11th February, 2019

MYOB INCITE 2019 Showcase – Connected Practice vision

For years, MYOB has been touting The Connected Practice as a holistic vision of the accounting and bookkeeping sector. Now, for the first time, the technology announced at MYOB INCITE is arriving to facilitate the concept becoming a reality in the years ahead.

That’s right, and as the hundreds of accountants and bookkeepers who have already attended MYOB INCITE 2019 already know, The Connected Practice is on the verge of coming together.

While the INCITE roadshow comes to a close in locations across Australia and New Zealand, we can already share a taste of the updates presented at the Melbourne event, which took place last Friday, 8 February.

But for all the detail, stay tuned for the release of our ‘INCITE Online’ experience, which is due to appear in a few weeks’ time.

Hold onto your hats

As was the case at Partner Connect, the buzzing audience soon fell into a hush as MYOB head of partner sales and MC extraordinaire Blake Collins took to the stage to kick off proceedings.

“In this first section we’re going to show you ​the end-to-end workflows across transaction processing, compliance and advisory ​that really highlight the power of the MYOB Platform,” said Collins.

​”This is not vaporware, and what you see is working software and we’ll share with you timeframes ​and target dates so you know what you can expect through 2019.”

Collins also highlighted the fact that INCITE is geared towards encouraging attendees to formulate their own ‘action plan’ to begin embedding the various technologies required to operate a Connected Practice.

Drawing on research commissioned by MYOB in partnership with AlphaBeta, Collins then presented the case for why The Connected Practice is as important today as it ever has been.

“The safest jobs are those that have the highest rate of task evolution,” said Collins. “That is, the more change that takes place in the way your profession works, the safer your role in the long run.”

Task change
Based on ANZSCO occupations at the 4-digit level. Source: O*Net, ABS Census, AlphaBeta analysis.

And while that may seem counterintuitive, redundancy data by occupation appears to corroborate, with accountants singled out as one of the winners.

“Accountants were called out as one of the roles that have had and do have the highest rate of technology-driven task evolution, but also the lowest number of forced redundancies.

“The future is not bleak for our industry – yes, there is going to be significant change, but it is this change that keeps us relevant and keeps you and your colleagues’ jobs safe.”

So hold onto your hats. The Connected Practice is on its way.

Streamlining workflows for enhanced efficiency

The next presentation, as given by MYOB head of partnerships Simon Dennis and senior product manager Lisa Baldacchino, walked the audience through a high-level overview of the updates being made to streamline the transaction processing workflow.

“To drive maximum efficiencies, we believe that only a truly integrated platform that enables data to flow seamlessly through the entire workflow is acceptable,” said Dennis.

“Our vision for transaction processing reflects this,” said Baldacchino. “We believe that it should be easy and efficient for you to complete all your transaction processing work at scale, regardless of whether your clients are doing some of the work, or you’re doing it for them.”

With that, the pair moved into their demonstration of transaction processing through MYOB Practice – an element that holds relevance for all bookkeepers, BAS agents and accountants.

Primarily, these updates focused on improved navigation for MYOB Portal, with a new coding queries workflow announced to be in the final stages of beta testing with a view to launch by the end of February this year.

Compliance is getting even easier

Next up, head product (accountants) Amy Johnson and senior product manager Tobi Heskett took to the stage to tell the audience about compliance-related updates.

“We are passionate about delivering you software that dramatically cuts down the time it takes complete the compliance workflow,” said Johnson. “That means more time with your family and friends, time to do more compliance, or time to diversify your business.”

And there’s good reason for reducing the time spent on compliance tasks, especially with the growing size of the advisory opportunity now valued at around $6.74bn in Australia, while 79 percent of SMEs want their advisors to help them grow their business.

“We have re-imagined the software with data flowing from the ledger, to workpapers, to the tax rec and into the stat accounts and tax return, meaning less clicks and highly connected workflows,” Johnson explained, as it’s these enhancements that will free up the bandwidth required to get on top of advisory services.”

READ: MYOB Practice halves time spent on compliance workflow

Key updates demonstrated include how MYOB has incorporated artificial intelligence to generate queries for clients based on previous workpapers and tax returns, a more client-centric navigation, and even a simplified interface for clients to submit their supporting documents.

Putting advisory on the agenda

And then it was client solutions consulting team leader Chris McCormack’s turn to take the stage to discuss the specifics of advisory.

McCormack’s demonstration walked the audience through the latest iteration of MYOB Advisor, which uses machine learning and natural language generation to easily visualise client data and compile compelling reports in just a few clicks.

“The great thing about MYOB Advisor, is that it will use natural language generation to give you suggestions of how to start the conversation with your client,” said McCormack.

The end result is a powerful tool that smooths the path to advisory by offering real insights based on any clients’ data. And as McCormack demonstrated, MYOB Advisor continues to improve with each new iteration released.

Making bookkeeping simple for clients

In the last products-focused segment of the event, Simon Dennis and Blake Collins returned to take the stage once more, to discuss the developments MYOB’s made in solving some of the key challenges businesses face every day.

Dennis outlined the three key areas in which MYOB has recently been focusing its attention, which are “improving the business’s view on cash flow”, “simplifying digital record keeping” and “getting better insights into the business”. Each of the features the pair went on to discuss addressed at least one of these key areas.

For cash flow, this means finding ways to reduce the amount of time it takes businesses to get paid with solutions for mobile quoting and invoicing, better supplier management and easier payment solutions, payment reminders and enhanced cash flow reporting – all within MYOB Essentials.

As it comes to easy record keeping, the pair demonstrated the new In Tray for Connected Ledger, as well as the MYOB Capture tool.

“We know that clients don’t enjoy paying bills and expenses, but they’re an important part of the cash flow story​ and vital for the compliance aspect of GST and end-of-year reporting,” said Collins.

With this set of new features, clients are able to automatically capture and upload their receipts, where their bookkeeper can then easily attach it to a bank transaction with little to no manual input beyond confirming the data matches up.

“The best part of all of this, and what really sets our process apart, is that once a document hits the In Tray…we’ll digitally read through and match it to transactions,” said Dennis.

The pair also went on to discuss our new payment solutions, including the fact that MYOB now facilitates salary payments for over 880,000 employees via MYOB Essentials, which is set to grow in the face of new STP legislation, as well as MYOB’s new partnership with Mastercard.

Even without considering the sheer level of detail provided by the presenters at MYOB INCITE 2019, it’s clear there was tonnes of information provided to clients and partners on the day. And given the overwhelmingly enthusiastic responses to many of these updates, it’s clear that the attendees were as excited to learn about them as MYOB staff were to share them.