The Economics of Machine Intelligence

Cloud Accounting Weekly #32

The holiday season is upon us! I hope my U.S. readers had a festive Thanksgiving. And to everyone else, you're really missing out.

There's nothing better than a national holiday that glorifies consuming large quantities of turkey, cranberries, and stuffing while watching an absurd amount of football on TV. (As long as you can keep politics out of it, that is.)

Speaking of giving thanks, I'm very thankful to be done with three out of four of the CPA exams. All that remains is BEC, which I'm taking in January. In case you're curious, here are all the reasons I'm bothering to go through this horrible process.

As always, here are my favorite cloud accounting links I've clicked on recently.

Future of the Profession

The Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence — Harvard Business Review

Three professors from the University of Toronto argue that automation and AI won't put humans out of work. Rather, the value of human judgment skills will increase as robots perform more predictive tasks. As they say, "when the cost of prediction falls demand for judgment rises." Which means that those capable of high-level judgment will thrive. What will happen to those lower on the totem pole remains to be seen ...


Leaders: A Fireside Chat with Toronto's Top Cloud Accountants

Tuesday, 6 December 2016 at 6:00 PM
Hubdoc and Xero are taking the Cloud Leaders Fireside Chat series to Toronto! Don't miss an expert panel including Chad Davis of LiveCA, Mike Pinkus of ConnectCPA, and Allison Hawkins of Hawkins & Co.

App Updates

The Explorer tab showing connected apps in Xero HQ

The Explorer tab showing connected apps in Xero HQ

Xero releases new Xero HQ for partners

The new Xero HQ is here! My favorite parts — the new Activity Feed showing due dates such as payroll filings, and Explorer, which finally lets us see in one place all the add-ons we or our clients have connected to their Xero organizations.

Xero completes major data migration to Amazon Web Services — CIO New Zealand

"The migration, which took just over two years to be architected and executed, saw more than 59 billion records, 3000 apps and 120 databases securely transitioned to the AWS platform. Over that time, Xero added nearly half a million new customers."

Xero updates partner points system

Along with the upcoming changes to the Xero Advisor Director, Xero has updated the points system for deciding what partner firms are Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Here are all the details on the new points system.

Harvest updates to Invoicing and Exports

You can now auto-attach expense receipts for billable expenses to your customer invoices in Harvest. There are also new updates to export options.

Zenefits will pay $7 million to California — Business Insider

Some good news for Zenefits and Zenefits partners: The company has settled with the State of California over its legal troubles under prior management.

Sales & Marketing

How new CPAs can build a book of business — Journal of Accountancy

An excellent guide to networking for millennial accountants that includes both traditional networking as well as social media and content marketing.

Xero Add-on Success: 4 tips on making suggestions to clients — Zerobooks

If you want your clients to start using more cloud accounting add-ons, don't talk to them about specific apps — that's overwhelming to them. Focus on the potential benefits. Only once the client is sold on the benefits should you start talking about apps.


3 Ways To Boost Your Accounting Firm Profitability 67% With Less Staff — Jetpack Workflow

Rob Nixon is on the podcast discussing the 3-step approach to firm profitability.

Practice Management

Best Practice Month End Close Checklist (Excel Template) — FloQast

How solid is your monthly close process? Take a look at this handy (and very thorough) Excel checklist from FloQast, makers of financial close management software for users of Intacct and Netsuite.

Thanks for reading! Looking to catch up on the news? Check out the previous issue, Cloud Accounting Weekly #31.