Strategy, Legal & Operations

Key insights from Sage transform 2021

Sage Transform, previously known as Sage Intacct Advantage and now in its 14th year, took place at the Venetian Resort in Las Vegas November 8-12. The event offered Sage customers and partners both in-person and virtual experience options to listen and learn.

The show featured more than 175 product, industry, and hands-on sessions focused on technology innovations for finance teams. On-site, there were plenty of opportunities to network and connect with other customers and partners to share ideas and best practices. And, of course, there were also opportunities to have a little fun at the Welcome Reception, Expo Happy Hours, and the vibrant wrap-up party highlighted by bright lights, DJ led dance music and amazing food and drink stations.

There was so much knowledge shared throughout the event during both the keynotes and the breakout sessions at Sage Transform. To give you a glimpse, here are a few key insights that stood out for me.

“Accountants create trust by holding us accountable.”

Aaron Harris, Sage CTO

During his General Session presentation, Aaron Harris, noted there’s an entire industry that exists to create trust in business. He then pointed out that industry is Accounting.

As Aaron described, financial leaders are now leveraging technology to build trust. Artificial intelligence (AI) is following the pattern of transactions flowing through their business, figuring out what the normal patterns are, and then identifying when transactions start to fall out of typical scenarios. This anomaly detection flags outliers for human review, thus increasing confidence in how teams approach journal entries, invoice fraud prevention, smart contracts, auditing and more.

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“Automation gives you your time back.”

Scott Hollrah, Founder and Managing Partner at Venn Technology

“It is the year 2021, and we live in a world where technology publishers have very robust APIs. There’s no reason that things should not work seamlessly together.” That was the message Scott presented when he began his breakout session titled ‘Seamless Integration. It’s like a day at the beach’.

Scott talked about the importance of applications working together because if not, manual data transfer processes are time consuming. “You were probably hired to do more high level, important things,” he proclaimed.

He continued by describing the risk of manual input. “It’s incredibly error prone. When you touch the data and manipulating something in Excel, there’s a good chance you’re going to fat finger it or have a macro that gets corrupted. Also, when doing things manually, there’s a delay in getting data from system A to B, or maybe C, D and E. In this scenario, you don’t have timely insights on revenue, or inventory or key operational metrics.”

“We’re most successful when we’re not in the office.”

Brett Abbey, CFO at Mob Scene

During the event’s first day general session, Dan Miller, Sage’s EVP for Sage Intacct, spoke to Brett Abbey about his company’s move to the cloud.

As a multi-award winning entertainment advertising and production company, Mob Scene partners with cast members on movie sets around the world. Brett described the importance for his team being able to use Sage Intacct to access up to date project information anytime, from anywhere.

“We really wanted to push self-service,” Brett said. “We didn’t want everyone logging questions into the accounting team.” He noted that Sage Intacct enabled colleagues to log in and check the status of their vendor payments and project status in real-time.

“80% of retailers have started an omnichannel strategy or have already implemented it.”

Ryan Tierney, VP Product Management at TrueCommerce

Within the Business Leadership Track, Ryan Tierney presented an overview of how the evolution of technology has changed the way we purchase goods. “And the pandemic has accelerated changes by 5-7 years in some cases,” he noted.

Ryan emphasized the rise of new buying habits, such as ordering through social media channels, as well as emerging fulfilment processes that consumers now expect. “All of these new shopping options come with different technology underneath and new challenges for connecting data.”

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