[IMGCAP(1)]I recently had the opportunity to be part of the “CCH Listens” tour. Basically, CCH executives sit back, listen to and absorb what accountants really want in the way of technology. This discussion was facilitated by Maryland State CPA Society’s popular (and fun) executive director and CEO, Tom Hood. Now, while all this was well and good, fast-forward-thinking accounting professionals want more than for vendors to just listen…we want action!

Here’s the skinny: The fast moving, technology-driven professionals are tired of being labeled as “up-and-comers.” Trust me, we’ve long since “up’ed” and we’ve most certainly arrived. Our vision of cloud-based technologies and true paperless firms has become reality for us. Sure, we are still fewer in numbers than those holding on to legacy systems, but we do represent the way the profession is moving—and moving fast. And the fact is, our direction is the right direction; up, up and away to the cloud!

So, legacy, sh-meg-es-see…it’s time to create the technology firms need today. I get that there are still a fair share of traditional, big-walleted firms that are slow to change and hold on to their legacy products for dear life. But until these systems are taken away, hold-out firms won’t be motivated to adapt to a better, faster and smarter way of working.

I remember when I began my career in the early ’90s, during the transition from DOS to Windows. Eventually, when support for DOS was 86-ed, firms were pushed to change. And look what happened—everyone made it out alive.

Over the past few years, I transitioned a legacy firm to the cloud. So I speak from experience that it can be done—and that the end result is significant efficiency gains, an enhanced work culture, and higher profits. We now run exclusively on cloud-based applications. Even my father, though he kicked and screamed along the way, eventually saw the value and hopped on board the cloud bandwagon (where it’s a hell of a party)!

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With all this in mind, I would like to give a big “shout out” to CCH. I believe CCH is on the right track, having announced its new open platform after Tom Hood’s morning session. Apparently, all our yelling did not fall on deaf ears.

This is the type of innovation that we fast-forward-thinking accounting professionals have been waiting for and really, really want—collaborative, no-boundary tools that blow away today’s dated product suites.

Vendors: the fast moving, technology-savvy professionals are growing in numbers. It’s time to give the people what they want.

Jody L. Padar, CPA, MST, is a Certified Public Accountant experienced with Complex Federal & State Income Tax Compliance for Business & Individuals. Jody is an adjunct professor at Oakton Community College, where she teaches Taxation and QuickBooks Courses. She is part of Intuit Trainer Writer Network and speaks nationally on various Technologies and Taxation. She can be reached at www.newvisioncpagroup.com.