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Technology as a strategic asset

Team USA is not long back from “the practice management event of the year” Winning is Everything in Las Vegas. It was great to be among partners, managing partners, and technology professionals from the top 500 accounting firms across the USA and Canada. Having run for 11 years, it’s a really slick event. Xero had a booth and I hosted a breakout session called the Cloud Accounting Era.

A key theme at the conference was that technology should be seen as a strategic asset. Keynote speaker Gary Boomer, who has been named in the top 100 most influential people in accounting for the past 10 years, talked about some outdated paradigms in the accounting profession, one of which is that “technology is an overhead”. He suggested that technology should be seen and used as a competitive advantage. Improving efficiency through technology can free up valuable time so that firms can offer more value-add services.

He referred to cloud technologies as being far more intelligent and much easier to integrate than traditional desktop products (You can read this in his recent article). Gary cited Xero as a product accountants should be looking at for their practices. Many firms who were relatively new to cloud technologies started to see the benefits of Xero immediately. A partner from one of the larger firms in Texas summed it up by saying, “Let me understand…no licensing issues, no version issues, and I don’t have to send data files back and forth…it’s all just there all in one spot?”. Exactly. One version of the truth and no file transfer. Ever.

As many of our longer-standing partners in New Zealand, Australia, and the UK can attest, Xero has helped them revolutionize their practice to a subscription and value-based pricing. Firms are truly becoming virtual CFOs introducing monthly reporting, tax minimization strategies, and proactive advice. They’re bundling services to offer a variety of prepackaged monthly plans based on value, not time. Moving from hourly billing to packaged pricing is not new to the industry in the US. Many firms have been doing it for some time. What is new is the mechanism in which these value bundles can be delivered at a much lower-cost and more efficient manner. This is one of the reasons Xero is so revolutionary. Exciting times…

You can find out more about our US Xero partner program here: www.xero.com/partners

 

Read more about Accountants, United States

 

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