Twenty-five Years of Accounting Technology, Eh?


Accounting Technology will be 25 years old in June and my first reaction is to say, "So what?" It could be because I think our readers are focused on the future, what they are going to buy in the current budget, or maybe in the 2010 budget. The magazine faces forward, not too far, and rarely looks too far back. Journalists rarely remember what they write after each issue is finished and I suspect readers' memories are about as short. And in this economic period, we're a lot more concerned with facing developing conditions than what happened once.

It's about solving problems and if looking at the past helps with that, it's fine and dandy.

Or it could be that I'm somewhat like my father, who my mother once described as being "about as sentimental as the turkey on Thanksgiving."

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And that's why I'm more interested in talking about changes in this magazine, which first saw the light of day in June 1984 as Computers in Accounting, before the current name was adopted in 1993.

Back when the magazine was born, the IBM PC was still young. But who really cares that it had far less power than the typical iPod, or that nobody had heard of email and the Internet was still implicit in the Arpanet, which had just switched to TCP/IP protocols in 1983?

There was a new look to the magazine in May 1997,when I took over as editor with the belief that Accounting Technology was a business publication about the uses of technology and not a technology publication.

There were several new departments that debuted - most are gone. One that lasted from that time was called VARVantage, whose name was changed to Channels along the way in the belief it provided room for programs that involved recommenders and installers. But Channels aged and the last version appeared in the December 2008 issue.

In its place we are debuting a series of opinion pieces designed to bring a wider range of viewpoints to our readers. These include columns by well-known consultant Gary Boomer, and reseller Gene Marks, whose writings appear in and other national publications.

For one opinion, we didn't have to go far afield. That's for the "Accounting Tomorrow" column from Senior Editor Alexandra DeFelice, which is an outgrowth of a new section of the same name on WebCPA at As the tagline on the Web site explains, Accounting Tomorrow is "An intergenerational mix of news and opinion." It's designed to address issues from the confluence of generations - traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generations X and Y - in the workplace.

Of course, if you are really interested in what was going on in technology 25 years ago, perhaps you can find a history that talks about things way back when.

Or maybe you can give me a call, and we can have an Old Timers convention.

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Editor Robert Scott also writes "Consulting Insights," a free, twice-monthly electronic newsletter that addresses issues concerning the consulting and reselling market. It's insight with an attitude. If you want to subscribe, put the following in your browser address line: You can also visit us at

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