If Accountants want to retain their ‘trusted adviser’ status, then they need to be much more involved in their client affairs. They need to get closer to their clients and understand their clients’ financial affairs even more than before. Having deep ‘financial intimacy’ with a client is what needs to be achieved.
Having financial intimacy with a client includes which accounting software they use. No longer are clients going to a retail store and buying a boxed product for their accounting software. The vast majority are buying their software over the internet – not in a box. The software is internet or ‘cloud’ based. The estimate is that around (22% Australia, 6%UK and 4% USA) of current businesses use a cloud based accounting product. That number is growing dramatically every month.
Are your clients coming to you for advice which software application they should use or are they just using one recommended by their friends? Surely the Accountant who is ‘doing their books’ should be involved in that decision.
There are some Accountants who are heavily (some aggressively) promoting 1-2 cloud based products yet the majority are not. It is farcical to think that just one application suits every client you have or want. In any Accountants client base the right thing to do is have 2-4 primary applications throughout the client base.
The movement to cloud based applications is one that no one can stop. Social change says that people want the information on their device 24/7 and technology companies are building applications to suit that appetite.
I think you need to get on the front foot and aggressively promote this unique opportunity. That means running information sessions, seminars, webinars, having product champions; KPI’s on how many clients are on cloud and mentioning it in all promotional material.
The major benefit to the Accountant is having real time information where you can offer real time ‘value added’ advice. Instead of having financial intimacy after the fact (up to 18 months later) you can have real time data at your fingertips. By adding value to the data and deepening the financial intimacy the secondary benefit is that you will strengthen the relationship with your clients and keep the client for longer.
The real power with cloud accounting is that you the Accountant now have access to clients financial data in real (when the client enters the data) time. Which means if something is going wrong you can do something about it – before it’s too late. Instead of waiting 6, 12 or 18 months to get the data you can have access to it on any device, anytime anywhere.
It’s all about moving from being the ‘Redundant Data Accountant’ to the ‘Real-Time Accountant’.
The Perfect Firm is very Cloud-centric: The Perfect Firm has the majority of clients on cloud technology platforms (or very specific strategies to get them there) and they CONNECT with clients and the world around them using the cloud. We can help you do this by helping you create a customized business performance plan. This is the first step to reshaping your Accounting business into ‘The Perfect Firm’ for you. TAKE THE FIRST STEP HERE.
About Rob Nixon
Rob has forged a niche to be the world’s foremost authority on how Accounting firms can achieve peak performance. Rob believes that Accountants are the natural trusted advisor to business. He believes that Accountants make a massive difference to their client’s condition. Since 1994 he has been running businesses that specialise in helping Accountants run better, more profitable businesses. His speaking work has taken him around the world where he has spoken to in excess of 150,000 accountants. He is the author of two bestselling books “Accounting Practices Don’t Add Up – why they don’t and what to do about it” AND “Remaining Relevant – the future of the Accounting profession”. Both have received rave reviews from Accountants and industry professionals from around the world.