My perspective is that the majority of businesses are trying to figure out how to better utilize their existing technology investment by doing a better job of integrating it into their business processes. The thought of deploying "new" technology has negative connotations for a lot of companies.
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John H. Higgins, CPA
Our clients are looking to get more information out of their current systems. They are asking how to better analyze their data to help make business decisions, instead of just using their accounting software to process day-to-day tasks. With the slow-down in the economy, our clients don't want to spend a lot of money on a new system. Instead, they want their current system to work harder for them.
Linda Lester, President
Being in New York and servicing the non-profit sector, I find many New York-based nonprofits have lost the desire for change. Many clients have deferred, cancelled, or postponed IT purchases indefinitely. While IT desires are there, many clients are afraid of reduced future government funding, greatly reduced donations, and changes in corporate missions because of 9/11 and the recession.
Eric Rogers, CPA, CITP
Rogers & Co.
New York, N.Y.
Clients need to integrate multiple systems! Many clients are entering information in multiple systems that cannot be synchronized. There are numerous vertical market packages that no longer incorporate a back-office accounting suite and require transfer of data. Many clients are also using contact management solutions that do not integrate with both their PDAs and accounting software. Clients are also having a hard time understanding that they need a firewall for both dial-up and continuous connection to the Internet.
Ilene Eisen, CPA, CITP
Easily the greatest need of firms I see around the country is an Intranet capable of managing Intellectual Capital, Scheduling, and Contacts. Having such a system in place can greatly enhance efficiencies (Improve Realization) and help manage the marketing efforts of a firm.
Charles R. McCann, CPA,
Kansas City, Mo.
My office's greatest technology need for the coming year is training employees on the software that is ever-changing to keep up with the fast pace of computer growth.
Executives want to see high return on their investments, such as dramatic increases in customer satisfaction, increased productivity, and efficiency, increased management control, and reduced costs. Therefore, they are interested in features and functions that allow better response to customers' questions, demands and problems, reduced data-entry errors, increased speed of items' movement from manufacturing to the customer, better and faster AR collection process, and better reporting capabilities.
A. B. Computer Systems
New York, N.Y.
We should see a real trend of people moving from Pervasive SQL to MS SQL. With so many of the vendors focusing development effort in the MS SQL versions, clients will be required to upgrade to be able to take advantage of the new functionality. We also should see more clients implementing Web-based modules that interface with their financial systems. These solutions are becoming cost effective and not as difficult to implement.
Our organization has seen significant increased demand for sophisticated software integration engagements. The majority of the integration work includes integrating Microsoft Great Plains to disparate legacy applications, including antiquated host systems, client/server systems, and Web-based applications. Whereas historically integration has been a relatively simple component in many Great Plains implementations, the integration projects have become more sophisticated and complete standalone projects.
Boca Raton, Fla.