Accounting, Industry News, Technology

Accountant’s Software Market

I’ve spent some time recently analysing the software landscape for Accountant’s in Australia. Its been interesting, eye-opening and mind-boggling all at the same time.

My first key challenge has been to define and categorise the segment, which is the basis of this particular post:

How do you actually define the segment?

Practice Management seems to get bandied around as both the overall market segment, as well as a defined sub-segment for effectively client, job and task management.

So as to avoid confusion, I have decided to personally use the terms:

  • Accountant Software” to define the broader industry;
  • Practice Management” to define the sub-segment;

How do you define the sub-segments of the Accountant Software market?

You can see from the graphic above, in 2019 Accounting firms use a vast array of different and over-lapping applications from a myriad of different software vendors. In pulling together the graphic, which I emphasise is by no means comprehensive, but moreover a broad representation of the market, I’ve tried to bucket the various apps into some form of groups.

I started adding overlays on my graphic, which got ugly quickly… yuck.

I studied a number of the larger vendors websites, hoping for some consensus… alas no…

I reached out to a number of industry legends which I know and asked their opinions… I started to get some consistency in the sub-segment definitions.

I then threw up a post on Twitter and LinkedIn:

In the end I’ve landed on the following 10 segments:

  1. Generic business apps, used across industries (GSuite, Office365, Zoom etc)
  2. “Practice Management” – Workflow, Job/Project Management & Resource Planning;
  3. Client Accounting/Ledgers and ETL;
  4. Tax, Compliance & Workpapers;
  5. Marketing, CRM/CLM (customer relationship (and lifecycle) management);
  6. Reporting, Business Intelligence and Advisory;
  7. Document Management & Client Portals;
  8. Wealth Management;
  9. Audit
  10. Other

What do you think? Any alternate thoughts?

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Matt Paff (BBus GAICD) is founder of Value Adders and a veteran of the Accounting, Payroll and broader B2B Technology industry. Matt’s resume includes time as GM at Attaché Software, one of the world’s longest surviving accounting software companies, as well as starting, growing and exiting a successful accounting technology & business process consulting firm. Matt has held advisory board positions with accounting firm Imagine Accounting as well as Governance technology start-up GovernRight. In his spare time, Matt also runs a RegTech start-up vSure. Matt is passionate about a practical, plain English perspective. He is known for being a straight-shooter and appreciated for his forthright, researched opinions.

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