Integrating new technology is critical in providing excellent service to your clients. To remain competitive, accountants need to be comfortable with and adopt new accounting technology.
Technology, as we’ve seen and heard many times already, has also been a huge enabler of outsourcing. It will continue to play an important role in the accounting profession. Technology will help accountants become more than number-crunchers.
Accounting Technology To Improve Client Experience
Over the years, technology has improved processes in accounting firms. From data collection to analysis to report generation, accountants are now able to accomplish tasks with more accuracy in less time.
Accounting software automates specific processes and reduces time accountants spend on compliance, which addresses one of the challenges in the profession: lack of client-facing time.
With bookkeeping and tax preparation out of the way, accountants can focus on spending more time with clients (i.e. calling them regularly to check for issues, provide financial advice, etc.) which helps add value and improve client experience.
Integrate Accounting Technology To The Business
Now that technology has integrated itself in the accounting profession, it’s vital that firms treat this as part of the services they offer. That means including this as a consideration for determining pricing.
Naturally, accounting software and automation tools will be used in performing the usual tasks. It then becomes part of the costs acquired when providing services. By making technology part of the solution you offer to clients, your firm increases capacity.
Choosing The Right Accounting Technology
To stay competitive and, eventually scale your firm, you have to know if you are using the right technology. Despite the advent of technology, it’s interesting to know that there are still many firms that don’t utilise the tools available to them. Furthermore, a lot of businesses are not satisfied with the current technology they are using.
The Outsourced Accountant found that only 39% of firms are satisfied with their current cloud technology setup.
It’s important to recognise some challenge when identifying the right technology for the firm. Consider that there are companies that may still be in the dark about maximising these tools. These firms can be overwhelmed by the many choices available to them or confused as to which tools and apps are suited to their needs. And let’s not forget the lack of understanding on how to use these.
Introducing Accounting Technology To Your Staff
Introducing a new technology to the team requires a thorough plan to ensure it’s worth the time, effort and costs.
So how should you go about it? Here are some recommendations:
Stay updated, step back and research
Make sure that you are aware of what’s happening in the industry. Know what other firms are doing. Information like these can be valuable in identifying what your firm needs. Once you know what technology to use, take a step back and plan.
There is no reason to come charging. Do some research first. This will ensure that you do not waste resources on something that your team would not be able to maximise.
There are things to consider and questions to ask:
How will this technology help your firm’s workflow?
Is it something the staff will be able to maximise?
Is it complicated to use?
Are the benefits worth the cost?
What does the reviews say about it?
Identify its potential impact on the firm. Discuss with key personnel how it’s going to help you achieve your goals.
Who are the tech-savvy people?
You will need to try out the technology first and who better to test them than the tech enthusiasts?
Identify those who are proficient in technology and ask them to try out the tool. Their feedback will be vital in your decision.
You may also need to coordinate with your IT staff to ensure a seamless transition. You may need to integrate it with the other tools you are currently using or you its use may impact how you’re currently using other software.
Communicate with the team
Communication will play an important role in transitioning your team to the new technology. It may be helpful to let people know that you are trying out something new that, hopefully, will alleviate the workload.
Any change that needs to be implemented must be communicated with the team first. That way, you are not taking them by surprise. This also gives you the opportunity to set expectations and entertain concerns from the team.
Thanks to technology, accountants are now able to acquire and interpret data quickly and more accurately, allowing them to provide sound financial advice to clients.
Adapting and introducing new technology can help scale your firm so it’s important to identify those that offer the most potential benefits and use them.
Remember to talk with key personnel first to see which tools are worth investing into. Then find team members who can test and provide feedback. Most importantly, talk to your team and let them know that you are going to implement some changes that will help make work easier.
The Outsourced Accountant helps accounting firms from all over the world grow their capacity, margins and profits through global outsourcing. Contact us to find out more about how we can help your firm.