Cloud Accounting Weekly #11

Here's a roundup of the best links I clicked on this past week.  Do you have an item that would be a great fit for a future update? Click here to suggest a link.

Industry News

IBM's Watson supercomputer defeating its human competitors on Jeopardy! in 2011.

Financial Review — KPMG signs IBM supercomputer deal to 'help not replace' accountants

The Financial Review reports that KPMG Australia has inked a deal to use IBM's Watson to assist with audits. You may remember Watson as the supercomputer that won the gameshow Jeopardy! in 2011. KPMG claims that the move will not lead to job cuts, but it's difficult to believe that increased automation won't eventually lead to smaller head counts. (read)

TechCrunch — Zenefits halves its previous valuation to $2B to head off investor lawsuits

To avoid investor lawsuits after reports that Zenefits has been skirting insurance industry regulations, Zenefits is changing its ownership structure to increase the ownership of late-stage investors and dilute the ownership of earlier-stage investors. The move also revalues Zenefits at $2 billion, down from $4.5 billion. That's still more than 30 times its annual recurring revenue of $60 million. (read)

Just for Fun

Xero is a question on Millionaire

Accounting software Xero was a question recently on the Australian TV quiz show Millionaire Hot Seat, a spin-off of the internationally famous show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? It's difficult to imagine any accounting software being similarly featured on an American TV show, but Xero is big in Australia, with 2.5 times the users of MYOB, the other major cloud accounting provider in the region.


Despite being a miserable overhand free throw shooter, Wilt Chamberlain refused to shoot free throws underhand because it made him feel "like a sissy."

This American Life — Choosing Wrong

Ira Glass and company explore the reasons people make the wrong decision (such as shooting free throws overhand), even though the alternative is the obvious choice according to the facts. Is there a parallel here to accountants who refuse to move to the cloud? (listen)


IMPACT Branding & Design — How to Build a Powerful Website for Professional Service Providers

While it's good to fit in with your website, it's also important to stand out if you're going to win business over others in your area of expertise. Here's how, including 7 elements that you should be using in your website. (read)


#StephQA — Episode 17: Gaining focus by days audit

Check out Steph Hinds' latest video about how to regularly audit your day to find out what you're spending time on that you shouldn't be. (watch)

AICPA Insights — Things CPAs Need to Understand about Crowdfunding

Stay up to date on the latest crowdfunding rules from the SEC issued in May. New regulations = new opportunities. (read)

Software Updates

Abacus — Abacus has recently made a number of changes:

  • Improved look and navigation.
  • Automatic data entry for receipts.
  • Upload multiple receipts in one go.
  • Rules for automatic approval of recurring expenses. (read)

An example of the new Abacus user interface

Email from FreshBooks about how to continue syncing with Xero (click to enlarge)

FreshBooks — FreshBooks sent out an email this past week informing users that they can get a free account from OneSaas to keep the sync with Xero going after Xero discontinues their sync with FreshBooks on September 1. To qualify, you'll need to be on a paid FreshBooks plan. Then contact FreshBooks support to get your free OneSaas account.

QuickBooks — Now you can...

  • attach files to customers and vendors,
  • show/hide the attachments column on customer/vendor transaction lists, and...
  • automatically copy an estimate to a purchase order. (read)

Zapier — Now you can use the Zapier integration with Xero in more ways. Kick off a workflow when a new payment is received in Xero, or apply a payment to any invoice in Xero. (read)


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