They froze. They were incapable of making the purchase. Why?
It was the confusion of choice. In the old Soviet countries there was only one milk product, one bread product, one toilet roll product. There was no choice.
Now standing in the US supermarket they were faced with an overwhelming array of choice. Milk with additives or ingredients removed, breads made from almost every type of grain, toilet rolls with 2 ply, 3 ply, 4 ply paper, colours and motifs. For people who never had to choose it was just too hard. The psychologists concluded that choice is a contributing factor to depression in the western world. Will I make a wrong choice? Will the product do? What I want? Will I be ripped off? We've all felt it. Try to buy a mobile phone and understand all the contract options! I get depressed just thinking about it.
Some of us remember the good old days when selecting technology options for your practice was comparatively simple. There were about 4 suppliers for practice management, tax and accounts production. Throw in an office suite and your practice had met all its technology needs. It wasn't too hard to get round and see all the suppliers and make a choice.
As we approach our 9th staging of ATSA (Accountants' Technology Showcase Australia) in Sydney on October 12-13 http://www.smithink.com/events/atsa_2015 we find that we have over 60 companies showcasing their technologies designed to enable accounting firms to improve their efficiency, client service and profits. That's an amazing number. Just this year alone we have over 15 new suppliers showcasing their products.
The problem that accountants now face is - how do I get across all these technologies? How do I compare the offerings? How do to ensure that what I select is right for my practice? Will I be at a competitive disadvantage if I don't embrace these new technologies.
Imagine trying to meet all of these companies individually. By the time meetings were set up, demos conducted and with follow-up discussions more than half a day would be needed for each. That's more than 6 weeks of business days! Not really a viable option if you're looking to make some money! The bottom line is that no practitioner has time to do this which means opportunities to improve the business are lost.
Hence the idea of ATSA - to bring all of these companies together. To give them opportunities to present themselves so that you can directly compare their offerings. To provide opportunities to engage directly with them. All in just two days. That's why we call it speed dating for technology.
Are you leveraging companies like Stryke, enabling clients to submit their tax information using their mobile device or NowInfinity or More Super with their legal, tax and SMSF document generation technologies. Datafeed technologies from BankLink (MYOB), Shoeboxed, Receipt Bank, BankCSV, the SMSF admin platforms and the cloud accounting platforms and are automating away data entry. Marketing platforms from Synergy8. Document capture and scanning technologies from Ezy As Software. Debt collection solutions from LCD Debt Solutions. Not forgetting the PDF manipulation/document management technologies from Nitro and the mobile technologies from MyProsperity enabling you to strengthen your relationships with you clients via their mobile device. Accurium's retirement incomes calculation tools along with SelfWealth and Sharesight's investment tools are a critical part of the mix in helping clients manage their retirement. This list goes on and on. And of course the more established suppliers are not sitting still. This year at ATSA you will find a large number of new products emerging from these suppliers as well.
So investing just two days at ATSA is actually a bit of a must. There is no more efficient way to get across all these technologies and understand how they can power your practice and to avoid technology depression.