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The Boomer Bulletin - 2013
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Increase Your Value By Leveraging the Cloud

Posted By Amy Vetter, Thursday, August 15, 2013

After spending extra hours working evenings and weekends fixing a client’s accounting in order to complete your work, have you ever thought, "if only I had been involved with this client throughout the year, collaborating with them real time, would I have to do this now?” We end up in these situations when our clients drive the accounting and software decisions. We are left cleaning it up only to write off some of the time spent duplicating efforts. Situations like this contribute to the lack of work/life balance during tax season. To remedy this problem, accountants need to take back control, collaborate with clients throughout the year and have access to clients’ real time financials.

Enter the cloud. The cloud provides the platform for accountants and their clients to have access to their important information in real time. Neither party is left in the dark.  The cloud also provides the option back to the client to have their accountant perform their accounting work. The client can then view their financials, in real time, while being more confident that their information is accurate.   

This type of access makes the accountant more valuable.  The accountant can offer their clients the platform to collaborate. The collaboration value becomes central to the engagement.  The software fees become a component of the overall fee to the client.  By delivering services this way, you are no longer at the mercy of the client and which software they choose.  Instead, we choose the platform and tools that is right for the client. Additionally, the cloud allows for consistency for all staff of the firm to utilize resulting in more profitable engagements and the elimination of duplication of work.

Additionally, there is no more cleaning up clients’ accounting. Instead, the CPA can be on the front end of the accounting work and make sure it is accurate from the start.  This eliminates the chaos at year-end of trying to make sense of numbers provided by a client.  Busy season can be more streamlined since the CPA is part of the client’s business all year.  By being an integral piece to your client’s business, you become a fixture in the business.  Your client will confide in you more which will drive additional revenue/services and loyalty to the firm.

As always, it’s about the relationship.  What the cloud offers is an improved experience for your clients. You will be able to collaborate with your client more effectively on a real time basis.  The sharing of information will be more controlled resulting in more value-added discussions with your clients instead of discussions based around the accuracy of data entry.

If you haven’t already started the process of moving toward the cloud and changing how you interact with your clients – it is time to take the first step.  If not, you are going to be left behind by the firms that have already started this transition.  Firms are developing strong, profitable practices, as well as gaining back some work/life balance for their employees.  The efficiencies you are able to drive streamlines work in your firm, provides the platform you need to do the accounting the way you want to and opens the door to new services and opportunities with clients you would have never had before.  Take the first steps to regain control of the accounting and deliver your services the way you know is best for you and your client, with the flexibility to offer it the way the client wants. You and your client will both be happier in the long run!

Amy Vetter is IAP Programs Leader at Intacct Corporation.  Intacct focuses on building amazing professional-strength financial management and accounting applications that fit into your existing business infrastructure and integrate well with the key applications you use to run your business—giving you the freedom to choose and deploy the best applications for each of your departments. Visit www.intacct.com to learn more.

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