Scaling New Heights 2015 was a great experience. New Orleans proved to be an awesome place for me to spend a few days talking with Intuit users about automating their bill payments.
Everyone I spoke to was interested in the topic, because to varying degrees, they all felt the pain of repetition. Those unending, slogging, manual tasks are the enemy of opportunity—robbing you of the time that is better spent on growing your business. I mean, is that even debatable at this point?
I’ve spent years researching and analyzing this and I can tell you that the accountant relying on traditional methods spends 80% of his or her time on the modern day equivalent of paper shuffling. The paper has to get shuffled accurately, regardless of how laborious and repetitive it is. But why do it yourself?
Followers of this blog know that I am passionate about automation. That’s why I founded Entryless and that’s why I made a point of starting off Scaling New Heights 2015 with a bang.
Breakfast of Champions
During a power breakfast on the first full day of the event, I spoke to a banquet room full of accountants about how automation can transform repetition into efficiency and efficiency into growth.
Amazingly, many folks don’t equate automation with growing their business. Some prioritize marketing or hiring first. When I began to correlate increased operational efficiency with business growth, the audience really started to get into it.
My presentation (download .ppt presentation here) included a case study that focused on a successful accountancy in the United Kingdom. It serves 250 clients with a staff of 3. Automation helps handle accounts payable more efficiently and the team spends its creative energy helping clients with strategy—and creating more value.
The presentation was really fun for me, because it is great to see how accountants responded to what I said. I have been in their shoes and I started Entryless to solve what I really think is one of the greatest problems for businesses today.
Scaling New Heights’ Joe Woodard Interviews Mike Galarza
On the second day of the Scaling New Heights Conference in New Orleans I sat down Joe Woodard to talk about his vision of accounting automation.
I explained that Entryless knows that automation will move accounting into the future. Before Entryless, too much was left to manual process and too many accountants were stuck doing tedious busywork when they could instead be funneling energy into bettering their businesses.
We recognized a need for automation in bill processing, and that’s how Entryless was born. We are now one of the leaders in bill automation, processing billions of dollars per year in B2B expenses.
What We Learned: Automation and the Accountant Can Be Friends
Before arriving at Scaling New Heights, it had become clear to me that many accountants have two common misconceptions how automation impacts our industry. They fear that revenue for their accounting firms will be hurt and that accountants will eventually be replaced by technology and no longer be needed.
I had many spirited discussions during the conference about automation. Automation doesn’t reduce the need for accountants at all. More automation means an accountant can serve more customers with the same staff without adding any burden to the organization. This means that an accountant generates more revenue by not only serving more customers, but by focusing on strategic advice over paper pushing.
Many of the accountants I talked to embraced the notion of doing more high value work for their clients. They understood that automation freed them from the stereotype of a green visor and ten-key. Instead of just being a commoditized resource that performs repetitious tasks, accountants leverage automation to become trusted advisors capable of helping with strategic and resource planning.
Accountants of the Future
During my interview, Joe asked about the accountant of the future. The role of the accountant has changed so much in just the past five years. What will the industry look like five years from now?
The accountant of the future will be the small business champion, supercharged by all of the technology and modern tools they will have at their disposal. I envision accountants as being key players in the business growth of their clients.
The accounting industry is at a turning point right now. With more technology to leverage, things are only going to get better. Entryless will be there to help.
Scaling New Heights was an…uplifting experience. If you are an Intuit user, I highly recommend it. Next year, the event will be in the Bahamas!
Next up for Entryless is Entryless Seamless B2B Payments. This expands our service to include the easiest, most cost effective way to pay suppliers. You will see more from us about payments in the coming months. Stay tuned.
And I can’t wait to get to Xerocon Melbourne next month and show the largest gathering of Xero users how we do it.
See you there!