By Lisa Benson, Senior Partner Program Manager, and Mark Redstrom, Marketing Manager, Sage Accountant Solutions.
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”—Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin’s words not only ring true in the animal world, but in business as well. In today’s world, business owners are being forced to adapt and change as fast as the technology around them. These entrepreneurs are "always on”–constantly connected and always aware of anything and everything having to do with their success. To survive and grow, this requires 24/7/365 "hands on” attention to all things business related.
So just how is this level of detail accomplished while still having any semblance of a life? In a word, technology. Mobile devices that fit in the palm of a hand, free Wi-Fi around every corner, and anywhere and anytime access to cloud-based data are just the tip of the technological iceberg.
It’s only natural that these cutting-edge business owners have the same "always on” expectation of their CPAs, so it clearly has an impact on the accounting profession. So for today’s tech-savvy CPA, it’s not so much about which technologies are available, it’s about how these technologies can be used to reveal new and profitable business opportunities, making a CPA’s services that much more valuable to both current and future clients.
Three ways technology can bring new opportunities to a CPA practice
What does this mean for the accounting profession? The profession is evolving, and it starts with technology. Here are three ways this technological evolution can be harnessed to bring new business opportunities to CPAs.
1. Technology can provide higher value client advisory services.
Two advances in technology have allowed CPAs to provide amazingly valuable client advisory services.
- The first is the cloud. By storing client data in the cloud, CPAs no longer need to rely on their clients to deliver financial data–it can be accessed whenever the CPA sees fit from anywhere.
- The second is mobile. There are countless mobile devices that CPAs can now use to access this data.
With the cloud and mobile, CPAs now have the ability to provide advice to clients without having to physically visit them on a regular basis in order to get a rundown of their purchases, expenditures, and any other cost-related activities. Clearly, it is no longer enough to look back at what happened last quarter or last year; CPAs need to be able to provide real-time advisory services. By working together with clients in real time, CPAs today can maintain a constant connection with their clients and provide advisory services that go well beyond traditional tax and compliance services.
2. CPAs can deliver valued technology-based services.
Here it is again–the cloud. The concept around cloud technology is simple: Store data securely off-site in a place where it can be accessed from anywhere and by anyone (with the correct security information such as the right password, of course). There’s more to it than just that, but in a nutshell that’s what cloud technology is all about.
Pretty simple, don’t you think? In most cases, the simplest inventions or advances in technology are oftentimes the most useful. By simply converting a client from "on-premises” data storage to "in the cloud” data storage, a CPA firm has become another one of that business’ technology experts, providing guidance on security concerns, transition processes, and any other cloud-related concerns that a client may have.
Additionally, today’s cloud-based accounting software solutions provide useful features such as bank integration and task management that help CPAs not only keep tabs on their clients’ business and key performance indicators, but more importantly deliver time-saving technology to help clients simplify accounting tasks, so they can focus on the things they love to do . . . like running their businesses.
3. Technology offers CPAs the opportunity to serve clients outside their geographic location
The world is an awfully big place. Funny thing is, it’s getting smaller and smaller each day as more and more people and businesses continue to adopt today’s latest technologies.
Why should a CPA firm be limited in its ability to grow only within the confines of its geographic location? With today’s technologies, it seems only natural that if a CPA firm’s industry-niched service groups and abilities fit the specific needs of a business, they should work together, regardless of where they’re located.
Video conferencing devices are not nearly as expensive as they once were, and even video call services such as FaceTime make interacting with clients anywhere in the world simple and as personable as meeting face to face. The truly innovative CPA firms are harnessing these technologies to become a worldwide provider of their services.
The technology is here . . . now use it!
Technology is allowing CPAs to continue to transform into what their clients want and need, business advisors who provide much more value than traditional tax and compliance services. Technology enables today’s CPAs to be more plugged in than ever with their clients. By embracing technology, CPAs are discovering new business opportunities have opened up new advisory opportunities to current and future clients, both around the corner and around the world.
About Sage Accountant Solutions
Sage Accountant Solutions offer a range of cloud and desktop product solutions, support, and education for accountants and bookkeepers across North America. Our mission is to help you grow and better manage your practice, ultimately empowering you to be your client’s most valuable advisor. Sage Accountant Solutions provide accounting professionals with:
- Choice—An unequaled range of powerful accounting solutions that give you and your clients the freedom to succeed.
- Guidance—Real people giving you expert advice you can use at every stage of your journey with your clients.
- Confidence—A partnership with an established company that gives you confidence we’re here to help you succeed now and in the future.
- Opportunity—Connections to a global ecosystem that enables unlimited growth potential for your firm and your clients' businesses.
For more information on Sage Accountant Solutions, visit us on the web at http://sageaccountantsolutions.com
, email us at AccountantsNetwork@Sage.com
, or call us at 1-866-565-2726.