Autonomous Cars and the Accounting Cloud
News about companies working on or investing in the development of autonomous or driverless cars appears almost daily. Whether it’s through a classification from the National Highway Safety Administration or the Society of Automotive Engineer significant progress is being made. Not so long ago it was a car that alerts when an object was near; then it was on to self-parking cars and alerts when driving outside a lane; even a car that could apply the brakes if needed. Companies such as Tesla, Google, Amazon and Uber are driving this technology further while early-adopters (customers) bravely anticipate the opening of the market to enjoy the ride.
Recently Uber announced, in partnership with Volvo, a fleet of self-driving cars coming to Pittsburgh at the end of August. This marks an important inflection point for the company as one of its largest investors, Google through Google Ventures, also has a plan to develop a fleet of self-driving cars with an app similar to Uber. There is an important distinction however as Google is aiming for the highest level of driverless autonomy, whereas Tesla and Uber’s technology require a layer of human interaction.
How great would it be to have such a numerous and dependable fleet to pick you up any time of day without fear of fatigue or driver error, where the small things just happen, and no one needs to do a thing. I think it would be pretty great!
As you have read this far you may be asking yourself, “What does autonomous driving have to do with accounting?” Let me explain! As many of you know, the accounting profession is undergoing immense technological disruption, primarily due to the advent of cloud computing For the past decade, cloud computing (and thus what I am naming the Accounting Cloud) has accelerated the future to improve the lives of accountants and business owners. In the very recent past, this has come to a head as app marketplaces, such as those that surround Xero and QuickBooks online, are filling almost every need of a business owner. As I said the other day to a fellow accountant I met at XeroCon, “Your accounting records become a happy byproduct of your business operations. No longer do you need to run two systems in parallel and duplicate your efforts and manual entry.”
The Accounting Cloud allows for business systems to speak with one another via open and robust APIs, eliminating the cross-platform manual data entry. This improves reliability as there is no miss-keyed information, and real-time information can be provided systems-wide. Perhaps most importantly the Accounting Cloud allows unhindered records review, allowing accountants to move up the value chain and act as true trusted advisors. We have seen this play out with more frequency with many of our clients in every passing month.
The Accounting Cloud lets you put your accounting function on auto-pilot – analogous to Tesla’s car, freeing up time for you to grow your business.