Eye EYE (c) 2016 Pixabay / cocoparisienne https://pixabay.com/en/eye-blue-eye-iris-pupil-face-1173863/ Several firms announced their initial findings from the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, they included Adobe, BigCommerce and Salesforce. Research from FullStory shed light on the key challenges and contradictions in the world of website and mobile app optimisation. Vamp published a report that looked at the importance of influencer marketing.


In a report published in partnership with Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Accenture found that firms taking the lead in disability inclusion drive more revenue, net income and profit.

The report identifies that, over the last five years, the business case for hiring persons with disabilities has become even stronger. Specifically, companies that have led on key disability inclusion criteria over that time saw 1.6 times more revenue, 2.6 times more net income and 2 times more economic profit than other companies in the DEI. Further, leaders are more likely to outperform industry peers in productivity by 25%.

Jill Kramer, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Accenture, commented, “Disability inclusion is a topic close to my heart, and it is imperative, both from a business and societal aspect, to build an accessible, inclusive environment where all our people can belong and thrive.”

Accenture and Disability:IN developed a framework to help business leaders become more intentional about disability inclusion:

  1. Access: Organizations must remove barriers and provide equal access to employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, including recruitment, hiring and career advancement.
  2. Awareness: Leaders must raise awareness about disabilities so organizations can foster a culture of empathy and respect, challenge stereotypes and promote a more inclusive mindset among employees.
  3. Advocacy: Organizations must create an environment for individuals to feel comfortable disclosing their disabilities and forming employee networks and help amplify their voices and ensure their perspectives are heard.
  4. Action: By integrating various disability inclusion initiatives under a single umbrella, organizations can ensure that they work in harmony to create a more accessible and equitable workplace.
  5. Accountability: Organizations must be able to measure their progress and share what they learn to demonstrate their commitment and dedication to improving disability inclusion.


Avalara released findings from a new survey of marketplace sellers, gig workers, and decision-makers at online marketplaces around previously proposed changes to IRS form 1099-K reporting requirements in 2024. Including a drop in the reporting threshold from $20,000 to $600.

As a result of these proposed changes, the survey found:

  • 83% of marketplaces anticipate sellers to leave their platforms
  • 55% of marketplace sellers and gig workers are reconsidering online selling and on-demand work. 90% of marketplaces queried believing sellers on their platform are prepared for changes
  • However, only 51% of marketplace sellers reported readiness to comply with proposed rule changes

Scott Peterson, VP of US Tax Policy at Avalara, said, “Our survey data reveals the need for proactive measures on the part of marketplace sellers, on-demand workers, and online marketplaces to determine how best to comply with a revised 1099-K digital payments threshold.

“Gig workers and sellers anticipating significant impacts from the proposed IRS changes should seek advisory assistance from a bookkeeper or tax/accounting professional around newfound reporting complexity prior to making big decisions. And businesses, bookkeepers and accounting firms can access cloud-based automation solutions that scale with reporting and form preparation and distribution demands associated with a decreased 1099-K threshold.”


Betterworks published findings from research based on 1,000 US employees across 20 industries. It looked at the use of AI and workforce views on it, a year after the launch of ChatGPT. Doug Dennerline, CEO of Betterworks, said, ”We wanted to understand how C-suites across the country are thinking about and responding to GenAI.

“Are businesses embracing the opportunity and actively exploring ways to become more efficient and data-driven? And how do their workforces feel — what excites them, what concerns them, and have they already started using it to do their work? At Betterworks, we believe that GenAI will make people and organizations far more productive and innovative, as well as simplify and enhance performance management.”

The key findings included:

  • Employees are using GenAI at work for high-level tasks regardless of their company’s position on it
  • Employees want to hear from HR because they’re split on AI’s impact
  • AI promises greater fairness and inclusiveness, but it’s not perfect
  • AI will elevate fairness in performance reviews and improve DEI
  • AI + human intelligence is necessary for removing bias while incorporating human judgment in performance reviews


Deloitte today released its “Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) 2024 Predictions” report.

