Wave one: “Cloud Accounting”
The first wave focuses on moving your firm to the cloud. This is where your clients accounts data are no longer stored on a computer, where data is at risk of being lost, stolen or deleted. Yet transferred to a cloud server, which is secure and remote.
When building a successful accounting business, being able to access data whenever it’s needed in the cleanest and most secure way is key. Whilst, also revolutionising the way you work with your clients - as cloud accounting frees-up new time to create value-added advisory services by moving away from admin-heavy data tasks.
Xero says this way of working provides a “fresh perspective of how businesses work with their accountants”.
Wave two: “Business apps & services in the cloud”
Whilst, wave one focuses on your firm's move to cloud, becoming more efficient and offering greater value services to your clients. Wave two, is when you encourage your clients to also get involved in the new technologies.
With new technologies and apps, businesses can access new tools to get better insights than ever before.
Research found that over 84% of UK businesses are adopting some form of cloud technology. Examples include businesses making their tax digital. This means they switch to keeping and submitting reports digitally. Why…?
As an accountant, helping your clients switch to digital bookkeeping and cloud services puts you in a far better position to offer strategic advice. You can better record and track your clients transactions whilst seeing accurate up-to-date data.
Not to mention, you’ll also be able to supercharge your conversations by empowering them to take ownership of their numbers and making discussions more insightful and collaborative.
Wave three: Becoming a go-to adviser
Now both you and your clients have the tools you need, the focus becomes how you can translate data and insight into valuable actions and solutions. It’s true what Xero said at Xerocon, “no matter how good the software is, clients need the help and advice of their accountant” to look at the data and help them navigate business moves.
Cloud services and apps make time for a greater focus on advisory services which move your firm away from purely compliance tasks towards growth plans and longer-term projections. With rising inflation, supply shocks and price rises, advisory services are becoming even more critical for your clients.
In-fact, a staggering statistic which stuck with many accountants in the room at Xerocon was that “40% of businesses have a negative cashflow for about 4.5 months of the year”. With a challenging and uncertain economic landscape still ahead of us, providing the advice and solutions for each one of your clients needs has never been more important. To keep them in a positive cashflow position and away from insolvency.
Ollie Maitland mentioned in his demonstration talk that it’s imperative to “build a proactive practice around your clients needs, it could be resilience (technical advice), grow income and scale (business advice), deliver on plan (capital advice) or exit (corporate finance advice)”. Whichever it is, your clients will be looking to you.
Technology will be your enabler to shape-shift and offer the advice and solutions they need.
"Technology will enable you to do more with less. Technology is an enabler” - Debra Meanden, Xerocon stage.