, so much so that we try and avoid collecting it these days because having a virtual office doesn’t allow for desk goodies. The award for best swag on ground for this event goes to ANZ Bank in conjunction with celebrating the year of the pig, how appropriate that there was a cute little piggy bank (....sucker for a pig!)
With the recent announcement of Terrapinn, the global events company acquiring Accounting Business Expo and Accountech Live (...read more here), it’ll be super interesting to see how these events that National Media have hosted previously, are managed and executed moving forward. We’re excited to find out!
Want to know more? Get in touch with us!
Clarity Street was conceived from years of engaging with Accounting firms on a daily basis and a constant desire to make Accounting firms & SME’s more efficient and profitable.