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After 30 Years, What’s the Future of Accounting Software?

- Tuesday, January 30, 2018

By Saeward Schillaci, The Resource Group

The-Resource-GroupIn 2018, The Resource Group is celebrating its 30th anniversary as a company! What can our journey of the past 30 years teach your business? What are our predictions about upcoming developments in business management applications and accounting solutions? As we look back on what has developed in the past three decades, we are also excited to think about what the future of accounting will hold.

The marketplace for accounting solutions is in the midst of an upheaval caused by technological advances in the cloud. In order to get an idea of where things are heading, it’s best to know where they’re coming from. Luckily, The Resource Group has been around long enough to understand the history of these innovations, and our decades of experience make us feel quite confident about some predictions for the future as well.

A Very Brief History of Accounting Software

When we started The Resource Group in 1987, business software was in its infancy. Thirty years ago, people were just beginning to use personal computers in their businesses. The Resource Group was started as a way to help people incorporate this new technology into their work.

At the time of our founding, simple off-the-shelf accounting packages had also recently become commonly available on the market. There was a high demand for this basic software and for experts to teach companies how to best use it. We soon focused on this aspect of PC technology and the way it could transform businesses of all kinds, and we’ve continued to specialize in accounting and business management software ever since.

In 1993, Great Plains Dynamics and Platinum for Windows was launched. This was a crucial innovation, because it moved applications from a DOS environment to Microsoft Windows. With new features such as the ability to open multiple windows at the same time and being able to drill down to the transaction details from an inquiry window, these new accounting systems provided an even greater efficiency in transaction processing and reporting. This quickly led to migration for most small- and medium-sized businesses. Eventually, in the late 90s, larger businesses followed the example of the smaller businesses by shifting from their obsolete main-frame systems to Great Plains and other systems based in Windows.

Accounting Solutions Today

For a while after Y2K, not much happened. The early 2000s saw steady updates in pre-existing technology, but there were not many game-changing developments for about a decade. Around 2010, we started hearing about the cloud, and companies such as Sage Intacct began developing what have become world-class cloud-based financial applications. However, for a while many businesses did not adopt cloud-based accounting solutions, and as a result nothing much happened in the ERP world until the last three years or so. Now, finally, we’re in the middle of another major change as the momentum of recent innovations begins to push businesses into adopting cloud-based accounting solutions. Just like the advancements of the late 1980s and the release of Great Plains in 1993, this shift to cloud-based applications is fundamentally changing the way business accounting works.

The ongoing shift to the cloud is significant, and as a business we want to stay at the forefront of it. With the perspective we’ve gained over the years, it’s easy to see that cloud-based technology is the primary accounting solution of the future. There are some good reasons we’re convinced of this:

1. Most non-financial business software is already cloud-based, and financial applications need to match this in order to stay relevant.

2. Young companies are mostly going to adopt cloud-based applications rather than on-premises solutions, because new start-ups and growing businesses have little reason to invest in owning and maintaining servers.

3. Accounting developments and innovations are now occurring primarily within cloud-based applications.

The Next 30 Years

Looking ahead, our team at The Resource Group has concluded that the move to the cloud for financial applications will significantly alter the accounting solutions market. We still include Microsoft Dynamics GP in our practice – it’s a good product, which is used by over 50,000 companies worldwide. In addition to this continued support for Microsoft Dynamics GP, we also supplement our practice to be at the forefront of technology by partnering with Sage Intacct, which is a best-of-breed, cloud-based accounting solution.

Of course, there will be other technology revolutions in the next three decades; in 1987, we couldn’t have imagined things as they are today. We look forward to being part of major innovations as they continue to happen. In terms of Sage Intacct, we’re excited about developments promised for 2018, as well as Sage Intacct’s vision for leading the future. Just as we have done for the past thirty years, we intend to continue staying current with new technologies that will transform our customers’ business processes for the better.

Some Things Don’t Change

Here’s one thing we’ve learned: the fundamentals of good business are steady and remain unchanged over time. No matter what sort of technologies we use, a company that wishes to achieve long-term success should focus on hard work, innovation, integrity, and positive relationships among coworkers and customers. Regardless of how much technology transforms our daily lives, our values will still be essential to achieving sustainable outcomes. We look forward to applying everything we’ve learned since 1987 for the betterment of our company and the continued transformation of the organizations who are our customers.

To learn more about our solutions, contact us today.

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