2016 IT Predictions and 2015 Results

It’s that time again to provide you with our CPA Firm Technology and Production predictions for the year ahead, as well as to recap the results of our 2015 guesses. While this article was written two months before year end as the US political environment was heating up, our exit polls are “projecting” that 2015 was one of our better predictive years with seven WINs, two DRAWs and one LOSS which we will try to convince you of, followed by our 2016 Predictions:

Windows 10 Success (WIN): We will rate this a WIN as firms that have utilized Windows 10 have stuck with it as a solid upgrade to Windows 7, without the negative “baggage” that hounded Windows 8 since its release.
Mobile Device Management (MDM) Adoption (WIN): We see enough firms implementing remote policies and adopting the ability to erase data on lost or stolen devices (primarily via Microsoft Exchange Server) to tag this as a WIN. While no single dedicated MDM application has proven dominant they have made noticeable inroads along with including the Microsoft Exchange option.

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Early Bird Registration Is Open!

The dates are set, and Early Bird pricing and registration are now available in the Xcentric Store. After last year’s successful conference, we’ve decided to have it at the same location with some tweaks to the schedule and activity offerings.

Check out our Cloud Conference pages before purchasing tickets to view instructions on pricing for 2+ attendees from the same firm. We’ll update the Agenda page with more details soon, so check back later for more info.

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Vote Now for the 2016 Readers’ Choice Awards!

Each year, the CPA Practice Advisor nominates your vendors and technology providers to be voted for various categories in the Readers’ Choice Awards. Xcentric has won #1 Outsourced Technology Services provider for several years in the past, and we were a runner up last year for best ASP/Hosted Solution Provider. We would love to win both of these awards for 2016 and believe that we can with the help of our clients and partners.

Take a few minutes to vote here. We are in questions 26 & 27.

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Xcentric Christmas Parties and Traditions

Every year, we like to start off the holiday season with our annual Christmas parties (one for each office). Aside from the delicious dinner and spending time together outside of the office, many look forward to playing musical chairs in hopes of winning the well sought-after title and first pick of the gift table. Some people come prepared, wearing comfortable shoes, or, like Crystal Thompson, bringing an extra pair of shoes to slip on right before the game. It gets intense – some walk away with bruises and minor scrapes.

But no matter what happens, it’s always a good time, and everyone walks away with something from the gift table!

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New Resource: Cloud Cutover Communication Plan

If you’re hesitant about switching over to the Xcentric Cloud because you fear getting your team on board and having to communicate with them every step of the way, take a look at this free resource. It’s worked effectively for several of our clients, and you don’t have to worry about spending hours writing up emails and organizing timelines…we have them written for you!

All you have to do is go through the provided plan and let us help you along the way. It doesn’t eliminate having to train your team, but it definitely makes the process easier.

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Xcurated: Fundamental Sales, Fintech, Money Risk and Common Sense

Here is what we are reading, listening to, and watching around the web that we think will be of interest.

5 aspects of your fundamental sales niche

Professional service firms are all trying to find a niche…this short read could be very helpful in shifting your thinking. A quick quote: “It’s easier to make the pond smaller than to make the fish bigger: it’s easier to retarget, refocus and reframe yourself than to change your products and offerings.

The Dead-Simple Guide to Start Sharing Content as a Sales Professional (or as a Partner at a CPA firm)

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New Faces at Xcentric

Get to know some of the new faces, and old ones, at Xcentric! We’ve grown a lot over the past year and are continuing to add more to our team. Looking back at everything that has happened during 2015, such as new Cloud features, our growing client-base and team, our successful 1st Cloud Conference, and the Bozeman team expanding into a new office, we are proud and excited to enter into 2016.

Xcentric would not be where it is today without our wonderful clients and amazing team…so thank you to everyone who has made 2015 so outstanding!

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Improve Your Firm’s Tax Production by Eliminating Muda

Eliminating Muda is one of the most effective byproducts of Lean Six Sigma analysis techniques which make any process more efficient and profitable. So what exactly is Muda? It is the Japanese term for waste, which is defined as “any human activity which absorbs resources but creates no value.“

Not surprisingly, the haphazard adoption of various technologies, accounting applications, and workflow processes without training or follow-up on new features has created a significant amount of Muda in firms, so the lull before yearend provides a great opportunity to take an objective look at your production processes and see where waste can be eliminated to make your more efficient.

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2015 Holiday Gift List

All I want for Christmas is…?  Wait, you don’t know?  Here are a few ideas to ready your lists whether giving or receiving.

More and more, I hear stories of people dropping cable and shifting to alternate ways to fill their television screens.  Although many TVs connect to the internet directly, the popularity of content streaming boxes has continued to grow.  At least one of these has made this list each of the past three years, and this year is no different.  Which one works best for you or yours?  Let’s take a quick look at a few similar devices.

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