The Accounting Technology Ecosystem was first launched one year ago with 25 categories and approximately 150 solutions. This week, we release version 3.0, and not only have new categories been added, but the solution options are tipping at 700+ products. We have seen a massive expansion in the course of the year to not only apps for business but solutions for the accounting and finance role.
Here is a comparison between the original v1.0 and the new v3.0 Accounting Technology Ecosystem:
3 New Categories
The biggest change to the v3.0 ecosystem, other than sheer size, is the addition of 3 new categories:
- Recurring/Subscription Management: software that enables an organization to automatically charge for subscription-based models or recurring payments. Many of the software tools in this category offer granular reporting capabilities as well as predictive analysis to provide the business with projections of future revenue. Products like Recurly offer a solution that reduces client churn and increases revenue by 7% by automating the process of subscription management.
- Audit/Risk Support: solutions that aim to provide better risk protection as well as support in the audit function of a CPA firm, bank, or financial institution, as well as a business needing deeper checks and balances of systems. The Meridian Award winner of 2016, Rivio is featured in this category as a secure repository of intelligent validated inputs and outputs, reducing the occasion of fraud as well as the liability in an audit.
- Data Integrators: software that provides full integration or exportation of data from one software to another. With all of the new solutions available on the market we are seeing a greater need for integrations that allow the different systems to talk to each other. Unfortunately, not all perform the way a business owner or accountant needs. In the last ecosystem we launched app integrators and in v3.0 we introduce data integrators. An example of this is the TBX Trial Balance Exporter product which solves 7 missing options when exporting trial balance data from QuickBooks to Excel.
Other Big Changes
Notably, the biggest change to the ecosystem is the number of solutions now included. It is astounding really! We see some new players to the market like Abacus Next, the company that acquired Cloudnine Real Time and Results CRM last month. Abacus Next provides hosting solutions similar to Xcentric as well as practice management solutions that drive growth within a firm. Another big change due to M&A is the merger of Tallie with Nexonia. Two of the largest expense management providers are now one and it will be interesting to watch in the coming months how they redefine their brands.
A big shift that we see in product development is the pendulum swinging back to suites. About 5 years ago we saw an influx begin in silo solutions (SaaS products that solve a singular problem, like Scalus for Workflow) entering the marketplace. The big push then became integrations. While reviewing the 700+ solutions for entry into the ecosystem, I noticed that we are starting to see the opposite happen and companies switching back to suites like CCH, Thomson, etc. Some relatively new players to the suite category include Zoho and BQE. They are recognizing that buyers can get easily overwhelmed by all of these app choices and look to provide solutions that cover end-to-end software needs.
Whatever your preference, whether independent solutions that offer best-of-breed technology for your different processes, or going all in with a major software suite — you can utilize the ecosystem to easily identify which applications are solving a problem within a specific category.
Tomorrow’s Product Landscape
In today’s marketplace, with its rapidly changing technology in a complex landscape, we continue to see new and improved applications coming through. The Accounting Technology Ecosystem® allows you to identify the products out there based on their function. The goal is to provide a roadmap to the buyer community while bringing clarity to new solution types and who they compete with. Accountex is an inclusive community and this is one of our top-rated tools that is an ever-changing resource.
Please note, when looking to adopt a new technology, that it is always a good idea to vet the organization and perform some standard due diligence before moving users/clients to the system.
The original ecosystem was released one year ago, and wow how the times have changed. As you download the latest version, keep in mind that this is a living document that grows as technology changes. We update it monthly based on new solutions we see come to market, as well as submissions by vendors to be added to categories. So be sure to check back for the latest edition when you are in the market for new technology, who knows what it will look like tomorrow!
Accounting technology is an expansive marketplace that offers the solutions that are the backbone to business operations. The Accounting Technology Ecosystem is free for download at AccountexUSA.com, and vendors who would like to submit their product for review can add their solution on the website form, free of charge.