The key findings included:

  • Generative AI drives market surge, with Generative AI chip sales likely to reach over $50 billion and software revenue poised for a $10 billion boost in 2024. Generative AI chip prices are high — if you can even get them — but as supply increases next year, prices could drop even while unit growth stays strong. Nearly all enterprise software companies will integrate Generative AI into at least some of their offerings in 2024.
  • Women’s elite sports are expected to surpass $1 billion in revenue for the first time in 2024, three times higher than in 2021 levels, inspiring generations of future female athletes.
  • Sustainability increases in telecom and semiconductors, with the chip industry taking a smaller byte out of energy and water use. Thanks to new plants and digital transformation and telcos dialling down the carbon. Reducing emissions by 2% by shuttering old networks and pressing the “snooze button” on their 5G towers.
  • After years of gaining subscribers but not profits, streamers are being driven to tiers. They will double the number of subscription models they offer. Ranging from deluxe ad-free tiers to options with more ads and less content.

Kevin Westcott, Vice Chair, Deloitte LLP, US TMT and global telecommunications, media and entertainment (TME) Practice Leader, said, “Looking into 2024, we’re seeing a clear trend in practical innovation meeting market demand. Generative AI continues to become a critical tool in our tech arsenal. Meanwhile, sustainability efforts in the telecom and semiconductor spaces are making tangible strides in reducing environmental impacts. In media and entertainment, women’s sports are shattering revenue records, and streaming services are reimagining their business models.”


Experian published two sets of findings last week.

Experian’s State of the Automotive Finance Market Report: Q3 2023 found the average new vehicle loan amount was $40,184, down from $41,543 in Q3 2022. By comparison, from Q3 2021 to Q3 2022, the average new vehicle loan amount increased $3,698. On the used vehicle side, the average loan amount was $27,167, down $1,517 year-over-year.

Melinda Zabritski, Experian’s Head of Automotive Financial Insights, said, “While we’ve seen the average loan amount for new and used vehicles rise over the better part of the last three years, it’s a welcome sight to see average vehicle loan amounts decrease.

“Once you factor in monthly payments remaining relatively stable despite rising interest rates, the industry seems to be heading in a positive direction, especially with consumers having more options available to them during the financing process.”

The second set of findings was from research that looked at where organisations for investing in data. 87% of respondents say that high-quality, trusted data plays a critical role in responding to market disruptors. And challenges are set to intensify over the next year, according to 88% of respondents.

In addition to investing in high-quality data, organizations are focused on the people, processes, and technology that interact with the data. 40% of surveyed leaders indicate they are hiring and developing business users’ data skills. While 37% are hiring and developing data professionals. 40% have stated they are investing in the automation of data quality rules and processes, and 35% are implementing a data governance program.

Simone Lima, General Manager of Experian Data Quality, said, “Coming out of the pandemic, the business landscape has transformed drastically, reflecting a bit of a technological revolution. High-quality data is a stabilizer during times of change or uncertainty.

“But high-quality data encompasses more than just the data itself. It’s important for organizations to shore up other aspects of the data process, including staff and automation, to truly make the most of the valuable information it provides.”


Research from MYOB found that 80% of small businesses have yet to adopt AI, and only 21% plan to do so. Of those using AI, 88% say it has helped them save time in their business, and 81% said it has helped increase productivity.

The most popular uses for AI include:

  • Crafting social media and marketing posts (49%)
  • Copywriting for marketing materials and media releases (34%)
  • Copywriting of technical documents (25%)
  • Market, trend and risk analysis (25%)

Emma Fawcett, MYOB’s General Manager SME, said, “There is tremendous opportunity in all digital technology uptake for small business owners, and this includes newer options such as AI.

“The research indicates that SMEs know AI has the potential to help them, and those that have adopted it can see improvements in productivity and timesaving. However, there are still barriers to overcome, including feeling that they don’t know enough about AI or have concerns about the costs associated with implementing new systems. 

“Forty-four per cent believe the use of AI will impact their industry over the next five years, so it’s time for small and medium-sized business owners to understand what opportunities are available to them, and how they can harness these to maximise their business efficiency.”


OneStream announced the results of its global “AI-Driven Finance” survey, revealing the majority (80%) of financial decision-makers believe AI will increase productivity in the office of finance.

Of the financial leaders exploring ways AI can increase efficiency and improve accuracy in business processes, most are commonly using AI to streamline and improve data management. Specifically data correction (69%), cleansing (60%) and mapping (59%) as well as anomaly detection (53%).

