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Trouble keeping up with tech? Fix your culture first.

Cloud Accounting Weekly is now Own Your Close, a newsletter for management accountants, controllers,
Own Your Close
Trouble keeping up with tech? Fix your culture first.
By Blake Oliver • Issue #98 • View online
Cloud Accounting Weekly is now Own Your Close, a newsletter for management accountants, controllers, and providers of outsourced accounting services. For more accounting technology updates, tune in to the Cloud Accounting Podcast.

Why are so many accounting teams slow to adopt new technology? 
I’ve been frustrated by this for years. It doesn’t make logical sense. And I’ve been digging for years to try and figure it out. But finally I think I’ve hit on the problem:
At the root, it’s a culture problem. The culture of public accounting — corrupted by the timesheet — discourages risk-taking and innovation. Unfortunately, like a contagious disease, that culture tags along when CPAs leave for industry or to start their own firms. We carry with us a subconscious resistance to change.
For more on this subject, and how to fix it, read my October tech column in California CPA Magazine. And for another take on the problems with billable hours, read Garrett Wagner’s argument that a focus on billable hours drives Millennials away.
But it isn’t all bad news. There’s a group of forward-thinking accountants who are breaking the mold.
It’s not easy, though. At an event FloQast hosted this past summer here in Los Angeles, all three of our panelists described how they had previously experienced a failed or deeply troubled cloud ERP implementation.
The risk is high, but the rewards are great. Not convinced? Read more about the rewards of cloud ERP here.
One “big picture” sort of reward brought to us by cloud technology is a new set of career paths for accountants.
Levi Morehouse, CEO of Ceterus, argues that today’s professionals:
… can either become communicators of critical business data and information, empowered to advise key stakeholders on business initiatives based on keen insight; or they can become experts in redesigning traditional industry processes to be more efficient by leveraging modern technology.
Robert Kugel of Ventana Research goes so far as to argue that the next stage in the evolution of the finance department might even make accounting cool (again).
But where are accountants going to learn the advisory or digital skills they need to succeed in this brave, new world?
They’ll need the digital skills to cope with tech such as blockchain, which has left the realm of theoretical hype and is now being deployed in the real world by Walmart to track its supply chain of fresh leafy greens.
PwC is taking baby steps with its new, rigorous “Digital Accelerators” program. An astonishing 3,500 staff applied to the first class, which only had seats for 500. Course capacity was later brought up to 1,000, but that’s still a drop in the bucket of the 236,000 PwC employees globally.
Accountants also need better tools if we’re going to lead the way.
To that end, the AICPA and CPA.com are seeking a new cohort for their Startup Accelerator. They’re looking for FinTech and EdTech solutions with a working product or service that are pre-Series A aiming to accelerate the profession’s technology ecosystem. Applications are due by November 30.
Speaking of the AICPA, if you’re looking for something new to listen to on your commute, you might want to subscribe to the AICPA + CIMA’s relatively new podcast Go Beyond Disruption that launched in May.
If you’re looking to become a disruptor yourself, consider joining FloQast!
We’re looking for a controller. Now you can close the books for a startup that makes software to help accounting teams close the books faster and more accurately. What could be better than that?
One of the perks of working at FloQast in accounting and finance — our CEO is a former EY auditor who knows his GAAP, at least well enough that he can riff on the challenges of ASC 606 revenue recognition with the editors of Accounting Today.
And now for software news. There were plenty of updates since the last issue, so keep on scrolling to stay up-to-date with feature releases and new products.
What's New in Apps
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!
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Blake Oliver

"Cloud Accounting Weekly" is now "Own Your Close," a newsletter for industry accountants, controllers, and providers of outsourced accounting services! Subscribe and stay up-to-date with the latest in technology, new regulations, and management tips.

For additional resources for management accountants, visit https://floqast.com/resources/. FloQast (where I work) is close management software built by accountants for accountants to help them close faster and more accurately.

For accounting technology news and podcast episodes, check out my personal website at http://www.blakeoliver.com.

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