Custom integration is when you have to write specific software to get two apps talking to each other, or when you somehow fill the gap between two apps with code you wrote yourself or somebody wrote for you.

And what’s interesting is I’m speaking to a lot of accounting practices, and many of them, many of the modern accounting practices are engaging software engineers who can write code. And then what’s happening is, they’re saying, well, we want to have an automated workflow management solution in our practice. We need you to write some code to make some of these things happen. It’s a cost centre for the business. But what they then do is they can see their clients would benefit from having some of their solutions linked up. And they’re offering their software engineers, their internal software engineers, and they’re charging them out to their clients. They’re turning them into a Revenue Centre for their business. They’re engaging a software engineer as a neutral cost for them in that they can charge them out plus, they have the technical knowledge to use within their firm, which is very interesting.

What some of these firms are evolving to do is they’re putting in the solution themselves. And then realise we’ve got a nice product here, why don’t we start selling it to other people. Several solutions out there have been born out of needs from accounting practices. So for instance, Practice Ignition, which is a now  a really robust, complete onboarding solution that was born out of a need of a very young modern accounting practice, that said that there’s got to be a better and quicker way to onboard clients, get them to sign a document in the sky, get them into in the clouds, and then get all of the invoices automated in generating from the agreements in place that was signed up on that document, and then push all those invoices out that way. There’s another solution based out of Adelaide called account Account-Kit, again, they started developing solutions within the business, then packaged up and sell that as a separate solution to other businesses. It’s very interesting. I think, as accountants, we’re going to see a lot more of this happening both in terms of the custom integration, but in terms of accountants evolving and developing their own accounting apps and selling them back into the accounting world.