Other findings include:

  • AI is showing a positive impact on forecasting and decision-making among businesses, with 60% of financial decision-makers believing AI technologies provide more actionable insights and significantly improve the speed of forecasting.
  • One-third of businesses experienced challenges with employee training (32%) and data privacy regulations and procedures (31%). Additionally, 28% of businesses cite challenges with data breaches and cybersecurity and integrating AI with existing processes, which is likely the cause of hesitation around AI adoption.
  • 43% of those surveyed are improving data security, while another 43% implemented or are considering implementing new software applications.
  • 46% of respondents see AI as a threat to current job roles in accounting and finance, and 72% think AI will create opportunities for new jobs in the industry. 80% of respondents also believe AI will enable finance departments to increase productivity and efficiency.

Tiffany Ma, Sr. Product Marketing Manager for OneStream AI Services, said, “With the backdrop of a looming shortage of accounting and finance talent in the labour market, as well as volatile global economic conditions, our survey results highlight the increasing interest in the use of AI to increase productivity and forecasting accuracy in accounting and finance teams and the value this can bring to organizations.

“As financial leaders continue to learn more about AI and explore ways to leverage it to increase efficiency and reduce costs, we expect AI to become a key competitive advantage for businesses looking to succeed in the new year, both in business outcomes and securing top finance talent.”


SAS published a report, AI Readiness: How are organisations preparing for new requirements?

Key findings included:

  • 66% said they expect their current AI software suppliers to help them comply — placing more trust in them than in their own legal and IT teams (57% and 21%, respectively).
  • 85% said they were confident that their AI software could meet new regulatory requirements — and the same proportion again were confident in their vendor’s knowledge of the pending legislation.
  • 57% said this was because their vendor had shared their expertise with legislators ahead of new laws being drafted, and 54% said their vendor had previously advised them on AI compliance.
  • 88% of organisations had already started to make changes to their software in line with new legislation or had plans to do so.

Dr Iain Brown, Head of Data Science at SAS Northern Europe, said, “AI is arguably the most powerful and transformative technology we’ve seen in a generation — so it’s more critical than ever that organisations exercise due diligence when selecting a vendor. They need a trusted partner who can advise on the adoption of best practices across the organisation and has the ability to create trustworthy AI solutions.

“In addition, it’s important to foster accountability throughout the company. Staff training and consciousness regarding data usage need to be firmly grounded in data management principles, including data quality and lineage. It is also crucial to establish robust model governance to continually monitor the array of models being used across an organisation and ensure outputs minimise potential bias.”


Syncro published its MSP & IT professionals Pricing Report 2023. The report is based on a survey of over 400 IT and MSP professionals across the US, 63% of the surveyed organizations raised their prices in the past year. Smaller organizations, those that added 51+ technicians, and those offering discounts were the most likely to have implemented price increases.

The key findings included:

  • Economic factors influence pricing
  • Pricing selection correlates with company size (of the MSP)
  • Cryptocurrency is slowly ascending in popularity


Xero released a new report revealing Singapore’s accounting and bookkeeping sector is undergoing significant transformation. Diven by technology innovation and shifting client expectations.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents agree they now have to offer more advisory services to adapt to client and industry needs and opportunities. 72% believe that within the next five years, AI will free up time to enable them to focus on advisory services by automating manual daily tasks. Additionally, 33% are outsourcing work offshore, 52% saying this is to enable their Singaporean team to focus on advisory.

Koren Wines, Managing Director of Xero Asia, said, “Increasingly, accountants and bookkeepers are being recognised as true advisors, offering holistic support to help Asia’s small businesses manage the challenges of today and the future. As experienced talent remains in short supply, practices must think and operate differently to meet calls for more strategic guidance.

“With this in mind, the findings from Xero’s research show that firms are taking proactive steps to combat the supply-demand imbalance. From leaning on digital tools for workflow efficiencies to tapping into offshore teams to expand capacity, accountants and bookkeepers are powering forward.

“However, if the industry is to sustain this momentum, we need to address the skills shortage at a macro level. With AI expected to enable advisors to do more satisfying, strategic work, the education system, hand in hand with accountants and bookkeepers themselves, must take the opportunity to rebrand in order to inspire the next generation of advisory professionals.”

Research from the week beginning 20th November 2023



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