These days, technology and accounting are two terms that seem to automatically go with each other. If your firm has not embraced cloud accounting, chances are you’ll be severely left behind by the competition.
Cloud accounting is a staple for businesses. It is a vital ingredient that can mean the difference between success and failure. Regardless of size, cloud accounting must be part of ALL business processes.
The accounting industry has changed dramatically with the advent of new technologies. Gone are the days of drudgery, thanks to automating tools that can take care of repetitive tasks which take up a lot of accountants’ time so they can focus on more client-facing tasks.
Furthermore, technology has helped both accountants and clients keep data secure and easily accessible. Cloud computing has paved the way for accountants to become real-time financial advisors. Now, accountants can work remotely (and have more work-life balance) while clients can monitor if and when their accountants are working.
Learn more about optimising your firm with essential cloud technology in this webinar.
Challenges Firms Face
However, with all the benefits it brings, technology can, somehow, make things a bit challenging for some firms, especially those who are in the dark about how to maximise its use.
Some of the challenges firms may face include:
- Overwhelmed with the many choices
- Confusion as to which apps and tools are suited for their needs
- Lack of understanding when it comes to using the tools
Based on data acquired by The Outsourced Accountant in a previous webinar, only 39% of firms are satisfied with their current cloud technology setup, which goes to shows many firms still have a long way to go when it comes to cloud accounting.
The Impact On Your Firm
Because the industry is rapidly changing, firms need to adapt. Accounting technology should be given equal importance as client acquisition. It is near impossible to stay on top of every single application that comes out but firms can still keep up as long as they pay enough attention.
Here are some recommendations:
- Perform an inventory of your current systems. Firms need to look at their existing IT stacks and assess which ones are working and which ones are not.
- In case your firm still doesn’t have any, identify your processes–those that take up a significant amount of your time–and determine which apps or tools are best suited to.
- Find out what other accounting firms are using. Check with your peers and discover what tools are helping them improve efficiency. Chances are they will be more than willing to provide recommendations.
- Get your feet wet. Make sure that every team member is not just familiar, well-versed, on the technology. In addition, you have to introduce the technology to your client, so be prepared to get them up to speed as well.
- It is highly recommended that you pick a go-to person who can be trained as an expert on the tools your firm is using.
Become A Real-Time Accountant
When you take advantage of available technology, you increase the chances of becoming a real-time accountant, the kind of accountant that clients want.
As a real-time accountant, you will be able to:
- Focus more on business advisory
- Spend time with your clients
- Add more value and offer something new to your clients
- Improve client experience
- Be on top of things instead of being reactive
To grow your accounting firm, it is important to keep up with the changes. Make the most of the available technology to take care of compliance and ensure that your accountants are not overwhelmed with work.
Furthermore, technology allows accountants to have more time to deal with clients personally. That way, they will be able to focus more on financial strategy and business advisory.
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.